Oh, where do I even start? The weekend was filled with so many different emotions. This may be a long post but please stay with me because I think it is an important one. I almost titled this “Alcohol & Honesty” but the truth is, that is only semi-true, for although alcohol definitely brings out your true feelings, those feelings can fool you if you aren’t paying attention. I have been complimented many times on my openness and honesty – well this post is about as honest and open as it gets. This is me, emotionally stripped down.
Okay, where to begin? I guess I can begin by saying that this was our first weekend since the loss of our precious little dog. It hit hard because we always took him for car rides every weekend morning. We had done that every weekend for 13 years. The emptiness really set in when suddenly, we couldn’t do that anymore, our dog was gone. We did take one ride, Saturday morning, in memory of him. The thing is, the loss and emptiness shows up in all the little daily things, the routine things – cooking because we used to give him little bites, walking in the front door because his little nose was always right there waiting, going downstairs to the kitchen in the morning because I always let him outside to go potty while I opened the blinds and got him his morning treat, evenings in front of the TV because he would lay on my chest and sleep. I keep almost refilling his water bowl; I keep going to pick him up. I keep talking to him – and in the middle of those things I realize all over again that he isn’t there. So that was the start to my weekend on Saturday.
Saturday afternoon, we had my husbands’ work Christmas party, which we were both thankful for, something to distract our minds from the loss we felt. Last year, we went to dinner after the party with some other work couples and I was so hoping that would happen again this year; I think I even expected it. The party was fine but I drank a little more than usual, trying to ease the loss I felt (stupid idea by the way). I actually don’t usually drink and when I do it’s not much but I have found that when I am hurting, truly and deeply hurting, if I am in the right situation, I drink! Now I will say not stumbling over drunk but enough to not be all together sober. It was after this kind of drinking that I would find out there would be no dinner with friends after the party – hit #1. The party had carriage rides and I told my husband at least three times that I have always wanted to do that but we didn’t do it – hit #2. The party has all these drawing for major gifts and at the same time the alcohol was setting in, the drawing took place and we didn’t win anything – hit #3. I know that sounds so trivial and normally it would be, but because of the loss (and the alcohol) I had hoped that maybe some miracle would happen and we would win something that would give us a little bit of joy, a little bit of Christmas spirit after the loss we were suffering. But alas, no, there would be no gifts and no companions after the party. All dressed up and nowhere to go – the story of my life.
Around that time, my husband said we could still go to dinner. I then brought up that we should call our son at home (my stepson not my son) and see if he would like to go to. My husband appreciated that and text him. My stepson text back that he would like to go. So we went home, changed into more comfy clothes and then my stepson tells me he doesn’t want to go because he is half asleep (this was only about 45 minutes after the text saying he’d go) but he tells his father separately that he had just eaten at home. What the hell? Why lie to one of us? Depending on what the truth was, why eat or why go to sleep if you had just told us you would go? Hit #4. This just added to the emotions that I was feeling under the influence of alcohol. We had only went home for him and he wasn’t going. I was quickly going from sadness to anger.
My husband and I went out to dinner anyway. At that point, I was most definitely buzzed and couldn’t make out some of the menu but I ordered my usual. I don’t remember what we talked about; I barely remember eating. The thing is, I was not drunk – I had had 3 light beers and 2 small wines at the party over the course of three hours. That would usually give me the lightest of a “glow” but I was feeling way more affected than that. I honestly think emotions and disappointment made the affects much worse.
On the drive home, this is what my alcohol-influenced mind was thinking, all jumbled at the same time – my husband didn’t care about getting me the carriage ride I had always wanted – we didn’t win any gifts but of course we didn’t, that’s my life after all- couldn’t the universe even give us just that? – screw my stepson, I am so tired of that bullshit – my dog, my emotional companion is gone and never coming back – I finally get through all the family crap and start to find some happiness and BAM, my dog dies – this life sucks and it has no intention of letting me be happy – what kind of future is there? – I just can’t see anything positive! Fuck you world!! Looking back now, under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have felt all this to such a huge degree but that night, it was spinning out of control and it was about to get even worse.
We got home and I felt like I was going to explode from the inside out. I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t think. For some reason I was so pissed at my husband for not making sure I got that damn carriage ride. Crazy and stupid, I know, but it’s how I felt in that emotionally-charged moment. I had to get out of the house but it was dark out and although we live in a nice area, other areas are not safe and every once in a while, something bad happens in our section of town, so it’s not necessarily safe for a woman to go walking alone at night. I put my jacket on and walked out the door without saying a word. Honestly, I thought my husband would come after me. Just the day before I had said I would never do that at night yet there I was, buzzed, emotional, and doing something stupid and unsafe – and my husband did not come after me or follow me. I walked to a little park and sat on a bench and just cried. Alone in the dark, I felt like my entire world had fallen apart. No one cared. I needed someone, something that night. That’s why I had hoped we would go out with others – I needed it. But it wasn’t meant to be that way. And then, my husband didn’t even care if I was kidnapped, raped or murdered. (He obviously cares but that’s how I felt when he didn’t go after me). Why keep living this life? Everything has been taken from me. It’s been one loss after another! What did I ever do to deserve such a fate? If alcohol brings out your true feelings, then apparently I hadn’t made all the progress I thought I had and I wished I could die. But how can that be?? Is that really how I truly feel?
After a while, the fresh air started sobering me up and I realized I needed to go home. I didn’t know what to expect with my husband. As I got to our house, I noticed his car was gone. WTF? Was he out looking for me? No, I would have noticed and after about a half hour of him still not coming back, I knew he wasn’t looking for me.Was he shopping? Was he just driving around? Doesn’t he care about me at all? He come about an hour later and neither of us said anything. I finally just went to bed without a word and felt an emptiness so great.
The next day, I realized something, something very important – we were both grieving heavily and in our own way. We were consumed with it. It wasn’t the small things that night that were setting us off, it was the grief and loss we felt underneath -it had taken over. We didn’t discuss the night before. I think we both just tried to let it go and move on. For me, I realized that I don’t want to die, I just need to find a better way to live. All the things I had felt so intensely the night before weren’t new feelings; they were old feelings still holding on, feelings hard to let go off. So drinking does bring out your true feelings but we have to be careful of what they are, where they are from and how we react to them. The feeling of wanting to die was real but it was only a temporary feeling, not a real, long-term feeling. It was a feeling from long ago, when I was at my lowest point, a feeling that still holds on a little. But it was the me then talking, not the me now and I have to acknowledge that. I can’t let it bring me back down.
Now, sober, I remember and see the strength I have built – a strength I must never forget or become blind too. I see how possible it is to give in to the pain, how easy it would have been to let the grief take over and consume me. The consequences could have been tragic, if I had given in. But I didn’t. So I really have come along way; I have started healing. That night had power – it could have broken me – but I won’t let anything break me anymore. I had to understand, understand how I was feeling, understand how my husband was feeling, understand that the world doesn’t always work the way we want it to and it’s in those moments that we have to find and hold onto that strength that we have built. We have to be able to grasp that we are more than just that moment. We are more than the sadness, and the grief, and the pain. We are so much more if we just allow ourselves to see it. I won’t lie – it’s not easy – in fact it is probably the hardest thing I have ever done, will ever do.
My life has been a tragic mess and yet I have found that through this blog, I have touched the lives of others in a positive way. I may not think it is much, may not think I am much, but to that person, the person I have touched, it may be everything. I think we all have that within us. I think that those of us who have been through the worst of pain have the ability to be more understanding and supportive of others than anyone else. We just need to apply that same understanding and support to ourselves.
For me, I think I need to keep my drinking to just a couple. But I hope in some way, this post has helped someone out there. Even those of us on the road to healing still crash and burn from time to time – we just have to find the power, the desire to pull ourselves up and say we are more than this!