Day 27: Your views on drugs and alcohol.

gin-recipe-georgian-bay-gimlet

My grandmother was a legendary alcoholic. As in… hit a train, drove the wrong way on the interstate, crossed the divider and drug the fence home… she set the tone for abusing substances without smudging her lipstick.

She’s why I don’t drink vodka. I don’t know what it is, but vodka and I are a deadly combination. I ride bulls in dresses, dance handsome strangers into agreeing to things they know they shouldn’t… you name it. Vodka removes all my filters, inhibitions and sense. Grey Goose is like napalm. Noooooo more goose. Never, ever.

I spent a few years serving and bartending, so I can make most drinks and really enjoy the art of mixology. I love a gin gimlet and make a mean margarita.

But champagne is my real favorite. My Fancy best and I have flooded the problems out with a few hundred bubbles, and this Corona Virus is seriously cramping my coping style, because I’d love to be sitting on the couch with her, mimosa in hand (and by mimosa I mean morning/afternoon champagne, please don’t junk up my prosecco with orange juice.) We toast to happy days and cry into our bubbles on the sad ones. We celebrate and grieve just the same… with a bubbly glass of it’s-going-to-be-ok.

I sat across from her a month ago, hot tears rolling down my cheeks as my whole universe imploded. She’d talked me through a million times of being jerked around by the opportunist I’d let crawl under my skin and take residence. I’ve cried about him for over a year and she’s loved me through going back when I knew I should run the opposite direction. Having cried into too many glasses of delicious bubbles, I apologized for the millionth time as the server walked up with a worried look on her face. Tears fell faster, as sympathy only rubber stamps my heart knowing it’s ok to break. She filled my glass to the top and patted my arm. My bright and beautiful best was grinning at me from across the table. I’d made the decision to leave and that included leaving her. Although months away, my heart broke at the thought that this was one of the last bubbly lunches.

F- Cheers! This is GOOD!!! It’s almost over!

J- I hate him so much.

F- That’s good too. I’ll drink to that.

Alcohol has always been celebratory until I got my soul ripped out through my heart. I learned what it meant to numb those feelings and ended up with a fat ass and a hangover. Medicating depression with a depressant is about as masochistic as you can get, and I’ve learned a lot about myself and my relationship with alcohol in the past 2 years. I reach for a cup of tea and my knitting these days, where I was drinking instead of fostering hobbies that have always soothed me.

One bad man can make your social drinking turn serious. I gave up vodka… then gin… then wine… and settled in to face all those awful feelings, sober.

It’s really the only way to deal with the worst shit.

Seeing him walk in hung over most mornings, becoming accustomed to the endless parade of energy drinks and Powerade that accompanied him… I saw exactly what I didn’t want to become, in the man I wanted so much to love. It was confusing, and it took me a long time to see that I was only wasting my time, compromising my health and ending up with wrinkles and bleeding ulcers as a result.

Alcohol had never been a pacifier. I had to change how I drink, how I feel about drinking, and check in with myself about why I was pouring one. If there’s one silver lining to enduring all that bullshit with him, it’s that.

Drugs have never been a thing for me. I did cocaine once and hated it. I ended up at home alone at 3 am… running on my damn elliptical machine until I had to get ready for work. Worst. Day. Ever. I seriously thought I was going to die by the time the dinner rush was done at the restaurant I was working in. Never again.

Pills make me puke, the scary stuff doesn’t tempt me enough to roll those dice and I’m sexual enough without ecstasy.

Marijuana is my jam. I can clean the whole damn house, bake an entire 8 course meal AND sew a dozen easter bunnies. I get shit done when I’m high. I also eat. A lot. I love the light ease of breezing through a long, hard day with a little ganja…. but I’m not trying to be 400 pounds, and I could get there quick with a stoner habit. So it’s a limited love affair that I don’t regularly indulge. I have too much shit to do and although it’s pleasant to have your head in a cloud for a bit… reality doesn’t wait for the fog to clear and I like to be in control of my life at all times.

I’d try mushrooms though. I’ve heard a lot of hilarious stories about them and life is too short not to experiment a little.

Just don’t unpack and live there… nobody likes a strung out junkie.


Day 22: Describe 7 things you’re awful at.

  1. I’m awful at picking a man that won’t lie to me, cheat on me, steal from me or break my heart. I’ve elevated it to an art form and have ruled them out entirely as a result. Heterosexual men are basic creatures. Much like that lump of a human they hand you when you have a baby, you only need to feed, water and love it for things to be agreeable, right? Wrong. I have an innate ability to pick the absolute worst asshole in the room. Eyes closed, heart open… I lose every damn time.
  2. Thinning root vegetables. Seriously.. someone should take my carrot seeds away. There’s honestly no point in me even planting them because I can’t grow them for shit and who needs 4000 pencil sized baby carrots? Nobody.
  3. Kitchener stitch. It’s some sort of modern day needlework witchcraft. I avoid knitting socks for precisely this reason. I loathe not being able to do something though, so I’ll figure it out eventually or die trying.
  4. Seeing the forest for the trees. I see the potential in everyone- and never stop to consider that some people are self motivated and not looking out for me or my best interests. Some folks are just users and I work overtime to see the goodness a little too much. Some of those frogs aren’t princes. Some of those warty little things are just dirty ass reptiles.
  5. Brownies. I can’t bake brownies to save my life. I don’t know why. I’ve given up trying and just buy them. I’m bitter about it though because I’m a damn domestic goddess and hate that I can’t do something.
  6. Sleep. I am the worst insomniac. I am regularly awake between the hours of 1-5 AM and generally give up and get up by 5:30. I’m painfully tired and all things considered could probably use a week of rest, straight. I won’t get it and it won’t stop me from lying awake all night again tonight… so feel free to give me any suggestions you may have.
  7. I’m awful at shaking this Incredicock nightmare. Hearing one thing and seeing another is the worst form of torture and I was crazy to think that touching him again was a good idea. It wasn’t. You can only be casual about someone you don’t care about… just as you can’t make a ho a housewife, it’s absolutely impossible to make a fuckbuddy out of the guy you’re in love with and I should have learned that painful lesson the first time with him.

I wish I had more of my shit together, but fairy godmothers aren’t real and it involves a shit load of work and time to change these things. I’m still determined, still working hard to be better, do more, live positively and strive for happiness.

I have promises to keep. And miles to go before I sleep… -Robert Frost


Day 17: Describe 5 weaknesses you have.

  1. Incredicock. Oh why beat around the bush (no pun intended), let’s be bold, brave and honest, shall we? I can honestly say I’ve never felt about another human being the way I feel about him. Fiercely protective while simultaneously terrifyingly guarded, brazen, bold and wanton…oh and petty as the day is long. I’ve never really known heartache like the one he inspires and I wonder sometimes if it’s my penchant for pain that makes me love him so? The jury’s out, but masochism is in the lead. I saw things I can’t unsee regarding him this weekend and I’m decimated as a result. I’ve clearcut the common threads that tie us together and am facing some tough days ahead. What he says and what he does are vastly different and it kills me every time I find out he’s lied to me again. I need to get off this bad ride.
  2. Baked Lays Potato Chips. Dear God in heaven…. hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven… Give us these chips, these daily chips… I can’t even buy a bag because I will eat the whole damn thing with reckless abandon.
  3. Take5 Candy bars. Seriously the best candy bar ever made. Thank you Reese’s for making them a part of your delicious family.
  4. Bombay Sapphire Gin. I had 4 martinis last night as I cried about my bad taste in men and bemoaned the stupidity of my loyal heart. 4!!!. I felt like death warmed over all day today and sat inches away from the cause of it. No martini is worth that and I wish I’d stayed in bed. Thank heavens for Maybelline who painted my grey face a flesh tone and convinced the world that I wasn’t seconds from puking, all day.
  5. Tomato plants. God bless America, at least one of my weaknesses is healthy. I cannot walk away from a “rare” or “lost” heirloom tomato seed. I have grown them all. I know them all as well as my children and doubt you could surprise me with a new favorite… but I’d sure love to hear about yours….

Day 7: What is the hardest thing you’ve ever experienced?

I’ve been dreading this prompt since I got the list of questions. I think how you interpret what’s difficult, determines what comes to mind when you consider the hardest thing EVER. I knew from the moment I read the list of prompts for this 30 days of oversharing, what my answer would be.

I lost my best friend to suicide in November. His mother lives in the south and his husband was out of town the night he hung himself. He left a note with my number as his next of kin. His marriage was on the rocks, his husband was cheating… and he had just driven me home after an endoscopy that I didn’t want to tell anyone about. We had joked about being each other’s emergency contact after he got mad at me for thinking I was going to be able to drive myself home from an invasive medical procedure.

In the grand scheme of things, I can understand that I was the obvious choice and as much as those moments are burned into my heart, I have found some small comfort that he knew I would be there for him in the last, worst moments.

I was notified first and lost my mind. I called my favorite man and broke into a million pieces as he talked me out of an emotional breakdown. He comforted me while I fought off the unimaginable details I had left to handle. I didn’t want to be left holding my own hands, walking through the worst hell I never imagined, but there was simply no other choice. I think part of me wanted him to tell me I didn’t have to do any of the next, worst things, but he didn’t. He told me I had to do all of it, and that he knew I could and would help me in any way I needed. I will love him forever for carrying me that night, when I had no choice but to get up and face the horror of it all and did not know how.

I had to call and tell Anthony’s mother that he was gone. Singularly the worst phone call I’ve ever had to make. Motherhood is a bond that connects us all as family when a child dies. He wasn’t a child anymore, but when you’re a mama they don’t ever stop being your baby.

The night that followed was one I wish I could forget. The day after was even worse.

His death was unattended and I drove his husband to identify and see his body. Waiting for them to take us back, I knew that the worst moment in my life was unfolding and no amount of tears and grief could stop it. I prayed there was a stranger under that sheet and the whole thing was just an enormous mistake.

It wasn’t.

He was silent, cold and unmoving. I put my hand on his chest and was devastated by the overnight change in a body I was so familiar with hugging me warmly. I’m still having dreams about how horrifying it was to feel him so cold and hard. His husband ripped the sheet off and there were signs of trauma I wish neither of us saw. It was the stuff nightmares are made of, and I still can’t believe some of the things we all managed to survive that day.

I did not attend his funeral as he was flown home and buried in his family plot. Something about seeing him go into the ground was more than I could bear, but I think if I hadn’t seen him with my own eyes, I may have spent a lifetime pretending he were on a long vacation, just out of service… just gone for a while.

Suicide is devastatingly permanent. If you’re feeling like harming yourself please consider the people around you that will carry the weight of not being able to help you, forever. Reach out. Call anyone. See a therapist. Please….do it for your mother, your best friend and yourself.¬†Depression can be debilitating and isolating to the point you forget how to ask, but suicide doesn’t solve any of those problems, it just eliminates the chance of anything ever getting better.

He’s resting in peace, heckling the angels and flirting with Saint Peter. I know heaven got a lot brighter the day the world got a lot darker for the rest of us, but I’d give anything to have him back.

suicide


Day 6: What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?

It’s a shit day in the grand scheme of things. I wish this prompt came at a time I were feeling grateful, happy or hopeful. I sent an honest text and prompted another verbal slaughter from the man that was lodged in my heart for far longer than he deserved. Wiping tears away, I forwarded them to my Fancy and she said it best.

F- Ouch.

So forgive me while my bleeding heart drips on the keys as I type. I’m not happy and it’s incredibly hard to wipe the grief off today.

What makes me happy?

  1. My Fancy Best Girl. I regularly refer to her as my red headed security blanket and when I count my blessings I count her a dozen times, then a dozen more. This has been the hardest year and when my whole world tilts on its axis and I’m drowning, she reminds me who I am and why there’s not a soul in the world worth sacrificing that for.
  2. Exercise. This one will forever shock me, but I have finally found the magic behind sweating to the point of nausea. I like the sting of sore muscles that are getting stronger and if you can’t sleep, nothing knocks your miserable ass out like a few miles on the elliptical machine. CrossFit was too expensive and I had to quit, but it’s only inspired me to workout more at home. Misery loves sweat, trust me.
  3. Books. I stopped reading for myself when the Dumpling was born and it’s only in the last 6 months that I’ve picked them back up again. I’m too busy for a vacation and my personal life has been nothing short of prison, so Harry Potter it is. I forgot how much peace you can find when you escape in a few hundred well-worn¬† pages.
  4. Music. Yeah… some of it’s crippling and the tears running down my cheeks say this may not actually be one that should make the list right now, but even when you’re crying you’re at least feeling SOMETHING. Numb is worse than sad and there’s definitely no shortage of sadness motivating my playlist. I love showtunes, Top 40 and 90’s love songs, but Etta James is saving my soul these days.
  5. Mr. Dick Appointment. Bless his smoking hot heart, sometimes what you really need is a hot youngster to fuck the devastation and memories right out of you. He’s like an animated sex toy at my beck and call. I adore my vibrator but it can’t rip my clothes off and pull my hair. I sent him a text the other night, letting him know I was leaving the door unlocked and going to bed. I was tired, inspired and hopeful. My alarm clock will forever disappoint me after that. Lord have mercy… he reminds me exactly why I’m single and worth so much more than feeling sad. I wish I could clone him and hand him out.

What makes me happy, changes regularly. What makes me sad, has been the same damn man for too long. My children keep me going, my family sustains me and this list of favorites keeps me smiling when I’m more inclined to cry.