This isn’t a blog about drinking. I’m not going to list my top ten rock bottoms for you — crashed a car, went to jail, lost my job — in fact, I’ve done all of those already. This is a blog about a *drinking life* and ultimately, the struggle to let go of that former life in being both a city dweller and woman. So, a drinking life, then: drinking and not drinking, getting shitfaced and drinking the promised “two glasses,” blacking out and feeling remorse beyond what even your closest friends/mother can empathize with. It’s about staying sober *and* staying drunk.
Right now, I’m trying to quit. For what seems like the millionth time, and which may very well be. What I hope is that this blog will help both drinkers and their concerned friends alike feel less lonely and less alone in the process. Because right now — well, for years, actually — I feel pretty much on my own. Straight-up *alone*. Dead-solo on this journey that feels like a desert trudge with a long lost beginning and no end in sight.
I woke up today hung over. And it’s going on oh, about 48 hours or so since I had my “last” drink and I still feel like ass. My belly is swollen and my liver hurts, which, this morning makes it hard to fit into my interview clothes. My pants are too tight and my underwire bra is pressed so tightly against my aching liver that it makes me cry. So now I am crying and I’ve got less than 10 minutes to pull it together and all I can think is, Fuck, I wish to Jesus on the Cross that I hadn’t poured out the last third of that “last” bottle of red that I had stored in the fridge two nights ago when I binge drank.
I also woke up feeling depressed. Uninterested. No glee, no glitter, no sparkle. Just grey. This, however, is not unusual. The first few days of sobriety go like this (at least for me): six hours after waking up from my two-bottles-of-red-induced blackout, I’m still drunk…and will continue to be for the next at least six to 12 hours. Yes, it normally takes me *12 fucking hours* after my last sip to process the alcohol to the point where I don’t feel drunk. During this time, I endure a plethora of awesome wine hangover goodness, which I affectionately call “full body gross.” Lately, and this has made me take pause, I’ve felt rather…anesthetized, I guess is the right word. I can’t think, can’t do math, can’t really make plans or remember things clearly. I also sometimes feel depressed to the point of contemplating suicide (it really does seem OK to think that there is nothing to live for and no reason to be alive when I’m having these dark thoughts) and anxious to the point of having a panic attack. If I’ve said or done something horrible, I’ll feel utterly remorseful for the next, oh, at least 12 to 24 hours, before my mind allows itself to ease up and move on. Cuz, really, a functioning alcoholic *has* to move on, otherwise she’d be able to say, God damn it, I’ve had enough, when the urge to binge drink strikes again. And it will. It always does.
But, on day two, it’s easy not to drink because you’re still hung. Easy to pass by the hundred bars on every street and think, Nah, I’m *so* over it. However, I do feel anxious as a result, I guess, of coming off the booze, and instead of letting my mind discover what *likely won’t happen* if I just take a deep breath and wade through, I just want to shut the whole thing down with a drink.
But I’m getting sober, so I won’t, right? I’ve had enough, haven’t I? I’m sick of my weakness, sick of others’ judgments and quite frankly, sick of failing in their and my own eyes. I’z gonna prove all y’all wrong, I think to myself as I go back and forth, amidst the puffs of unwelcome anxiety sneaking up from my stomach to my heart, wondering if I can’t just have *one little glass* to make it go away.