Happy Monday, my adorable little kitten farts! I hope you had a fantastic weekend SOBER. I did. But if the alcohol somehow got ahold of you OR if you stayed sober but just couldn’t find the joy in it, I TOTALLY understand and empathize. You can get there. We can get there. My oh my, how things have changed. Weekends weren’t always fun. Sometimes I felt lucky I was able to get back to work on Monday. And sometimes I didn’t get back to work until Tuesday. Oops.
Weekends used to go like this:
- If someone asked me to hang out, I would get a drink or five after work on Friday. I would usually hope no one would bother trying to make plans with me and if they did, I would often decline the invite because I would rather-
- Stop at the liquor store on the way home and buy a big bottle of vodka. I’d rather drink it simply on the rocks with a little seltzer and some straight shots every now and then in between but I felt it necessary to try to concoct something less alcoholic-y so the boyfriend wouldn’t think I was a drunk. I’d buy elaborate mixers and fresh citrus and make us adult cocktails while I frequently visited the freezer alone for shot after shot after shot because ain’t nobody got time for sipping. We would try to watch a movie and I would either pass out or we would fight. The nights rarely ended well.
- I would wake up Saturday morning around 7AM with my heart pounding and feeling as if I were about to die. I would be violently ill. I would look around the house for signs of me having done things in a state of blackout. Sometimes I’d find weird shit like bowls of uneaten cereal on my desk in the office. In a panic, I’d try to clean everything up that looked suspicious. I’d look in the freezer at the bottle of vodka never knowing just how far to the bottom of the bottle I got. Sometimes totally empty but still put back into the freezer so no one saw the empty in the trash. The month or so before I quit, I would sometimes drink in the kitchen alone at 7AM. It didn’t matter what it was. If there were some vodka left, a shot of that. If there were beers in the fridge, a few of those. Not because I wanted to but because it was the only way I could think of to possibly make me feel better. And I knew that it would make things worse because I wouldn’t have the luxury of continuing drinking after that. I often ended up even more ill. But I did it anyway while consciously thinking about how bad of an idea it was.
- I would lay in bed for as long as I possibly could. Sometimes the boyfriend wouldn’t give me grief and let me sleep. If he did let me sleep, I made it a point to try to be in the shower by no later than noon because anything longer wasn’t okay in my head. I always told him I felt sick. He’d suggest it was the alcohol. I’d insist it was something I ate, a flu, a cold, etc. Sometimes he wouldn’t let me sleep. Sometimes he was mad. He would open the blinds and let the sun shine in. He would start cleaning the bedroom and vacuuming. On these mornings, I’d have no choice but to get up and suffer in misery sitting upright and in clothes. Sometimes I would get up on my own accord even though I felt bad and I would pretend everything was fine. These were the worst days. I felt it necessary to throw a few of these in the mix every now and then to distract him from the really bad one I maybe had the weekend before.
- I would make it until about 430PM on a Saturday afternoon before plans needed to start being made. We usually had nowhere to go because I was very good about making our lives miserable, boring, and declining invitations. I would feign a good mood and offer to make something good for dinner. I would go to the grocery store alone. If he offered to go with me, I’d do anything and everything to keep that from happening. I would stop at the liquor store and buy a bottle identical to the one in the freezer that I would use to replace the one from the night before. Then I’d ditch the prior night’s bottle deep in the recycling bin. I never knew if this fooled him or not. My theory was that he isn’t an alcoholic so he wouldn’t be checking the vodka level in the freezer so if I made another cocktail on Saturday night, he’d just assume it was leftover from the night before. I haven’t built up the courage to ask if he knew the whole time. I’d get home, make dinner, drink heavily while it was in process, eat with him, pass out, and do the whole Saturday morning routine over again on Sunday.
- Sunday afternoon would roll around and I knew that I’d need to get creative tonight. The weekend’s second bottle of vodka was gone and surely I couldn’t justify buying a third. He’d find out somehow. So I’d go do the laundry. While it was drying, I’d sometimes go across the street to the bar and have a Bloody Mary alone because everyone else was, right? It’s Sunday. It’s brunch! On a few occasions, I bought a few beers at the convenience store next door and drank them INSIDE of the Laundromat. The goal was to get just to the tip of drunk so I could drink lightly the rest of the night so I didn’t draw attention to myself. After laundry was done, I’d stop by the liquor store for a half pint of vodka that I could hide in my pocket and stash upstairs in the bedroom. Then I had to stop and buy a bunch of beers. I’d be sure to get a few the boyfriend liked so it maybe looked like I was being nice and not just trying to get drunk. I’d get home, take the beer to the kitchen, start dinner, crack one open. The goal was to very visibly be already consuming a beer before the boyfriend came in my direction so when he smelled beer on my breath, he’d think it was just NEW beer breath and not LAUNDRY beer breath. WTF? And he might be weird about the fact that I was drinking AGAIN but I could play beer off. WHAT? It’s just a beer! It’s the weekend! YOLO! I’d get through the half pint of vodka upstairs during random trips to the bedroom to get my iPad, charge my phone, look for something, fold the laundry, etc. Inevitably, I would reach a point in the evening where I would realize that the beers and the half pint were severe underestimates of what I would need to be happy and okay. So I’d end up being miserable the rest of the night and taking over the counter sleep aids way above the dosage to try to knock me out and wake up Monday morning wanting to die. Then I switched to full pints of hidden vodka rather than half because I’d rather not drink at all than get trapped in a situation where you don’t have enough alcohol and there is nothing you can fucking do about it. And that went on a for a while until that fateful day on Monday morning, April 14th, 2014, when I just couldn’t keep doing it anymore.
Now weekends go like this:
- Stop at a grocery store on Friday night and pick out various beverages I like so I never get bored with what I’m drinking. Get home and cuddle with the puppy and the boyfriend and order delivery and watch a movie. This Friday was Spring Breakers. Very weird flick but haters can hate. I actually thought it was really well done. Visually beautiful. Haunting. Then a 10PM walk to frozen yogurt store. BAD. I know. Sat outside eating it with the puppy on our laps and everyone stopping to say hi to him. They couldn’t care less about US. Get home, cuddle in bed watching bad reality TV, fall asleep naturally and sleep soundly.
- Wake up REALLY early Saturday without meaning to. Walk the puppy. Get coffee. Lounge for a while without a care in the world. Feel calm. Peaceful. Happy. The sun is so pretty shining through the curtains. Then off to the gym for a workout that leaves me pumped and excited about life. Home. More lounging. Lunch. Drop off the laundry (I no longer stay and do the laundry myself. I pay extra for their laundry service and pick it up the next day to avoid the trigger of the bar and the convenience store next door). Then more lounging. More puppy cuddles. Then I said to the boyfriend, “Hey. Let’s go get those plants and flowers for the patio that we’ve been talking about for weeks,” and I turn off the TV and stand up. He looks at me like he has seen a ghost. Then his eyes light up. I can tell he’s so excited. He stopped suggesting things because he knew I’d say no. But now things are starting to change. We take our time at the nursery filling up a wagon with various plants we know nothing about. We joke about being worried they will die. I look at the beauty around me. IS THIS REALLY ME? AM I DOING THIS? I am. We pay, call a cab, and take our haul home. We unload and start potting on the patio with the puppy at our feet. We have to yell NO! NO! over and over as puppy thinks it’s funny to eat dirt. The flowers look pretty and we realize we need a lot more greenery. Next weekend, we agree. Then a casual night going through belongings and watching movies in preparation for the yard sale the next day.
- Wake up early on Sunday again. Make steak and eggs with mushrooms and spinach. We eat and enjoy some quiet time. Then it’s time to start setting up. The yard sale starts at 11AM and we sit outside with one of our roommates soaking up the sun and talking to strangers about the items we’re trying to get rid of. And then again it hits me- HOLD ON A SECOND. I’M HAVING FUN. OH MY GOD. It’s hot so I make some iced tea for everyone. The roommate suggest I go in and grab her gin bottle and spike it. I tell her no and that she can make her own iced tea for that. Mine is for drinking as is. She isn’t offended. She’s not an alcoholic so she doesn’t care. It gets later and we close it down, shower, and enjoy the rest of our night calmly reading, watching TV, chatting. Nothing hurts. Everything is clear. Boredom doesn’t exist.
I can’t imagine ever going back to the continuous and nonstop nightmare I was trapped in before. I get panicked and teary eyed just thinking about the pain and suffering. The flowers and love and beauty are so much better. And even if this weekend sucked and slurped total ass, it still wouldn’t be as bad as where I was before.