My husband caught me. I should’ve known better. It was the day before Thanksgiving. Of course his job wouldn’t keep him until 10:30 PM like it normally did. He caught me with a sink full of crusty dishes, a kitchen floor slick with cooking grease, and a stained stove top. The dirty clothes in my closet avalanched towards the floor. Of course they couldn’t benefit from the laundry basket because it was full of the clean clothes in bad need of folding. He caught me, dazed and sprawled out on the couch where he left me eight hours before. This time my filthy pajamas had a fresh layer of the Ka Pow Shrimp I bought from the Thai restaurant. The salt shaker, sweet chili sauce, a cup of water, paper towels, and loosely stacked mail were lined up in front of the couch.
I was only dazed because I learned months ago how to camouflage the elephant in the room. I admitted defeat as soon as my husband left so that I would have time to sleep it off. As soon as he dead bolted the front door I threw on some sweats and made that shameful drive to the liquor store. When I was done with the bottle I tied up the cork, loose tin wrapping, and even receipt in the black plastic bag. I tossed it in a hidden grave yard with the others. I remember my mother performing a similar ritual when I was young. Then, I thought I would never hide anything from my future husband. Now I realize how complicated things can get. If I hear his warnings and concern again I think I might snap. Then I will go to the liquor store and select something clear and uncorked just to prove that I am grown, and can do whatever the f*ck I want. So we do this dance. He pretends not to know what I’m hiding and therefore we don’t have to talk about it. I hate talking about it.
I have the week off from work. On Friday thinking about the nine days I had to myself I worried. I contemplated the possibility of ending up in a bottle letting life pass me by. I did all kinds of things to avoid anchoring my a$$ to the couch. I set up a rigorous schedule. The thing is – life was so much easier when I had syllabi to guide me. I did really well in college. I attended school from the age of three to twenty-two and when I was finally done I looked around and thought, “Is this it? Is this what I worked so hard for?” So I went to graduate school. What a waste of money. Even $70,000 couldn’t recapture that feeling I had as an undergraduate. After grad school I picked one of the hardest professions. When that wasn’t enough I picked the top company. Now I’m rising in a difficult career working for a top company. I hate my job. My worst fear is not that the alcoholism will persist. My worst fear is that I will die a functioning alcoholic, mediocre worker at a job I hate.
I have started to realize that I need to change my habits. I need to change my reactions to when I am feeling disappointed, angry, or lazy. I can’t defer to my version of sex, drugs, rock and roll (vibrator, wine, and television). My current habits are killing me. I vow, to go outside and find something to do (instead of drinking alone) 100 times. I guess some rules are necessary here. Going outside doesn’t mean a restaurant (unless there is some show that comes with dinner). I love going to restaurants if it means it comes with a side of wine. Going outside doesn’t mean sitting around someone’s house unless they are having a formal event. By the time I am done I will truly have something to be thankful for. I know that this seems like a simple task but it is extremely difficult for a person like me. When others ask why I don’t do fill in the blank or go to fill in the blank I blame the twelve hours a day I work. Secretly, I know that blaming work is a cop out. I’d rather squirrel off in a bottle alone. Let this blog serve as evidence of my efforts. I will reach my goal by September 2014!