I started writing about this in January. At first it was for me, now its for my husband. It is very frustrating being married to a man who just can't understand addiction and its hold on me - he tries- but as much as I try to explain it, he just doesn't get it. He doesn't get why I don't like going to fancy restaurants. He doesn't get why I say no to visiting southern California. He doesn't get why I don't like going to professional sports events. He doesn't get why I stress about holiday parties and dinners. He’s one of the lucky ones. Yes, his wife is an alcoholic, so he does “get” some stuff, but I don't come anything close to the addicts my parents were. Great, something else I’m bad at, being an example of a text book alcoholic. Fucking alcohol. I love it, I hate it, I miss it, I fear it, and I will always have a relationship with it for the rest of my life. It is the hardest break up I have ever been through. Sometimes a sad song will come on the radio I think about him. Not an ex, not “the one who got away”, but alcohol. Fergie’s “Big girls don't cry” is seriously my song to alcohol. I even cry. I mean, we were together for years.
I started seeing him when I was 5, that sick fucker, taking advantage of a young impressionable girl. I remember our first date. My dad gave him the okay. It was a sip from a beer can. It was so cold and crisp. I remember it tasting delicious, not gross like most people think. At 5, I was able to recognize the greater effects it had on me. It wasn't just something to drink. It allowed me to play dress up. A sip of beer immediately made me feel “cool.” I felt grown up. I felt as beautiful as I thought my mom was at the time in her drinking career. I felt as popular as I thought my dad was at the time in his drinking career. I felt all good things. No anxiety. No sadness. No loneliness, just good things.
Everytime my parents drank, which was a lot, I’d like to say I snuck sips, but they didn't give a fuck about me drinking alcohol. My parent's parties were the best for me. They would always let me have a friend stay over, to “keep me company” during their shenanigans. Those nights I was able to “show off” my cool parents. All my friends loved staying the night at my house where the lights stayed on and the music never ended. We all felt like adults those nights. I know I sound like I’m glorifying these nights, so I should mention that these parties were far from upscale. They consisted of bikinis, beer, karaoke, inappropriate cartoons, and my mom topless. In the beginning of the night we’d be asked to stay upstairs, but by midnight, we were welcomed with open arms. We even became their entertainment. My dad would have me karaoke his favorite song, Celine Dion’s “It’s all coming back to me now.” This fun went on until I was 10.
I took a break from my drinking career until high school. Thats when I started getting drunk. Now, I could share many details of my fucked up childhood; domestic abuse, being homeless, living in a children’s home; but this story is about drinking, so I won't. I do have to mention that my dad left my life when I was 10, which coincides with when I stopped drinking the first go ‘round. It also played a role in my HS drinking days. When I drank I remember feeling some sort of connection to him. I would think, he’s probably doing the exact same thing I am doing right now. It made me feel close to him. I’d also think he’d be proud of the drinker I am, just like him. Maybe if he knew me and knew we had the same past times, he’d want to be in my life. I was a lush in high school, but isn't everyone? (The correct answer is no) I can remember a few times when I’d have only 2 or 3 drinks and would be so proud of myself. I wasn't even legally allowed to drink yet and I already had to limit myself.
My 20s went by fast. Off and on again with the drinking. Repeating the cycle of getting super wasted, waking up with remorse, feeling guilty for days to come, then when I felt better I drank again. I just wanted to drink like everyone else, like a “normal” person. I kept trying and trying to figure out how. I have friends that can order one drink then be done. I even have some friends who leave some drinks unfinished - I think they're psychopaths and should reconsider our friendship now that I think about it. I’ve tried so many things to help not get so drunk. I’ve tried just beer, just wine, just champagne. That didn't work. I tried just 3 drinks - didn't work. Just 2 drinks - that sure as hell didn't work. I tried just drinking at home. Didn't work. I tried to only drink on the weekends. Asking people to tell me when I was getting sloppy. Only drinking with my sister. Only drinking with my best friend. Didn't work. I ran out of people who wanted to drink with me. No equation that involved alcohol ever worked. It breaks my heart, yes breaks my heart, to think I can't have a drink at my 20th wedding anniversary. I can't have a drink at my son’s wedding. I can't have a glass of champagne if ever on a yacht. What if P. Diddy offers me dom perignon one day, can't have that. I just want to be normal. I want to go to happy hours. I want to go to brunches. I want to have wine at a fancy steak house. I want to have “a few” at night to unwind, but I don't unwind, I unleash! I need to always remember that.