20-Something Drunk / 20-Something Drunk
For me, Fridays were the most fabulous day.
The weekend ahead of you, the week behind you—the perfect conditions for anything could happen magical thinking. The mini-New-Year’s-Eve that comes around every week. There is something particularly enchanting about Fridays in London, with people crowded into old rickety pubs for after-work drinks, first dates nervously perched at tables, fidgeting with the stem of their wine glass, or circling the rim of a pint of beer. Groups of friends catching up, their belly-loud laughs reverberating from the wooden floors becoming sticky with sweet liquor spills. Millions of tiny little lives scattered across the city. Fragile candles burning in the night. A collective sigh of relief that another week is over.
Because of this, Fridays are particularly difficult for this fragile candle. Alcohol felt fun—and sometimes it really was. But, it never stayed that way—I could never maintain a “fun” level of tipsy. I had to slosh myself into drunk, tipsy was never enough. Drunk, itself not satisfying my craving for total self-removal, would inevitably end up in out-of-body, hard-to-maintain-eye-contact with yourself in the mirror, am I going to vomit? smashed. That isn’t fun, it isn’t normal, and it isn’t healthy.
There are so many nights I have no recollection of getting home. So many nights where I have broken, cracked fractures of memories. Did I kiss someone? Did I fall over? Did I smash a glass? Did I offend somebody? Where’s my credit card? How did I spend half my paycheck? Did we use a condom? It is this—the Friday fallout—that I have to keep coming back to. Remember—remember how miserably depressed you ended up. Every week.
Someone told me today, in an academic context,
that you have to keep asking yourself why am I doing this? Why am I writing this paper? Why am I researching this? What is the reason, what is the purpose?
So, I ask myself now, sitting at my desk at 2 pm on Friday, over one week sober and starting to get that pull, that tug, that snatching feeling in my stomach to reach for a glass of wine, why was I drinking like that? What was the reason, what was the purpose? It led to nothing but bruises, blacked-out lost time and bad self-destructive decisions—more often than not putting my body at risk.
Why am I getting sober? To get my life back. To get myself back. What is the reason? Because alcohol has controlled every aspect of my life and I was so lost and so afraid. What is the purpose? To live a full and rewarding life where I respect myself and my body enough to say “no."
Self-control and self-love. That is my new Friday feeling. And it feels hella good.