The sunrise does not define itself by last night’s sunset.
How in the flat earth is it already 2020!?! New Year’s Eve, two decades ago, I was at ground zero in the middle of Jackson Square, in the heart of New Orleans – watching the baby drop, with a zillion other loudmouthed drunks. I’m 100% sure that I both vomited AND pissed in public that evening. I’ve had my shares of New Year’s Eve’s, obviously – the gay bar, the dive bar, the fancy bar/hotel combo, the boardgames at home, the small dinner parties and even a few stayed-in-alone NYE’s as well, believe it or not. This year, 10pm was the new midnight, said I. One thing about getting sober in your late forties y’all, YOU ARE ALREADY STARTING TO GET TIRED. If I had tried in my twenties or even my thirties, my ridiculous energy level combined with my need for social interaction and a healthy libido, well, you’d have had to lock me up like a drunken Rapunzel. I’m not saying I’m old, I’m simply saying I’m too old to stumble into a bar and hold a two-part plastic “champagne flute” filled with shitty booze while toasting a bunch of smelly obnoxious revelers.
So, recently my healthcare agency decided they were no longer going to cover one of my prescriptions, which is ridiculously expensive, but also according to my Doctor, absolutely necessary. I’m talking upwards of $1k A MONTH – it’s used to prevent hepatic encephalopathy, a brain disorder that can occur due to severe liver disease, or in my case, abuse. Basically, my liver needs help filtering out toxins because thirty-plus years of shooting whiskey has damaged it to the point where it just can’t keep up anymore. I had a surgical procedure in 2015 to help with this, but these pills are what help keep me cognizant and thinking somewhat clearly. If the toxins build up, they affect my brain and ability to be a normal functioning human, which I definitely need ALL THE HELP I CAN GET THANK YA VERY MUCH. I already fall down a lot and blurt out improprieties on a daily basis.
Lucky for me, my Doctor is totally kick-ass and he unleashed his winged monkeys via some paperwork and prior authorizations and whatnot and whattya know, I now have my pills. In the midst of this bureaucratic bullshit, he dutifully copied me on the paperwork that justified my need for this prescription. Nowadays, these things are accessed via an online portal and I was scrolling through the various screens where my Doctor recounted my treatment, since my initial diagnosis. Memory lane isn’t always such a fun place to visit, you guys.
It stopped me in my tracks as I read, and my guts felt tight. My hand was trembling on the computer mouse as the horrific details of my alcoholism were assaulting me from the computer screen, there in unflinching black and white.
Words like “alcoholic cirrhosis”, “ascites”, “jaundice” and “abnormal blood coagulation” were sprinkled about like land mines. My favorite part was where he casually mentions a possible coma, and that my survival rate was 35% going into 2016, if I did not stop drinking, full stop. Now those are not the stats you want going into a new year – shit, I wouldn’t take those in Vegas.
I did. And it’s a decision I have to choose every single day. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
BUT, at the crest of a brand new year, I figure it’s always healthy and somewhat expected to look in your own rear-view mirror and take stock of what’s there, and what you’d like to see on the road up ahead. At least I do. In fact, that’s about ALL I CAN FUCKING DO because looking back just continues to knock the wind out of me. My shame spiral has been somewhat curtailed thanks to various recovery programs, other alcoholics and of course, Brene Brown- but truthfully, it just doesn’t serve me anymore. I’ve done the work and on my good days, I can mostly forgive that not-so-innocent gal that still lurks around inside of me, the one that brought me here and insisted that I change and transform. She was so broken, she truly believed that her pain defined her, poor thing.
They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.Andy Warhol
And here’s the thing, you guys – do you think I survived all of that to just merely “exist” in this world? HELLS TO THE NO. That’s not what The Universe wants. In my opinion, The Universe gave me a second chance and now is my time to seize it. The new years always give me that clean slate feeling and while it may be fleeting, I think it’s a good thing to go ahead and resolve to JUST KICK ASS in 2020, because as we all know this is all we have, right now.
I’m not sure what it looks like, yet. My new years “resolutions” range from drinking more water to an overseas travel adventure, with just about everything in-between. Dream bigger. Say yes. Say no. DO MORE. Become more of who I was meant to be.
So tell me, what are YOU changing up in 2020? My vision is much clearer since losing the whiskey glasses – how about yours?
*without my whiskey “glasses” – get it!? I shit you not you guys there is a country song out now that talks about looking through life thru whiskey glasses and although I hope whoever wrote it develops terminal explosive diarrhea, I couldn’t help but include the ridiculously obvious metaphor.