This isn’t a pretty story. Most of my stories aren’t, but this one is tough. Not tough like woe is me and I need to feel loved and get reassurance tough, just stripped down to the most vulnerable place kind of tough. I debate about writing these posts and sharing them, but it is from these dark places that the truth gets uncovered. Some may read my blog and think, “here she goes again with her narcissistic journal entry crap”, but I have been a disappointment so often in my life, the idea of not pleasing everyone isn’t new to me. My hope is that in sharing from the bleakest parts of my heart, I will help someone else understand that they are not alone in their own struggles.
Depression has such strong hands. It creates a hollowness so heavy, I can’t move. I can barely breathe. Every day, for weeks, I have been sitting at my desk, staring at my computer, feeling the burden of my failures so keenly. I try to write, but my work has no feeling, no truth. It is all just words that I can’t put together right, words that have no meaning. I think that maybe I am not supposed to be a writer. I am disconnected from it. Feeling is much too hard right now. Poetry has no anchor in emptiness.
I manage to walk the dogs and I see my father twice a week, but besides that, I wait for Joe to come home, for it to be late enough to start drinking. I escape into the bottle. I turn my hollowness into mist that makes the pain imperceptible. I stumble through my evenings, running from the need to tear away my skin. I contemplate pills and razor blades, the thought of just not being anymore. When I am drunk, I contemplate these things without sadness or fear. I have a problem.
I fell in love with booze at a young age. The first time I got drunk, stumbling, reeling, passing out drunk, I was 12. It was the first time I felt the burden of my existence become weightless. It didn’t matter that I was strange or ugly. Nothing mattered. I thought I had found the cure for self loathing. I was wrong. I continued through my life, a bottle in one hand, the self loathing, failures and depression in the other. Then blindness came and filled my throat with a despair I thought could only be quelled with alcohol.
When it became impossible to deny that I had a problem, I still refused to say I had a drinking problem. It wasn’t the booze, it was just a tendency toward compulsive behaviors. A compulsivity problem. I kept drinking. Life kept getting harder. I drank more.
I reach for the bottle to wash away stresses that are overwhelming, or small. I reach for the bottle to celebrate. I reach for the bottle to escape myself, to forget what I have become, what I have always been. I reach for the bottle so I can have a few hours of not feeling sad. I reach for the bottle so I can sleep. I reach for the bottle to silence my dreams.
I don’t want to stop drinking. I don’t think drinking is a bad thing. It’s fun. It’s fun to laugh and get crazy, to be a little bit out of control. I want to be the person who can drink on the weekend, or just have a glass of wine with dinner. I am not that person. I have a problem. I am ashamed and afraid. I don’t want to be this person. I don’t want to have yet another thing to contend with, another failing, another mark on my already decimated record. I don’t want to admit it or face it. But, I have to. I have a problem. I have a drinking problem.