Memorial Day Weekend two years ago had me passed out at a party in the middle of the day, disappointing pretty much everyone I care about all at once.
Nice job Heather!
I embarrassed myself. I worried everyone I love. I will never know the damage this scene did to my kids and that will never not break my heart to think about for as long as I shall live.
But as soon as I came to and got home, I wanted more wine.
That was the final straw for my husband, I think. I think he gave up on me right then, and just saw that I had a major problem I wasn’t going to face and this was the rest of my life until I killed myself from it.
My mom witnessed it too and it was too much for her. She started calling around trying to find support for what the fuck we should do with me. My words, not hers. She would never talk that way but she was scared shitless. She could not ignore that this was not me getting tipsy. This was me putting my life in danger.
As a drinker, I felt a rush for day drinking. I just loved the feel good buzz that came from pouring a glass of wine as soon as I finished my coffee.
A drinking day.
I would not be judged for this because everyone is doing it.
I have my favorite people to drink with me.
This is better than being sad on my couch.
Drinking in the daylight sun!
This is better than getting myself loaded after the kids go to bed.
So much booze on the counter.
Finally enough cases of wine for a whole weekend of drinking!
What a relief!
Drink! Drink! Drink! My happy place! More drink! I love to drink! This is fun! Everybody drink! We are all drinking! I am so happy! Happy, happy, drink, drink! This is my favorite song!
Drink! Drink! Dri...
Walking blackout. Pass out. Wake up.
Shame beyond belief.
Sadness, confusion, and so much anger.
More wine please. More wine.
The only cure.
Isolate myself because I cannot face anyone and oh God I need more wine.
I fucking hate what alcohol did to me, you Guys.
I just sob now to think of it.
I have come so far, and you can too.
So on this dreadful start to summer drunken weekend I want to give you some unsolicited advice.
You are in the midst of making a change and it is not fucking easy. It is hard. You do not know your new self yet. You have started to shed the weight of one skin, but you are not comfortable in the new. You feel exposed and naked and afraid. That is ok. That is where you are meant to be right now. Stay right there with yourself.
You do not have to party or socialize at all this weekend. Know that first.
If you do decide to be around others, here’s some reminders:
You do not have to stay up the latest around the campfire like you used to.
You are not that person anymore.
You do not have to laugh the hardest at the memories of drunken moments that everyone around the table thinks is so funny. Its not.
You do not have to be the funny guy. You don’t have to be so breezy that everyone is drinking and you are not. You can be the quiet one. You can be a loner. You can be the bitch in the corner. That's ok if that's who you are right now.
You do not have to buy or serve anyone drinks. Let me repeat that for the people in the back. You do not have to buy or serve anyone drinks. That’s right.
You do not have to prove a thing to anyone. Not. One. Fucking. Thing. No proving. No fucks to give about that. You will be exactly how you are. Irritable. Annoyed. Bored. Yes. That is how you will feel. It is ok. Let yourself feel that way.
Have an out. Leave whenever you want. Make up an excuse if you want. You have to take the dog out. You have an early morning run. You have work to do. Whatever it is. When you feel like it, you skip right out of that social gathering that wasn’t fun and was torture and you go home. Maybe you stop for ice cream and then you go home.
Then you congratulate yourself for being so irritable and bored and amazing.
Know that it will not always be like this. Someday in the future you will have fun at these gatherings and you will be comfortable and you won’t even think about alcohol.
Someday in the future you decide you actually hate these events and you stop making yourself go and pretend that you don’t hate it.
Either way, it is ok. How you feel right now is temporary. Just take care of you. Just stay sober today. Tomorrow stay sober today too. That is all.
You do not have to figure out your new Memorial Day Weekend plan or your new holiday plan, or your new celebration plan.
You are transforming and its the most beautiful and painful experience a caterpillar like you can go through. It is hard before you blossom into a butterfly and you are fucking doing it. Do not give up on yourself now. You are in the middle.
I enjoyed laughing around a table outside with some dear neighbors last night. Until I didn't and I was ready to come home. So I confidently I skipped out and cuddled with my dog, Rocky and let myself feel what I was feeling, which was tired. I had a big week of company and my older daughter’s 8th grade graduation and my younger daughter’s 11th birthday. It was ok to be exhausted and not want to pull an all nighter because it was Friday of a holiday weekend.
This morning I ran an errand, had coffee with a friend, then I cleaned the house and made scones. I have plenty of pleasure on the agenda this weekend, and although it looks a lot different than getting wasted around a pool, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Here's a newsflash: Memorial Day Weekend is meant to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Do you think getting wasted honors their sacrifice? No, me either.
What will you look forward to on a holiday weekend that doesn’t equal drinking? Find that and move toward it.
You can do this and I love you.