Sunday morning, almost noon and I stayed up too late last night watching The Vow on free HBO this weekend. I’ve had some coffee but I haven’t brushed my teeth or gotten dressed. Some days I don’t get dressed and go from the living room to the tv room and hang all day. Some days I shower, get dressed, do my hair, walk the dog and wait until 6 o’clock before I turn into a Netflix slug. Oh quarantine, you do wonders to my psyche. Utah is spiking with the Covid, the mountain has delayed opening until the 7th of December due to no snow. I’m fine. As fine as fine can be but I fucked up and that’s why I am here today, I have to get this written out so I can get my brain to stop swirling. I want to have the last word but first let’s talk.
I drank wine 3 times in November and two of those times I was so seriously ill I thought it might actually take me out of the game. My poor mother. This last Tuesday, it was a pretty day weather wise but it was boring. I’ve learned through various times of this year that drinking is also boring in lockdown/quarantine/social distancing and can usually manage to not do it. This last Tuesday I went to the liquor store and got two bottles of wine and one can of beer. The second bottle was supposed to be for Thursday, Thanksgiving evening after my brother and niece left… I didn’t want them to come but how do you say no. I am not the only player and my extended family is estranged, has been for a few years and we are what is left, my mom, my brother and his daughter who turns 18 in a few weeks. My other two brothers (and their respective families) have not made an effort to visit for the holidays in a very, very long time and probably won’t ever. We still like each other, well kind of, but we all loathe the holidays and really don’t give a shit, or at least that’s what we say. There is so much pain and trauma from years passed that it is just easier to grit our teeth and get through the jingle bells and into January where things can start fresh again. Anyway, I came home with wine on Tuesday afternoon and my mom drank more than she usually does. I talked to an old friend and guzzled the wine, skipped dinner and proceeded to open the second bottle.
This is where it gets fuzzy and this is where I fucked up. I texted some stupid meme to my old Nashville boyfriend. He responded that he had spent a few weeks in the psych ward and I was not pleasant about it. Actually, I was an asshole. All the old hurt that I still harbor boiled up to the surface and while I am not exactly sure what I said, I did not meet him where he was at with compassion. I reiterated how he had put me in the exact mental state years prior. I think I said something like, glad you have the luxury to go to the hospital because I didn’t or some stupid shit. I don’t think I said, “Karma is a bitch” but that’s what I meant. Fuck. I would never had said that sober.
Now, this guy, has held me at arms length for over a decade. He will draw me in and then sling me out and I have let him do it, over and over again. I had claim that he is the love of my life. There were days in Tennessee that I would get up in the morning and just lie on the bottom of the shower sobbing in emotional pain trying to get my shit together so I could go to work. I would be so fucking sad that it changed my brain chemistry. What I know now but didn’t know then was that he was addicted to cocaine, he hid it from me because he knew I was against it. When we were together, we smoked weed and drank wine, nothing stronger and then he would disappear and it would kill me. This cycle went on for years. YEARS! I’ve written about him on this blog a lot. I was engaged to another guy and started another round of relationship cycle shit with him. It’s all just so fucking shameful. Stuff that I could crawl into a hole for the rest of my life and never come out.
Wednesday, I spent the day puking every 20 minutes. It hurt. I was hyper ventilating and panicked that I may have just gone far enough that perhaps a trip to the hospital was in order. I scared my dog. I really frightened my mom. Some how I pulled through when I remembered that my mom had a lorazepam, I took a 1/2 pill, texted dude that I was sorry for being an asshole and I just hope the best for him and drank some Gatorade. The hangover lasted until yesterday, Saturday, that’s how long it takes these days, four days for my body to feel ok again.
Last night, right when I put on the movie The Way Back to watch with my mom, I realized he had blocked me. I wanted every drink that Ben Affleck’s character was drinking. I was so in my head it was hard to concentrate but I didn’t lose my shit. I am calmly succumbing to the fact that it really is time to be done. To let him go. To not try to “be friends for the rest of our lives.” It is hurting me and it is hurting him. I have kept this tether to him out of fear and hope, I am nowhere close to lying on the bottom of the shower crying out because he dumped me again, I am still holding my breathe a little and going over and over it in my head but I haven’t shed a tear. At first, I thought I will just send him a card with a gift and try to mend it. That will make it better. I saved his address and deleted the miles of texts we have shared over the last few years because I was trying to save myself from how I would analyze it all. It really sucks to be blocked. Do I deserve it? Yes. AND No. What does that even mean? Why am I asking myself that question? It is null. It is what it is. Did I fuck it up? Yep. Was it going to get fucked up eventually? Also yes. Was staying in contact with him all of these years ever good for me? No but I had been able to put it in a place that I could hold onto him in my heart without wrecking my daily existence and I thought I was winning. This isn’t a contest. This is my life.
I also came to the conclusion last night that I have been keeping old damaged relationships and the people at the forefront of my mind. Keeping the loss, regret, the would have’s and the could have’s very alive. What I did, what they did, my justifications and the shame and heartache that it ended. Trying to piece together what they might have told other people. This keeps me in a constant state of shutting down on myself, worried that no one will ever like me. Feeling like people don’t like me which makes me not like myself. It’s all a conversation I am having solo in my head and it is fucking with me. I’ve noticed during all of this social isolation that around 8 o’clock at night I start to get really uncomfortable with social media. I start to feel isolated, old, fearful that I have fucked too many things up, fearful that the world is out of control and people are just assholes. I turn off my phone. I’m glad that I can recognize this and also know none of it has proof of being true but it still affects me.
I haven’t told you about the other time in November that I drank. I met my friend in Colorado for a weekend. She didn’t drink much but I did and spent the next day puking. She went by herself to hike. It was awful and humiliating and she’s probably not going to trust to hang out with me again. She’s going through some rough times, she’s a nurse. On the ride home I just convinced myself to give it space. She said she didn’t hate me. I tried not to apologize too many times so that I became annoying. Fuck.
The third time I drank wine in November, I kept a lid on it but didn’t feel good the next day. My ski friend was moving to Santa Fe, so we hung out in her backyard with other ski friends. It got me really excited to get back on the mountain. On the way out to our cars, one of our friends who I never really liked but tolerated, he was sober, I asked him about meetings and we traded numbers. I have yet to text him but I will because he can help me with community. I like him more now that I know his story. An ex-priest from New England who figured out he was gay. He’s 10 years younger than me and I thought he was just full of shit all last season. That’s what you get for assuming. We’re all full of shit and pain and addiction but there is potential for authentic joy however fleeting it feels right now. We are all looking for the same thing and right now I think it’s relief.
Relief, I know this to be absolutely true, it is NOT in a bottle of wine in the late afternoon of quarantine. Nope. And I want it anyway, always thinking it will be different this time. I am not going to make a blanket statement that I am going to get this all under control. I have done that too many times. I had a glimpse of what I could make my future and it was a huge relief. I am way, way better than I used to be and it was incremental tiny steps. Today I am not going to drink because tomorrow I don’t want to be sick. I am hopeful for the future me but also at the same time telling her to fuck off and to just wait a god damn second and stop squawking. She’s doing it because she loves me and this is who I need to listen to, want to focus on, need to stay in regular contact with… and I will try to be more understanding.