School started this week, forcing me to pick one foot up after the next, to trudge on. The one year anniversary of the day I quit drinking alcohol was fucking awful. I worked a really long shift at work, and fully expected it to at least be tolerable, because of the accomplishment. Instead of feeling accomplished, I spent all day feeling guilt, shame, and remorse at the events that occurred the year to the day. That is what began that spectacular shame spiral voice, saying, “You are a garbage person. This is a garbage world. You are a garbage person.” I had to pick up prescriptions at the store, and sat there in the cleaning products aisle, fantasizing about leaving my cell phone on a shelf, driving to an isolated place, parking, putting in my favorite piece by Dvorak on repeat, and poisoning myself. It completely blindsided me. I never came close, I just sat there in the store, fantasizing about it. I had to run it through in my head, and figure it out that those actions would be far more selfish and unkind than anything I have done in the past. I will say it again, I never came close to hurting myself. I just let myself do down a really dark road, picked up my antidepressants, drove home, and crumpled up into bed. I told my Dude that I was in a lot of pain, and he of course wanted to hear about it, so I shared with him to the best of my ability, and also that I was worried that he was going to get sick of all my “bad brain days” as we refer to them.
“Did you drink?” He asked me.
“No, I didn’t.”
“Did you smoke?” He questioned me further.
“No, I didn’t.”
“Then you don’t have to worry about me.”
He was really clear a year ago. No more drinking. If I drank or smoked, he would leave me. Something I need to discuss with my therapist, J, is my feelings regarding this. I have this thought that he loves me a lot, but not unconditionally. Is that a healthy thought process? Can I blame him? I was awful, disgusting.
The morning of July 1st, 2014, after previous nights’ events wherein I admitted that I was an alcoholic who drank almost every day alone and in secret, then proceeded to physically attack him when he wanted to leave the house to go for a walk to think, then he slept in the living room for the first and only time, I woke up with a four inch wound on my face. He does not know when or how this injury occurred, and neither do I. It was bloody and weeping, and I still have a scar. I suspect that I went out and fell somewhere. I love that wound. In the weeks that followed, it was a representation of how I felt in the infancy of my sobriety. Like a big, gaping, weeping wound. I was not able to cover it up with make up, and at the time I worked as a bank teller in a very small town full of really rude, nosy people. “WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR FACE?”
Back to that morning. I woke up, feeling as Withnail put it, “like a pig shat in my head,” then, saw my face, then looked over at my beautiful cat. She also happened to have a giant fucking wound on her head. An abscess popped or something by her ear, and there was green pus and then rich red feline blood everywhere. I turned around, completely overwhelmed, looked at my boyfriend, who had come back to bed at some point and was sleeping soundly, and said, “Lovie, I’m going to faint.” And then I woke up on the ground, after fainting and hitting my head on his toolbox. I called in sick to work, called my mom and asked her if she would come and get my cat and me and take care of us for the day, because I needed help. We went to my wonderful vet, treated my cat, brought her home, and when I realized that my boyfriend didn’t want to have anything to do with me still, I asked her to take me with her. She and my dad bought me a sandwich, and I told them everything. That I drank at least a half pint of cheap vodka almost every night for at least two years, that I drove drunk, that I kept it a secret, that I tried to moderate and was successful up until I wasn’t, and that what I had dreaded all along was happening: that if my boyfriend found out that he would leave me.
Wow, this was a pretty yucky blog post to write. I will leave with this: it has gotten easier to maintain my sobriety as time goes on, and I wouldn’t take it back for anything. But as time bears on, it releases wondrous new gases that I’ve managed to keep to a slow fizzle this first year, just learning how to deal with the joys of adulthood without drowning in Popov.
I feel a lot of guilt and shame about being an alcoholic.