The longest relationship I’ve ever been in has been with my depression. Which pisses me off because I want to scream from the rooftops that it gets better and that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for everybody else, but here I am, lying in bed at 6:30 am, staring at the ceiling, trying to psych myself up for another day of the mundane. The older I get, the more my depression feels like a chronic illness than a curable disease.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suicidal. I’m not nearly as bad as I used to be. I think I might have finally learned to deal with it, and I can go for periods where it’s not an issue at all, but then one morning I’ll wake up and feel exhausted despite just sleeping for a solid 8 hours. My whole body feels heavy. When I notice that I feel detached from my body, then I realize what’s happening.
Oh hey. I was wondering if you were going to show up again.
It’s partially situational. When I start to lose a firm grip on my life, that lack of purpose triggers my depression to stick its head out and greet me.
I’m experiencing a lot of existential dread lately. A lot of “What the fuck is the point?” type of thinking. Again, not suicidal, just nihilistic. Which isn’t me at all. I’m the glowing optimist that proclaims that everything happens for a reason and everyone has a purpose. But when I feel detached from myself, I lose that thinking. It feels more like I’m on autopilot and have no real control over my life. I fall down a rabbit hole filled with sleeping entire days that I don’t have to be at work and drinking a lot, because nothing matters and we’re all going to die someday anyway.
The drinking tipped me off that I was really starting to slide back down again. I disregard my weekend drinking when I’m being social and having fun, but drinking during the week is usually a sign that I need to administer some ~self-care~.
I still have yet to learn what self-care is for me. It sure as hell isn’t bubble baths and yoga retreats. Usually it’s going for a walk with my dog, blasting stupid happy music, trying to get myself to feel literally anything other than the void of darkness that is creeping into my mind.
It’s exhausting to fight it back into submission. I’ve been doing this pretty much my entire life, and it is fucking exhausting. But the good days are finally more common than the bad, and what happens on those good days is 100% worth sticking around for.
See, there’s that glowing optimist making an appearance again. I’m not totally dead inside.
Not yet, at least.
I don’t go see movies in theaters very often. Occasionally something will come out that I just won’t want to wait until digital release for, so I’ll consult with others who I’m fairly sure have seen it and then decide if I actually want to go.
It’s not that I don’t like the experience of a movie theater. Big comfy chairs, surround sound, and a giant screen are all things that I thoroughly enjoy when watching a movie for the first time. It’s that I hate the other people in the room nine times out of ten.
For example, I went and saw Black Panther, it was magnificent. But the man in the seat next to me fell asleep and started snoring. He started snoring so loud that he woke himself up. Then he proceeded to constantly raise and lower his recliner chair, despite the fact that it squeaked loudly while moving.
It wasn’t the worst experience I’ve ever had, but it was annoying.
Last night, on the other hand, well…
I went to go see A Quiet Place, by myself. I love a good thriller movie and just felt like getting out of my house for a bit. I got there, found my seat, and reclined enough that my feet were up but I wasn’t horizontal. Then the waiting game of who I would be sitting next to began.
The woman who sat on my left, in the seat that was grouped with mine, showed up with no food or drink. Huzzah, I’m probably not going to hate you.
I normally dgaf if you have snacks during a movie but snacking during a movie that is mostly silence is a dick move.
We proceeded to ignore each other. Another point for this lady. She’s cool.
Then two girls came giggling down the aisle.
Oh god, please no.
They started walking down my row, and plopped down on my right, talking loudly as they unloaded what can only be described as $50 worth of movie theatre snacks from their purses.
I try to stay positive, surely they’ll know that they need to be quiet during a film that is literally titled A QUIET PLACE.
I don’t really notice them much during the previews, other than their comments about, “Why are they still making Mission Impossible movies?” which I can’t be mad about because I was thinking the same thing. Tom Cruise is broke and needs money, I guess?
But then the feature starts, and I become hyperaware of how much I loathe listening to people eat. Just when I think she’s done, she whips out another fucking package of sugar.
We’re maybe halfway through the movie when she finally finishes eating.
Just when I think I can go back to not wanting to punch anybody, she starts talking to her friend.
“OH my god. Oh my god. Oh my god. That thing is so SCARY”
I definitely gave her the human equivalent of this a few times, but she didn’t seem to get the message.
She was the type to be like, “Oh my god, there it is! It’s right there!! Be quiet! It’s RIGHT THERE! Don’t move! Don’t die!” every. time. the. creature. was. shown.
I really don’t understand why people can’t just be quiet? I’ve talked in theaters, but only when there’s like nobody else there. Which is actually really fun! I remember in high school I went and saw The Strangers and we were the only people there and we just made fun of it the whole time. Thats fine! Nobody was there for my friend and I to bother! I would NEVER do that in a full movie theater.
A full movie theater for a movie where the silence is part of what makes it so fucking good.
go see A Quiet Place. It’s really, really good. I jumped a couple of times and definitely cried a little (no shame!). I recommend eating before so you don’t feel the need to get snacks and don’t piss off the people you’re sitting near. I will send you good movie vibes that you don’t wind up sitting next to garbage people who ruin the experience.
TL;DR? Best summary of the movie:
Okay! So I am officially fed up with finding new ways to discuss and analyze my past, so we’re moving forward. One of my favorite blog posts to write was my Nintendo Switch review last March after I’d jumped down the rabbit hole head first on launch day.
I am a diehard Nintendo fan, and have never been able to bring myself to purchase another console, although I’m sure at some point it’ll happen just because I really love gaming.
I feel like at this point, Nintendo should give me a discount code because I’ve talked a decent amount of people into buying a Switch.
It’s been over a year since I preordered the Switch along with Breath of the Wild. I’ve logged over 175 hours on BotW, which I’m equally ashamed and proud of. That game is as good as everyone says it is.
Skyrim has also become a favorite of mine, although I do tend to get bored with it and ignore it for awhile. It’s still good.
Mario Kart is a blast, and I’ve recently started playing online with friends who live out of town.
Over the last couple of months I’ve started exploring the Nintendo eshop and finding some real gems in the $20 game price range.
Night in the Woods was the first one I tried out, and certain parts of dialogue had me in tears over how real the depression commentary was. Highly recommend.
This weekend I discovered Oxenfree.
I am a suspense/horror junkie. My first favorite author that I discovered on my own (as a younger sibling, I would usually read/play/watch whatever my sister did) was Stephen King, and he’s still a favorite of mine. I love suspenseful storylines. Oxenfree has everything I enjoy: ghosts, government conspiracy, demonic possession, and a few jump scares that actually got me.
You play as Alex, a teenage girl who accidentally opens a rift to another dimension with her friends and they all have to deal with some pissed off ghosties who would very much like to come back to life. I’ve always loved the communicating-with-ghosts-via-radio trope, so I was happy to see that in this game.
It’s creepy and suspenseful without being overly scary, in my opinion. So if you’re not really into super scary stuff, I think you would still enjoy playing it. You’re not fighting ghosts, it’s all conversation led storytelling, and it’s pretty damn good.
I will say, I was playing pretty late last night and had all the lights off, and my 100-year-old house decided to creak, as it usually does, and I about jumped off my couch. I enjoy that sort of thing though. I think things are actually scary or suspenseful when it translates into your real life as well. If you walk out of a horror movie and aren’t glancing over your shoulder every once in awhile, then it probably wasn’t that creepy.
There are also multiple ways the story can pan out, based on the conversation choices that you make. I went the righteous route on my first play through, but saw some choices along the way where I made a mental note of, “Oooh, I’m definitely doing that next time just to see what happens.”
The use of camera was really well done. It’s obviously third person, but occasionally while you were exploring it would slowly pan out to reveal something creepy at the edge of the map, or coming up in your path. There are a few jump scares, enough that you learn to expect them, but not so many that you’re just like, “Oh for fuck’s sake, ENOUGH ALREADY!”
Also a light touch of commentary that anger can completely consume your existence, but done through the use of pissed off ghosts who are angry that they are no longer living, which I’m sure that most are.
I highly recommend turning subtitles on. I am not typically someone who uses subtitles, I just crank up the volume and tell the other people in the room to stfu, but it makes it easier to understand what’s being said. In the beginning the music was almost louder than the dialogue, so turning up the volume on my TV didn’t really help. Subtitles also guarantee that you actually understand when the distorted pissed off ghost voices are threatening your life. I got about halfway through the game, annoyed that I couldn’t understand some dialogue before I remembered that subtitles are typically an option and turned them on.
10/10. I like that you can play it multiple times and have different experiences based on the choices that you make. It was a fun way to kill some time this weekend.
What are you playing nowadays that you’re really digging?
Switch things I’m excited for:
SUPER SMASH BROS omg
That’s all for now. I’m sure I’ll be back soon with more gaming posts, because that’s like a solid 50% of my free time these days.
I think I’m going to start a new series where I drink wine on a Monday and ramble about whatever the hell has been on my mind.
Which, lately, has been a lot.
I’ve been debating bringing the podcast back but I feel like I have so much to say right now that I don’t exactly know how to script each episode to stay on topic without fully writing it out. And fully writing it out makes it a blog post.
Literally everything from here on out started as basic podcast notes that I started writing down while at work and it just expanded to the point where I basically had an entire blog post written in the notes app on my iPhone. A lot of this I have touched on before, but I feel like the more time that goes by, the better I am at explaining things that happened to me in the past.
I’m in a very good place at the moment, and have been for about a year now. There are brief periods of time where I experience mild depressive states, but it’s nothing like it used to be, and it’s typically after totally exhausting myself by staying out too late or just generally not getting enough sleep. So it’s fairly controllable. Winter is hard to deal with, but thankfully that’s about over. The longer I stay happy and content, the more I start to think that I actually managed to put myself back together and grow into a functioning adult.
And the question that lingers at the back of my mind is, how the hell did I pull that off?
Which is a terrifying question for me, because really thinking about it and analyzing how I got to this point requires me to question a lot of the things I was taught.
I don’t view my medication as ever having helped me much. If anything, they mellowed me to a point where I wasn’t suicidal, which has some value, but they didn’t cure me. They were a crutch that kept me alive until I could get better.
I was in a small town where my resources for help were very limited, and I also wasn’t in a place where I actually wanted help for quite a while. You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to get better.
Why would you not want to get better?
Well, you’re in denial that anything is even wrong with you in the first place. Admitting that you have a mental illness and actually need help feels a lot like admitting that your brain is defective and you suck as a human. It’s hard to understand if you’re standing on the outside but it’s very hard to get to the point where you’re like,
“Okay, this isn’t going to be my life anymore, I need to get better,”
And for me, it required me to slam my face into rock bottom a couple of times before I got the message.
I read in school that low self-esteem can contribute a lot to certain mental illnesses, mine included. (I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder in 2012). It’s not that it’s necessarily a CAUSE, but that low self-esteem can put you at risk for developing disorders, which makes sense to me.
I struggled with low self-esteem for that majority of my life. Like, twenty-five years, and I’m twenty-six.
I’m still not the person that walks around thinking their shit don’t stank. I notice how far I’ve come with my self-esteem the most with my body image.
I noticed it today at work.
I watched these girls in the break room with their diet shakes or their protein bars and that’s literally all they’re eating for lunch, and I remember being that girl. I remember obsessing about what I ate or what I was seen eating. If I was with a group of people and they all decided to go eat somewhere, I would usually make up some excuse or reason as to why I couldn’t join them. I knew I’d be tempted to eat too much, and I didn’t want to deal with it. So I’d go back to my apartment and chug water and eat an appropriate meal, usually with less than 500 calories.
God, I never thought I would actually admit my thought process for that.
I’m so obsessed with food now, but in a good way. I’m learning to actually cook and that moment when you sit down to a meal you made yourself and take a bite and it’s like a party in your mouth is just the best. I used to worry that allowing myself to love food would cause me to gain weight but that hasn’t been the case. My biggest weight gain came from a period of being extremely depressed and trying to stay sober. Without alcohol to help me cope, I used food instead. It had nothing to do with enjoying food and everything to do with my mental state. Which is typically where most of my problems stem from.
I didn’t use to have a sense of self. I didn’t really know who I was or even who I wanted to be. Because of that, I felt like I had to be the best. The best saxophonist. The best at some incredible awe-inspiring job. The skinniest. The most fun. The most sarcastic.
When I became more comfortable with myself, and who I am, all of that dissipated. Don’t get me wrong, I am an arrogant asshole when it comes to some things, and I will always be a sore loser. But I no longer feel like my job needs to complete me in some way. I don’t want my job to be my entire life, I just want it to support me.
Wanting and needing to be the best saxophonist led to completely ruining something I used to really love and enjoy. Also caused my first couple of major mental breakdowns. Good times.
Being obsessed with something that doesn’t exist (i.e. perfection) will destroy you, and trying to be better than everyone else (and make sure they know it) will lead to your entire life revolving around other people instead of the starring character, you.
This is starting to sound like a self-help book.
What’s that line again? You should be the starring character of your own life? Something like that.
You don’t have to live out some delusion of grandeur to have accomplished something.
I wrote last time that I’m very happy with my normal life, and I truly mean that. I think this is the first time in my life that I feel genuinely happy, and it all came about from being hyper-aware of my thoughts and constantly challenging them.
Why does what that person said anger me?
Is there truth to it?
Am I afraid there’s truth to it? (This is a huge thing that I may touch on in the future)
What’s going on in their life to make them say that?
Do their words actually have an impact on my life?
No? Then why am I concerning myself with it?
I’m obviously referring to personal social interactions, such as gossip, not necessarily things of actual importance like hate speech. By all means, get angry and punch all the Nazis.
People poke fun at the standard line of questioning from therapists because it’s usually just asking “Why do you feel that way?” or some other why-based question, but there’s a lot of value in training yourself to question your first reaction and analyzing your thoughts.
There’s always another perspective. Hell, there’s always a few hundred more perspectives. A lot of the things that you think are about you aren’t actually about you, it’s about whoever is doing/saying it.
And I’m guilty of this. I have been emotionally abusive to people in the past, I will be the first person to admit that. I still feel a lot of guilt about it, but I’m slowly learning to forgive myself. It’s a work in progress. Those acts came from the fact that I was upset with my self-esteem and my life in general. It had nothing to do with the person I was hurting. That absolutely 100% does not make my actions okay, but I think the people in my life who stayed with me through that or came back to me at a later time understand that that wasn’t actually how I felt about them. That was how a younger, more immature version of myself poorly chose to deal with the crappy situation going on in her brain.
Shoutout to those of you who knew me then and still call me a friend now. You da real MVPs.
how did I get through all of it?
I got to a point where I couldn’t keep living my life the way I was living it.
I wanted to be a better person that people actually wanted in their lives.
I trained myself to start questioning my mind, and thus became a lot more understanding and empathetic towards others.
I also just, well, grew up.
I hate saying that, because I don’t want it to sound like people struggling with serious mental illness just need to grow up because that’s not true at all. But I have a lot of confidence in myself now knowing that if my mind started to go south again, I would immediately seek help, instead of just being like,
Nah, this is fine.
One more long island iced tea, please.
Actually make it two.
Nowadays I don’t even touch alcohol if I’m super anxious or mildly depressed. I don’t even go there. I just let myself feel whatever it is that I’m feeling.
Which is yet another thing that I want to talk about at a later point.
Emotions are valid.
Let yourself feel them.
I’ve gotta wrap this up or this is basically going to turn into a novel.
I’m settling into a very content place. I have this unwavering trust in where I am and what’s coming. I feel like my life is finally starting to line up and become something that I’ve always wanted it to be. I don’t know exactly what that is, but I have this weird trust in not knowing.
I’m happy, possibly for the first time in my life.
Life is good.
Also Kendrick Lamar won a Pulitzer and I’m so fucking stoked about it.
Anyway. Happy Monday. Thanks for tuning in.
Until next time.
So, to state the obvious, I haven’t written much recently. I mean, duh, I haven’t posted anything in for-fucking-ever, everyone who reads this blog knows I haven’t written anything long form recently. And even with my poetry, it’s not original. It is, it’s my work. But it’s from old emotions and shit I felt 1+ years ago, and it just doesn’t feel authentic.
I haven’t even really had writers block either, I’ve had ideas of things to write, things to discuss. I’m just at this point in my life where I don’t feel like what I think matters. It’s part of the reason why I don’t tweet that much anymore. I used to live-tweet situations. It was mildly obnoxious, but looking back on my timehop is hysterical because here are these quotes from moments I would have otherwise forgotten about. But now? When I want to bitch on twitter, I think, “Oh my god, nobody cares, just get over it,” and when I want to celebrate an accomplishment, I think, “Oh my god, nobody cares,” It’s this endless cycle of wanting to communicate but feeling like my voice doesn’t matter, and that nobody is listening. So why put in the effort?
I’ve grown up so much over the past couple of years, and I love it. I have my mini-meltdowns about how the hell I’m ever going to be able to afford to fully support myself and buy a new car, and live in a decent place, but overall, you couldn’t pay me to give this all up. I really feel like I have an actual life and that’s the most incredible thing. I look back on my younger self and I cringe. Not because of what I struggled with, but with how I dealt with it. I bragged of being “mature for my age,” yet coped with very serious issues in an extremely immature way. It’s hard to regret it though, because I grew through that and into the woman I am now, and I know I wouldn’t be this version of myself if I hadn’t gone through all of that in the way that I did.
I don’t know. I want to write. My dream since I was a little girl is to eventually have a hard copy of something with my name on it. I want to be published. But I suck at writing fiction, and I can’t help but think that my blog posts are just the voice of another white girl who used to drink too much and once attempted suicide. None of it feels original. None of it feels special. I don’t think I’m some literary genius whose words will touch people. I’m just a normal person, and after years of trying to convince myself that I was special and unique and going to live some incredible life, admitting to being normal feels somewhat comforting. Maybe that’s what this is all about?
Lately I’ve been finding a lot of joy in just being a good friend to people. Making people laugh is one of my favorite things. I like being real and genuine, and I think maybe that’s what’s always made me a decent writer. I’m very in touch with my emotions and I’m not afraid to just say what I feel. I’m very genuine, and have found it’s actually really fucking hard for me to lie nowadays.
I changed positions at work recently, and walking away from sales was incredibly clarifying for me, and I think that if I had stayed in that position for much longer, I might have gotten totally wrapped up in materialism. I even told my manager that if I didn’t get the promotion, then I would probably leave because I just didn’t see myself there anymore. While I’m a sucker for a good pair of shoes, at the end of the day, the name on the stuff in your closet doesn’t fucking matter. I’m now working in operations, doing a lot of tedious things, but it feels more like me.
I turned 26 last month and I’ve just been reflecting a lot and laughing at my younger self. It cracks me up. I remember being younger and thinking, “I’m NEVER going to get married and have kids! I want a fabulous life!” and literally the only fabulous life I can imagine myself having involves being the matriarch of a family. I couldn’t ever see myself being a mother, and now that’s one of my life goals. I have to be a mom at some point. I’m not in some crazy rush to make it happen tomorrow, I’m aiming for like, my thirties, but I really want to have kids. I should probably find someone to father them, but ya know, we can figure that out later. #singleaf.
Also, where the fuck did the past twenty-six years go? HOW AM I THIS OLD? I mean, I understand logically how I am this old, but HOW? Also, why are all of my friends married or engaged? Did I miss some memo that we all need to be hitched by now? Because I’m obviously failing miserably at that. Which, I would like to rant about for a bit, so buckle up.
The other day, someone mentioned to me that I used to date a lot. I basically had back-to-back relationships when I was younger. I was rarely single. I’ve been single for most of the past five years of my life. I’ve dated people, felt nothing, and walked away. I don’t think it’s necessarily that I’m avoiding dating, I think it’s more that I have higher self-esteem and higher standards for the men that I date. I want to have something in common with them. I keep going out with these guys who look at me like I’m some magical unicorn and it freaks me out. I’m not special, as I already said. Also I somehow wound up dating a guy who doesn’t listen to music recently and that’s one that really baffles me. My hobby is literally going to concerts and I was dating someone who didn’t listen to music. Wut.
I’m fine on my own. I wouldn’t MIND having someone but I’m so much happier on my own than in a mediocre relationship (isn’t everyone?) and I’m sick of listening to veiled jabs at my relationship status. I’m single, so what? I’m happy. Isn’t that what really matters here?
I realize this is such a rambling rollercoaster, but I haven’t written in SO LONG and this is just what’s been on my mind lately. Thank you for witnessing this clusterfuck of a blog post while I take out a bottle of wine.
TL;DR: I feel like I am a fraud of a writer, but life is going pretty decently otherwise. So, yay?
Originally published on 6/29/2017
I went to AA once.
And I wish I could say it was a couple years ago, or back before I got my shit together, but it wasn’t. I was living in Columbia.
It gave me a lot of perspective, but ultimately showed me that I wasn’t necessarily an alcoholic. I didn’t like the idea that I had absolutely no control over alcohol. Everyone in the meeting was kind and supportive. They asked how long it had been since I’d had a drink, and I replied,
“Don’t worry, this is the hardest part,” they assured me.
However, what I felt in that moment wasn’t hard, and it made me question whether or not I really needed to be there. I wasn’t craving a drink. I was fine with being sober. It was a Tuesday afternoon; why would I be drunk right now? I listened to the members of the group tell their stories, and I couldn’t relate. I’d never started my day with hard liquor. A mimosa, maybe, but that was only on special occasions. I don’t regret going. Attending that meeting was a step in the right direction for me to figure out what exactly my relationship with alcohol was.
Alcohol was one of the last things I got under control. Throughout the process of figuring out why I turn to alcohol so easily, and what exactly it does for me, I realized that I had been taught through socialization by peers, media, and even family, that alcoholic tendencies are a very normal part of our society… and I think that’s kind of fucked up.
After the AA meeting, I shelved my copy of the Big Book and made the decision that I probably wouldn’t ever go back. I still needed to do something though, so I sobered up for a month. I just wanted to see if I could easily do it. During that time, I took a notebook and wrote down every time I wanted a drink. It was a journaling technique I was taught in therapy, although I was using it for a specific reason instead of just logging my mentality throughout the day. I wrote down the date and time, what I wanted, and why I wanted it. The answer took me about two seconds to figure out, but I kept journaling anyway until I stopped wanting drinks for emotional reasons.
I’m an extremely emotional person. It’s just part of who I am, and I used to have issues with that. Emotions are what make us human, yet for the longest time, I wanted to deny that I wasn’t overly emotional. I felt that it made it harder for people to take me seriously. So instead of being upset, I would drink. Instead of venting my frustrations, I would drink. Instead of soaking up every ounce of happiness over an exciting event, I would drink. Mental illness didn’t help either. I coped with my depression and anxiety by drinking. During those years, being intoxicated was easier than being sober, but it didn’t solve anything. It just delayed the moment when I finally faced my shit head on, and the things that I had said/done while intoxicated added a ridiculous amount of other stuff that I also had to deal with.
When I moved to Columbia and went back to school, I moved away from the vast majority of my social stressors. I was able to finally start over and just focus on college. Yet, for some reason that I can only guess was habit, I was still drinking at least two nights a week, if not more. It wasn’t quite on the same level. I wasn’t going out and dancing on bars and blacking out. I wasn’t sleeping with a trash can by my bed, but I was waking up with a wine bottle on my nightstand. My recycling bin was mostly filled with empty bottles. I was spending my Friday thinking about the bottle of wine waiting for me at the end of it. I was significantly disappointed when my friends couldn’t make it to dollar margarita night, and would usually wind up going to the liquor store and throwing myself a marg night…alone. Yup, totally normal.
It took me a solid two years to actually see something wrong with that, because our society is so tolerant of alcoholic tendencies, especially in college. Now, the raging drunk who beats their children and spouse obviously needs to sober up and go to AA, but what about the functional alcoholic? What about the person who brags about a dinner of, “fruit salad, okay mostly grapes, okay wine, I’m having wine for dinner,” does that person need a meeting?
Back in my days of doing a lot more than just boozin’ at frat houses, I remember scouring the internet for something that would convince me that I had a problem. I knew I did, but I needed someone else to tell me, and I didn’t think it would be the people doing all of the same things with me. Anyway, I remember finding a quote on tumblr, and it was something along the lines of,
The second you use a substance to fill a void is the moment you start to abuse it.
It’s stuck with me. We drink to deal with our insecurities, to give us the courage to ask out the attractive person on the other side of the bar. We drink to celebrate. We drink to drown the sorrow of a loss. We drink when we win, and we drink when we lose. Win or lose, we still booze. You aced your final? Hell yeah, let’s go party. You think you failed? Oh well, it’s over, let’s go get drunk to forget about it. Why is this behavior okay, and more importantly, why is it normalized?
This is the part where I have to get really clear about what I’m trying to say, otherwise every time I post a photo of a glass of wine, I’m going to get shit: I’m not saying we should all stop drinking. I’m not sober. What I’m specifically addressing is the normalization of drinking to fill a void, which is 100% an alcoholic tendency. I got a grasp on my drinking by getting very real with myself about why I was drinking. I would turn to alcohol when I had something on my mind that I didn’t want to deal with. A test that I thought I did badly on. Loneliness. The guy I liked was dating someone else. A paper I didn’t want to write. I felt that I couldn’t be funny unless I was three drinks in (which is false).
I’m not talking about sitting around a table with your friends, playing cards and having some drinks. I’m talking about the, “Fuck it, let’s get drunk,” moments that are all over the internet and basically everywhere. I’m talking about drinking to forget about an ex or losing your job, or even spending an entire day looking forward to the drink that’s waiting for you at the end of it. Drinking from an emotional place. Drinking to numb something. Drinking to cope. That’s what I’m talking about.
One fun thing about myself is that I have a really hard time stopping my consumption of alcohol when I’m emotional. I don’t want to deal with whatever is happening that’s making me upset, so I just get another drink. Cutting myself off means sobering up and having to face whatever I’m avoiding. I finally got really sick of being the drunk girl, so I stopped drinking when I was upset. That’s when I have to tell myself, “Nope, I don’t need alcohol right now.”
My weekends with friends went from, “Hey let’s get drunk this weekend. We’re due for a drunk night,” to, “Hey let’s go out,” or, “Hey, let’s have a movie night,” and somehow that mentality has allowed me to actually remember time with my friends. Drinking to get drunk results in a different type of drunken state than just having a few drinks with friends does. I was recently in one of my best friend’s weddings, and we spent the night before the wedding drinking in the bridal suite after the rehearsal dinner. It was like a giant adult sleepover, and it was so much fun. We sat around in our PJs and drank champagne out of plastic cups and talked about life and love and relationships. I woke up the next day feeling completely fine, with all of my memories from the night before fully intact. Whereas on nights when the goal of the night has been to get drunk, things usually end in a much uglier manner.
Granted, a lot of this might have to do with the fact that I’m in my mid-twenties and just don’t feel like doing shots and keg-stands, or going from Jack to Malibu to Fireball to Budweiser and then back to Jack again. I was offered a tequila shot at the reception for the previously mentioned wedding, and I had to give myself a damn pep talk before I took it. Maybe this is just growing up. I’ve mentioned my past drinking problem to people and they say, “You didn’t have a problem, you were just in college. We all did that shit. We all drank multiple nights a week.”So maybe we all had a problem? I don’t know.
I guess all I’m trying to say is that just because it’s everywhere, doesn’t mean it’s normal or healthy. Facing whatever you don’t want to deal with is scary and hard, but no matter how much you drink, you’re going to have to face it eventually. Trust me.