Part Nine: One Last Goodbye

Who will save your soul after the lies that you told. And who will save your soul if you won’t save your own.

Save Your Soul – Jewel

I am able to salvage my relationship with Josh and I never want to let it slip away (or forcefully push it away) ever again. Now, I have to salvage the relationship with myself which proves to be much more difficult. School starts and although I am determined to look put together, I am still falling apart on the inside. I’m not sure if I am mentally, emotionally, or spiritually ready to start school after my insane identity crisis over the summer. But, school has always been something I excelled at despite the complications in other areas of my life. So, I am looking at it as my life raft. If anything is going to save me, it will be this school.

I am immediately taken by the program, the people in my cohort, and this incredible journey we are about to embark on. It seems I am not the only one who is here looking for a change in life. A month in and we’ve done more self-reflection than I’ve ever done in my entire life. It’s been an emotional, mental, and spiritual overhaul. I’ve already shattered several damaging, self-sabotaging stories I’ve created about myself that I have learned are not true. I am beginning to learn to truly love myself. There’s just one small, tiny, problem. The alcohol gremlin that is lurking in the corner, just waiting to take everything away. I can’t shatter the story that my life will be better without alcohol, even though it does not serve me in any way. Alcohol is my best friend. I can’t let it go.

Friends of Josh’s and mine came into town over a weekend in September. Sunday Funday starts out with a drink and a shot for lunch around 1pm. By 2am, I am still drinking. I’ve had countless drinks in this span of time and I am wasted. Earlier in the day, Josh had to set up for a gig, he wanted to take me with him but I told him that I was fine and wanted to stay. So, that’s what I did. By the time the night is over, I have erased most of my memory, blacked out, and finally pass out. This never ending cycle of drinking until I’ve lost count, blacking out, and waking up like Drew Barrymore from 50 First Dates with my memory wiped clean is starting to take a toll.

One night after binging and passing out, I sit up straight out of bed crying. I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe. I need to get out of here. I wake up Josh – I have to tell him what just happened. I went back in time! I was a little girl again, I was in trouble, I was getting yelled at. This just happened right now! Josh, trying to make sense out of what is happening, tells me I had just fallen asleep and had a nightmare. “No!! It wasn’t a nightmare! This just happened!!” I can feel all of the molecules in my body, I can’t breathe, my whole body is shaking. I run outside onto the front porch to get some air. Josh eventually calms me down and gets me back into bed, I’m drained, I’m tired, and I’m scared of what just happened.

Any normal person would think that after having such a severe panic attack brought on by alcohol that was verging on a near psychotic break, the drinking would stop. Nope. Not for me. Sure, it was a terrifying experience but I’m ok now. So, everything is ok. I disregard the fact that I’m exhausted, hungover, even though it scared myself and Josh, it’s still not enough to make me stop.

I continue to drink for the next couple weeks. Unlike the last several times I attempted sobriety, I am not aware that my last night of drinking would be my last. Josh has just played a gig, we are out at a local bar for a few more rounds. The last thing I remember is taking a selfie in the bathroom of the bar after some negative self talk in the mirror (something I did quite a bit of when drinking). I don’t remember coming out of the bathroom, finishing my drink, leaving the bar or going home. I don’t remember Josh showing me a 15 minute stand up comedy skit Iā€™d been wanting to see all night. What do I remember?

I remember feeling like I haven’t had enough to drink even though we are closing the bar down. I remember getting home, starting to be intimate with Josh and flipping out, and crying hysterically because of the PTSD I was still dealing with from the assault (again, this was something that happened 9 times out of 10 when I tried being intimate with Josh especially if I was drinking). I wake up in the morning with a horrible headache, queasy stomach, and as usual, I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck.

I lay in bed and stare at the ceiling. How many times am I going to do this before I’m done. Why am I trying to prove to myself that alcohol isn’t damaging my life, my body, my mind, and my spirit. I’m not ok. I don’t want this to continue to be my life. I want to be the best version of myself that I can be. How can I do that if I continue to drink this way? I can’t be of service to myself, my family/friends, or my future patients like this. This has to stop and it has to stop right now.

And it did.

I’ve been sober since October 1, 2018. The following posts are focused on my sobriety journey, starting with First Things First: You Are Not Alone, There is Always Help. I suggest you start there but you can read in any particular order you like. Enjoy!

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