This week I’m fortunate enough to reunite with my best friends on the planet, my life long soulmates, my sisters from some other misters, the Douchebags. See above, minus my big ole school bus head on the far left. We haven’t been together in over a year and I’ve missed them a crap ton. I’m super lucky to have many friends from all chapters of my life, but these three were there first, and are still there/here. I met the porn star when she was just 18, and she’ll be turning 50 in a few years, just to give you scope.
The picture above was taken when I had barely been sober one year and to be honest, I was still shaky and finding my footing, and my body was still healing from the wreckage of my liver damage. What I remember most about this trip is that I was sleepy. I was nervous about the entire excursion, and as I recall, I wasn’t awake long enough to really warrant any type of special assistance. I even remember falling asleep in a posh boutique of sorts while the three of them shopped. My ammonia levels were batshit, y’all. However, this had to be VASTLY preferable to the three DECADES of previous jaunts where I was either harassing local law enforcement, shouting obscenities in public, or stealing food and or liquor (or whatever else I could) from the cocktail lounge because someone left me unattended. By the end of my alcoholic career the douchebags would often flip a coin to determine who would bunk with me, and even once they holed up entirely without me and locked the door, deaf to my drunken pleas for entrance. They won that round because they KNEW if they were to allow me passage, I would keep them up the entire night regaling them with unfunny and delusional anecdotes, or loudly slurring the lyrics to ANY Black Eyed Pea’s songs. In my opinion, delightful, but they would wholeheartedly disagree.
Last year they took me to a fancy schmancy spa in Arizona for my 50th birthday, and it was magical. Part of me expected that weekend to end with a big teary group hug – with them finally declaring their freedom from me, and my alcoholic bullshit. Now that I was sober and off of the death watch, they could be done with me. After all, they had survived the 30 year drunken marathon, they may as well cross the finish line, right?! I thought of the weekend as possibly our swan song – a nice wrap up to our decades long friendships, ending in my sobriety, and I wasn’t going to be surprised if they cashed in their chips, exhausted and somewhat relieved . . . but they didn’t.
They remain. Steadfast and stronger than ever. I don’t know what to expect this weekend. Well, I do, really. I expect lots and lots of laughter. I expect a lot of eating and shopping and ridiculous conversations. I expect tears (always mine) and hugs. I expect to be comforted and inspired and surprised by my three best friends. I expect us to discuss our futures and don’t worry, they won’t let me forget much of the past, even if some of it still lies in an ancient and unending black out for yours truly. And that’s totally fair. I did some of my best work raging drunk and it was outrageously hilarious right up until the point to where it wasn’t.
I’m grateful for their forgiveness, acceptance and support. I’m thrilled to see them tomorrow and to make them laugh again. I’m beside myself with glee at the thought of sitting around a crackling fire pit giggling until our sides are sore. And you know what’s really ironic? This “high” if you will, this feeling, this optimism and excitement – it’s exactly what I was chasing after, all those years, in all those bars. Love. Acceptance. Compassion. Connection. Being enough.
It was here, all along. Just like the douchebags.