Sometimes so much good stuff is going on in my life that I forget that it was only a little over four years ago when the shit hit the fan in my alcoholism, and brought me both figuratively and literally, to my knees. It’s natural that we want to put as much distance as possible between ourselves and our failures, tragedies and heartbreaks. Mainly I feel so much has happened in these past four years that it seems like a lifetime, you know what I mean?!? I’m an entirely different person than I was in 2015, and I could never had imagined what that road would have looked like, but here I am, looking in the rear view mirror like it was eons ago and the world has forgotten about it. That’s what I really want. I want to totally forget about it and I
SURE AS HELL want everyone else to as well.
You know, like Madonna and Sean Penn’s marriage. Does anyone remember that shit show? It last around 7 minutes total, and that is exactly the amount of time I wish my alcoholism had cost me. Anyhoo, Pandemic 2020 is starting to remind me of THE SUMMER OF MY DISCONTENT (and subsequent liver failure), 2015. You see, right up until the day I realized that I couldn’t walk during lunch at Red Lobster with my Mother in Law*, I had been isolating and drinking and slowly descending into an abyss of delusion, wet brain and paranoia.
Alcoholics aren’t exactly the ideal audience to tell to “stay home and self-quarantine”. It’s been hilarious recently to hear just how many people in my recovery meetings confess to the delight they’d have felt had this current virus chaos been prior to getting sober. OHHH… IT IS ON. Like one of my drunk pals said, “are you kidding me, this is a PASS!“, and indeed, that is exactly how I’d have looked at it, and I guarantee I’d be drunk by 9am every single morning of this social distancing period. Whoa, I just realized I was social distancing before it was cool, yo. Except not in a healthy way, of course – so I bet that doesn’t count. Just like when they asked me how many days I’d been sober and I replied 44, and then they said “continuously?” and I was like, WELL NO WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT FROM ME?! Always some fine print.
I would not have been worried about stock-piling toilet paper, if you smell what I’m stepping in. AND I WOULD FIND A WAY TO PARTY ON.
I would be covered in my own drool for days, you guys. The only reason my liver didn’t fail sooner was I had pesky responsibilities like employment and shit, that paced my drinking, whether I liked it or not. If you take that away, well then, it’s just an endless binge, isn’t it? That used to get my nipples hard and now the thought makes my blood turn icy. The image I had painted in my head was a madly romantic and creative drunken spree with literary masterpieces spilling forth from my inner self-reflection and bravery, but in reality it was an embarrassing unhygienic self-absorbed pathetic mess.
Well, I’m grateful that drinking isn’t an option for me, for coping in this specific catastrophe. I have tools in my tool belt, as we say in recovery. I’ve got meditation, books, yard work, yoga, online meetings and tons of household projects. I’m looking forward to discovering some opportunities for growth and introspection during this weird-ass time, but in the interest of total transparency I should admit that yesterday I watched 7 episodes of Hoarders** and ate an entire bag of Reese’s cups so I’m easing into it you could say.
Here’s to all of you out there, holding on. Keep on keeping on, okay? This too shall pass. Maybe like a fucking kidney stone, but it will pass. Try to stay in the light.
*yes, that is exactly how it (and I) went down. I had come from a job interview (!) where I couldn’t fill out the application because my hands were shaking so badly so I told them I had low blood sugar and they brought me a Pepsi and told me to come back later, but I couldn’t stand up my MIL (oh hell to the no) so I rolled the dice and sure enough, she had to carry me to her car, but if you knew her you know that’s totally no biggie as she once beat a possum to death with a shovel, after it attacked her shitzu.
**yes, you guys know I love Hoarders and I’m not even embarrassed – those fuckers know when a camera crew shows up that they’re getting a check. I cannot watch Intervention, however, because I find myself yelling “GIVE YOUR NUTS A TUG, YOU TIT” at the tv because seriously, you call that drinking?!?
As per usual I laughed out loud while still hearing your message right out loud!
Jenny, you are a treasure!!