A Writer Survives Because They Need To Tell People What Happened – Hanala Sagal


Writer/Producer/Vlogger/Actress/Author Hanala Sagal: One of the reasons I felt I survived
in certain circumstances was I needed to tell someone what I went through… Film Courage: What’s the most painful thing you went
through as an addict? Hanala: The most painful thing I went through as an addict which
one I have to go back into the rolodex does anybody remember those? Film Courage: I do. Hanala: Thank
goodness I would the first thing that popped to mind seeing as we’re in
therapy and that’s how this goes I I have to say we having to drink before a
phone call and feeling so alone and feeling like I was going to blow every
opportunity and I was never gonna reach my potential and that was something that
I would feel daily because I couldn’t go out I remember one time taking a big hit
off my bong and then running down the stairs to get the mail because that’s
the only way I could get the mail and I bumped into the mailman and exhaled and
I’m like oh my god I could never get the mail now like I blew my one thing I
could do and then I go back up and drink and also my husband was gonna leave me
so I remember one time I was a bad drunk and I was waiting for him to come home
and I thought I wonder if I have time to to to pour myself a drink and I thought
no I’ll have to drink it from the bottle and I’m drinking it the bottle smashes
there’s red wine everywhere and turns that I have enough time because the guy
never came home that night he said yeah if you were such a drunk I’d come home
and I said sorry so I think that was pretty painful and then I also felt I
was with the guy once accidentally well I couldn’t be alone oh so just the one
time I would go I go out I’d usually come home with someone like take out you
know only I bring home a guy and he’d stay you know so uh one time was it the
mailman I wasn’t an ale man was it no okay no no um he was a guy at a bar he
said he was British but then I finally was really from San Diego and his mother
called I was killable so wait where was I going
so I know – so you were saying something about the agoraphobia agoraphobia but
you said I would see I got sidetracked as I was gonna ask you what happened you
see this makes me a good writer but I’m not such a great interview well no no I
love the stories the the mailman when you exhale Don oh what happened what did
you ever have oh I don’t know I just died a little oh never separate came out
okay yeah no no I never saw him again or I don’t think I did but I was already a
little drunk at the time or I wouldn’t miss timed it right but once a bar you
said you always old you bring home takeout yes and what was the initial
question perhaps I’ll go the the most difficult painful memories Oh being an
addict oh yes I remember now thank you okay no wonder I pushed it out I turned
to killarney comedy wellness again okay one time I was with a guy who I’m the
one who pretended he was British he hit me and I would I love myself in the
bathroom I was in the bathtub and I was shaking and I said ma I found my own
Nazi so you know I made how could I made my own Holocaust I’m like in the
bathroom I’m sure you know and he tried to get me deported oh my goodness
so I think that that was probably a low I was kind of used to throwing up in
bathrooms all over town I cuz that’s how I drank I drank to the point of blacking
out I was rarely remembered the end of the evening or look the same at the
beginning yeah so uh but I never learned I never stopped until I was able to find
some meetings where people were I walked in and they he were people sharing it
you threw up on in Spago’s – oh my goodness what else
horrible embarrassing things have you done the same things that I did you know
they found a man they found the booze they found the drugs and they once
thought they were like sober now and I’m like okay I’m gonna keep coming back you
know this is yeah yeah this is this is something I have to learn I have
to read up on but I didn’t okay so the next day they said you see you can’t
share at a meeting unless you have 24 hours of sobriety and I want I was like
AG I’m Canadian good little alcoholic you know I wasn’t gonna do that so I
thought how am I gonna get 24 hours of sobriety I thought okay cuz my plan was
to go to one meeting go home and drink myself to death not all at once just
eventually cuz I had already had a bad liver report at 26 and UCLA that and
they told me my liver was going I had a bad liver panel and they told me to stop
doing everything I’m like I went home and got so drunk cuz I thought oh my god
this is gonna kill my mother the Holocaust survivor I’m gonna die before
her anyway so I got really really drunk you know so I I thought okay how am I
gonna get through this 24 hours so I can share and I was even offered cocaine and
it was incredible I just thought no I must share I must share once before I
died he always thought leader so I thought okay just get through the night
get through the night and I did and I went to my next meeting and I shared for
the first time but put up my hand and I’m like you guys have taken cakes and
chips for like ten years I couldn’t get ten minutes how do you do it and this
little old lady who’s probably about ten years younger than me turns around and
goes oh honey we do it one day at a time I’m like like a sitcom okay I am gonna
try this and I just kept going a lot of meetings and here we are 36 years later
still sober because you know I learned first of all I didn’t realize the guy
that I was living with was bald and I didn’t know he wore a weave oh how did
you find out well occurred to me his hair was like
unusually thick you know that I’m sober I was like getting a new pair of glasses
there’s actually a book like that so one night when he’s kept drinking heavily
so I’m sober I’m like obsessed with his hair that was
so we’re gonna like I’m gonna find out what’s under there so I like crawl over
there very quietly and I lift the thing because he’d had a whole bottle of wine
and I saw it was a weave it was like stuck on and then I realized his eyes
were open and he was looking at me and I’m like I put it down I went back to my
side of the bed we’re back we never spoke of it but I thought if I didn’t
know my own husband was bald what else have I been missing I better stay sober
because that would mean you would think that would be obvious what else what
else did I get wrong turns out a lot I got a la do you think that’s why
storytelling is important because you wanted to tell your story which was real
and that is sharing in a meeting and essentially you’re telling a story of
either your day or your life or what you’re struggling with yeah and so then
you get to do that with writing or creating these videos ever since I was a
kid I created the comic books they had bubbles I broke my words in their words
were always important I’ve won contests for writing even as a kid I was
published as a kid always words were very important for me to express what
was going on and to put them to pictures seeing my illustrations it gave me so
much more expression that just writing couldn’t but yeah I had to be a writer I
had to tell people one of the reasons I felt I survived in certain circumstances
was I needed to tell someone what I went through which I heard some Holocaust
survivors say to they survived because of luck and the need to tell people what
went on you

7 thoughts on “A Writer Survives Because They Need To Tell People What Happened – Hanala Sagal

  1. Gosh, I don't have anything this traumatic in my life. Thank goodness! I do feel for her. I just can't imagine.

  2. Blacked out once too, wierd the smashing of the bottle is actually a thing! But scary experience. TINNITUS FOR A WHOLE DAY.. never again.

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