How I Stopped Getting Blackout Drunk:
Realizing the stupid reason I was doing it was the first step to recovery
It was a Sunday morning in February when I woke up in bed, wearing nothing but my pearls. My first thought was, Oh, god, my faux fur coat. I raced to the closet and was surprised to find that the vintage drape was neatly on its hanger.
The night before, I had attended a $200 event at New York City’s McKittrick Hotel. There was a six-hour open bar and, as always, I had decided to make a net profit by guzzling down at least $300 worth of liquor. The last thing I remembered was pounding down a shot of whiskey at the jazz bar, and after that, absolutely nothing.
Then I checked my phone. My Uber from Chelsea to Harlem, which is usually a $20 ride, cost $128, partly because I got into a more expensive car during surge pricing, and partly because we had driven all over Manhattan, presumably because I was too passed out to put in my address.
As things go, I was very, very lucky that nothing terrible happened to me the many times I got blackout drunk (which was, with rare reprieve, every Thursday through Saturday). Part of the reason I could keep going on a three-day binge with the energy that I did was that I was seemingly immune to hangovers. Not facing any serious consequences for my behavior, I saw little incentive to stop.
With alcohol, I would very quickly get to a stage of basic instincts. I wanted to make out with someone, I wanted to eat something, and I wanted to go to sleep somewhere. Anything would do. There were many times last winter when I would get into a random person’s car and simply demand that they take me home. There have been a fair number of occasions where I’ve fallen asleep outside my bed while drunk — in the toilet stall of the Waldorf Hotel, on the street outside of the Russian Tea Room, and in the front-row pew of Green-Wood Cemetery Chapel.