A Day In the Life of An Alcoholic

woman sitting in room

The day after Saint Patrick’s Day in 2010 is a day I will never forget because it was one of the worst days of my life. I woke up in a jail cell still half-drunk, covered in bruises, my hair a mess and facing felony charges of assaulting a police officer. I still remember that morning vividly but I can only remember bits and pieces of the night before that led me to that awful moment. I looked around the jail cell with a pounding headache followed by a wave of nausea and tried to go back to sleep hoping it was all just a bad dream.

Unfortunately, this was no dream it was a very real consequence of my alcoholism. The events that resulted at this moment started off like most of my evenings during that point in my life. I drank entirely too much alcohol in a short amount of time but instead of staying home, I ventured out to meet up with a coworker to get high. After some drunken antics, I wound up in a local detox. During my short stay in detox, I experienced a psychotic break and became caught up in an alcohol-induced rage. I began yelling at people and breaking things which resulted in the police being called. I was so out of my mind that when the police officer came I tried to fight him off, hence the bruises and the assault charge.

Before I could be taken to jail I was transported to a nearby hospital. My parents were listed as emergency contacts on my driver’s license and had been notified of where I was going and met me there. I was so drunk and delusional I didn’t recognize my own father and I thought my mother was conspiring against me with the hospital staff. I was so out of control I had to be handcuffed to the bed. Once I had been given enough medication to be stabilized I was wheeled out of the room, I thought I would be able to go home… I will never forget the sinking feeling in my chest when I realized I was going to jail instead.

After getting fingerprinted I was escorted to a holding cell with nothing but a concrete bench and a metal toilet. I was completely exhausted and tried to get some sleep but I could feel a giant knot forming on the back of my head from the previous altercation with the police officer, my only form of comfort was a roll of toilet paper I tried to use as a pillow… needless to say, that was one of the lowest points of my addiction.

When I woke up later on in a jail cell I could only recall broken memories of the night before. My parents ended up bailing me out later that day and I will never forget the horrible feeling that came over me when I learned that I was facing felony charges. My parents helped me begin to piece together as much as I could from the night before. The words shame and regret are not powerful enough to convey the emotions I felt that day.

I wish I could say that was enough to scare me straight and to get me sober but alcohol had such a hold over me I still wasn’t ready to give it up for good. If anything, the whole thing made me want to drink more in a desperate attempt to escape the awful reality I had created for myself. That’s what is so crazy about addiction, it can cause a person to say and do things they normally never would. Addiction can bring someone to their knees and produce the worst consequences and the person will continue to keep using because the thought of living sober is more terrifying than anything else. So I went through the motions of my court-ordered consequences and began to work on paying off $12,000 in restitution all the while slipping further into the pit of addiction.

Alcoholic with drink

Fast forwards a few years later and the quality of my life had continued to degrade bit by bit due to my drinking. I was working a dead-end job, living back home with my parents all while drinking alcohol and smoking weed on a daily basis. My family finally had enough and decided to do an intervention to try and get me some help which I was finally ready to accept. Thank goodness they did because I hate to imagine where I would be now if they hadn’t.

The life of active addiction is awful, it’s a rollercoaster ride of the worst kind. Looking back on the way I used to live through the lens of sobriety I can see it all for what it truly was… pure insanity. Almost eight years later I am sober and living a life that would never have been possible if I were still drinking. When I get overwhelmed with life I take a step back and remember where I once was to help me put things back into perspective because I never want to live another day in the life of an alcoholic ever again.



After overcoming her own addiction in 2012 Julie went on to become certified as an addiction counselor in order to help others achieve a life of recovery. She worked in the addiction field for 8 years and now uses both her personal and professional experiences with addiction as an influence for her writing.