Day 33

Disclaimer: Not my actual costume, just an approximation for story-telling purposes

Thursday AM thoughts

Headed to a workout session with a friend and personal trainer, in spite of the head cold – I’m determined to kick this day off on a positive note. Also, it’ll be my first workout this week and I’m missing the physical activity! If there is time today, I hope to come back to post some thoughts that have been marinating…

PM thoughts

Back online and feeling much better after this morning’s shot in the arm.

Now that I’ve hit a month, I’m doing a bit of looking back…memories of what I never want to return to, and looking forward…plans for moving ahead in this sober journey. Also, a taking stock of where I am now – what changes I have seen, physically & mentally/emotionally. I know, it’s only a month but forgive me, I tend to be a navel-gazer.

Halloween celebrations brought back a lot of memories (and late nights I didn’t remember). While the bulk of my drinking was done alone in the everyday evenings of the week – and I have plenty of negative memories of those – some of my biggest regrets and heaviest drinking happened at Halloween parties.

I’ve always loved Halloween. Something about the costumes and creativity, the fun of scaring and being scared, the heightened experience of being someone other than yourself. As an adult, this is the holiday I celebrate the most – with large, themed parties all through my 20’s and 30’s, and now in simpler ways, with homemade costumes for myself and the boys. Back in the day, my friends and I would gather together for pre-parties to prepare the decorations and haunted houses, getting drunk the night before the big party… and then, going all out for the party itself.

I remember one Halloween during my serial-dating period where two of my boyfriends showed up due to poor planning on my part, and I was too blazed to handle it. Not that it would have been easy sober either, but being bombed, it was a disaster. I totally pissed them both off and they left. It was messy and confusing, and I only vaguely remembered it the following morning.

At another party in this same period, I had an ex-boyfriend show up unannounced while I was making out with a young basketball player I’d just met, many years my junior – something I never would have done sober. Turns out I was doing this in an indoor-outdoor room in full view of the kitchen, with an audience. The ex, who was also plastered, got upset and holed himself up in the basement. And I managed to make a complete fool of myself in front of the entire party. I remember the basketball player trying to pull my clothes off and stopping him when I finally realized we had 20 people watching us through the kitchen window. The rest of the night is a blur of embarrassment – trying to find my ex because people were being weirded out by his behavior, and navigating this party knowing that most of the attendees had seen my ass.

Another drunky Halloween memory, although they all tend to blur together, is of the night where I dressed as Helena Handbasket and my friend dressed as a Freudian Slip. We rocked the party, and I remember going from drink to drink to drink. The bar G&T’s were never quite strong enough so they went down like water, and a few were offered by men, like the Sperm Donor (omg seriously) who I was repulsed by but wouldn’t turn down a free drink. The nice thing was, they didn’t count against my free drink coupons so I could drink even more! I remember feeling completely fine and then suddenly I was wasted. I tried going to the bathroom but my costume was difficult to maneuver and I fell all over the nasty dirty floor near the toilet… I just hoped no one noticed, and tried to “collect” myself after getting out of the stall, with other women giving me the side-eye.

The tail end of the night was a complete mess, stumbling to the car – my friend helping me along in my uber-high heels, kicking them off in the car and then passing out on the way home. No idea how I got to bed but the next morning, I felt like a truck had hit me. After running to the bathroom to vomit, I noticed that I had a false eyelash stuck to my forehead, makeup all over, still half-in and half-out of my basket costume, fishnets all torn and half off. The worst part was, I had no idea what kind of embarrassing mess I had been around my friends and C’s coworkers toward the end of the night.

The more common memories I have of drinking are the instant relief of a strong G&T at the end of the day, leading into the euphoric moment (which got shorter and shorter the more I drank) later in the evening where I was usually glued to the couch with a hand in a bag of snacks, watching stupid TV or scrolling my phone. Then, feeling compelled to have that “one last drink” I knew I’d regret and stumbling to bed, late at night, trying to fit a shower in so I didn’t need to deal with it the next day but falling and making lots of noise in the bathroom. Fumbling through the motions of brushing teeth and getting pajamas on. I’d try to drink a ton of water before bed and sometimes pop a few Advil although I knew it wasn’t good for my liver. Liver concerns always seemed to crop up at the tail end of the night. 

If I got lucky, the boys wouldn’t show up in the middle of the night but still, the next morning would arrive like a bomb – way before I was ready. The effort it took to drag myself out of bed to handle the boy’s energy and needs was Herculean. I could barely open my eyes to get to the pre-brewed coffee (set up the night before so I didn’t need to deal), and it wasn’t until that first cup was down that I could handle the rest of the morning. Always feeling extremely dehydrated, I would often pound a glass of water too, to help my brain unstick from the side of my head.

The morning rush to get boys dressed, breakfast – or some semblance of breakfast – into their growing bodies, teeth brushed, myself pulled together, and daycare necessities all out the door ON TIME is always frenetic and strenuous, but adding a hangover made it miserable. So many mornings, yelling at the boys, feeling completely overwhelmed – in tears at daycare drop-off, feeling super sick while rushing rushing rushing… I knew the alcohol wasn’t helping, but now, with it gone, it’s incredible HOW much easier it is. I had no idea how much I was handicapping myself! Not just in the morning rush, but in the day-to-day functioning.

This was a long post, but I wanted to record a few of the memories I have of drinking. Even though I was never a gutter drunk, didn’t get a DUI (thank god! I’m sure I deserved one many times), didn’t get into bar fights or lose significant others because of my behavior, I know that my drinking was out of my control, and that was enough for me to know I had a problem.

I’m grateful to be on the other side, looking back, and hope to remain there.