I didn’t because I knew there would be no turning back. Yes, it has been awhile since I indulged in my liquid diet. In fact a year ago today — I was on the verge of causing a major catastrophe due to a mixup with the Oscar nominations that garnered Amy Adams and Tom Hanks short-lived joy.
No, I wasn’t drunk or hung over — I was just exhausted and careless.
Nevertheless — when I returned to my empty sublet — I poured myself into bottles of Skinny Margaritas and kept that habit for another ten months before realizing how vital it was to wake up without a pounding headache — and the residual guilt from the night before.
Why was I drinking so much?
I guess entering my forties did me in. I expected this “fabulous” decade to greet me with much-needed fanfare by whisking me off to a place that would assuage my doubts and fears. Unfortunately I was greeted with a rude awakening that suffocated my hopes and ignited a nightmare of cliches that surpassed my vivid imagination.
I suddenly became a completely different person as I battled the flood of low self-esteem that was activated by the swift eradication of the physical attributes I had relied on for security — without the forethought that they would abandon me just when I needed them the most.
Yes, I was vain. It was hard not to be when you’ve spent a good portion of your life enjoying the benefits of youth with all the pluses that round up to blissful contentment. And so when you find yourself being abruptly rerouted to the ABCs of hormonal deficiency and the threat of infertility — it can either wear you out or plunge you into a hole deep enough to hold you hostage.
Both of those things happened to me and it took almost two years of erratic decision-making — the embrace of a gypsy-lifestyle that deposited me in precarious living situations — to finally adapting the pulse of a lazy drunk who wanted nothing more than the steady supply of numb-inducing substances for the pleasure of forgetting the day before.
I started off responsibly by waiting until the latter part of the day to begin the exercise right after exercising — and then once the job search turned into a full-blown assault on my ego — I decided to up the ante by graduating to the early afternoon delight.
The frightening aspect of all this is how I was aware of the power I wielded when it came to willingly ending my dangerous habit. I knew I wasn’t an alcoholic and yet I proudly labeled myself exactly that in private — as if it was the permission I needed to validate my actions. If I couldn’t be the girl I used to know and love on the outside — then I definitely couldn’t be her on the inside.
What was the point of getting up at the crack of dawn every morning for workout sessions at Equinox — followed by a healthy lunch from the neighborhood deli and an even healthier dinner at home — if deposits of fat and pre-menopausal symptoms were going to over-power my hard work and diligence — years later?
When your body turns against you — it automatically fucks with your mind.
You can’t even hold a conversation in a group setting without taking numerous bathroom breaks to compare the profile in the mirror with the competition outside the door. You become enslaved by the demons you’ve always heard about, but never thought you would have to face. You are aware of the weightiness of mortality and desperately wish you could go back in time and beg the twenty-eight-year-old to stop bitching around when it comes to starting a family.
It becomes too much to wake up with the thought that this is how it’s going to be forever because you’re absolutely alone. You can’t be cutely “unavailable’ because you really don’t have much to offer. Anymore.
Yes, vodka was the medication that tainted my morning tea and bottles of wine got me through the first half of the night.
Then one afternoon I went shopping with a girlfriend of mine and we did what we always do — we tried on pairs of jeans for fun — until we walked out with right fit. She was having a ball and I was stuck. I hadn’t realized how much weight I had gained and as I stared at myself in the over-sized mirror — I was paralyzed by the thickness of my thighs and even worse — my dull coloring.
I returned home empty-handed and convinced myself that instead of vodka and wine — I would just do wine. Of course that didn’t work out too well since I ended up consuming almost two bottles daily — instead of one.
In the late fall of 2017 — I was ready to stop the shit and allow the demons to devour whatever was left of me.
I’m incredibly lucky that I was able to literally pack up my bags — exit the scene of the crime and return to my roots without looking back. It’s been two and a half months since I moved back in with my parents and the arrangement is a temporary one as well as a godsend.
Living under the astute observation of the two people responsible for your existence is a sobering reality — and apart from the two glasses of wine that I was served during Thanksgiving and Christmas — as well as the mixed drink I barely furnished on New Year’s Eve — I haven’t replicated the destructive schedule of the past.
But this morning was a toughie and even now as the night progresses — I can’t freely congratulate myself for not making that run to the liquor store across the street — because I’m pissed that I even considered the scenario of smuggling in the vodka for the purpose of spiking my after-breakfast coffee.
I woke up with the hangover of a restless night and the state of mind that a good fuck could naturally cure, but that wasn’t in the cards — which made me even more depressed when I considered that at this rate — I may never fuck again.
The cloudy skies matched my mood and all I wanted to do was relieve myself but when you can hear the voices of your parents in deep conversation — it’s hard to summon the incentive to do what you shouldn’t do when your parents are nearby.
So, I slowly got ready for the gym and consoled myself with the option of picking up my medication afterwards as a way to reward and comfort my heightened disposition. As the elliptical bike matched my output — I began to recall the bad old days and I knew there was no turning back.
Yes, my aches and pains are more visceral since I stopped relying on poison for survival. And even though I’m still juggling the complications of being not being young enough to to be “young” or old enough to be “old” — I’m too in love with the woman who is finally able to reject the sleaziness of discretely pouring vodka into her coffee cup as a way to tolerate the torture sessions that will never go away.
It hurts like hell — but at least I’m alive enough to feel it.