When the world doesn’t make sense and your heart is heavy…
When you are blinded by the darkness, aching to see a glimmer of light…
When feelings hurt and good intentions are lost, when pain and unfairness run rampant…
When tears sting and trembling is fueled by anger…
Where do you turn?
I used to turn to that perfect lemon drop martini, with just the right combination of ice-cold Grey Goose and fresh-squeezed lemon juice, with a little sugar on the rim…that first sip, savoring the taste, closing my eyes and feeling that first surge of vodka warming my veins…from my head to my ears, down to the tips of my fingers, warming my chest and down to my toes. Vodka, sweet vodka. And don’t forget the weed – those first few hits from my trusty pipe…I could feel my heartbeat increase slightly, as my body started absorbing and processing the 80-proof and TH-yummy-C…slowly clouding those negative feelings, the sadness and despair…and ultimately my level of consciousness. Waving goodbye to the ugly in that rearview mirror called Life, I would find myself submerged in a cloud of Sparkly Oblivion. Of course when I drink, my appetite for food is diminished and dinner and dessert become martinis number 4 and 5. A few more hits from my pipe steady the balance between high and wasted, a place where good times are sure to be had and surely not remembered the next morning.
Becoming besties with your local bartend is bonus too –a true bar-bestie has only your greatest interests at heart, and will dump out a not-perfect martini for you (even though it’s half gone already) and remake another one for free – which surely has nothing to do with the fact that the more you drink, the bigger your tip is because who has time to do accurate math when one is busy refueling with 80-proof perfection??
Having to ask someone what you did/said the night before can definitely be a comedic experience. Perhaps not the morning after, when heads are throbbing and rooms are spinning and toilets are being hugged, but surely during the next martini marathon! Time may be a truth-teller, but buckets full of vodka are definitely a fast-track to the truth! It’s amazing what truths will roll off of your tongue, which you will in turn learn about yourself later on. It may be cheaper than therapy, but I assure you its longer-term effects are not nearly as beneficial.
Over time…years… the “What the **** happened last night!??!” starts to become a little less comedic, and a little more desperate and pathetic. When one looks forward to not remembering, to letting go and letting vodka and weed take over, one is in need of serious help. I found myself in that place for a while. Knowing that my habit was a sad and pathetic one, but I didn’t know what to do about stopping it. I mean really, what was there to life besides drinking and creating drunken memories? I should add that during these years I was already a Christian. I didn’t wake up one day, accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior and start following the yellow brick road towards biblical perfection. Nope, my ride with God has been and will continue to be a roller coaster. Hence being a self-described “Clumsy Christian”.
Anyone who has been on this path, and who has eventually chosen a better, healthier path, has done so for a variety of reasons. They may have “found God” for the first time. Maybe they were in an accident, or in an almost-accident and decided that was the wake-up call they needed to call it quits. I am so fortunate and eternally blessed that my “reasons” for veering quickly off of that path toward liver-failure were the two lines I saw on our pregnancy test. Hubby and I wanted to get pregnant for a long time, and I never thought it would happen. In fact I so thought it would NOT happen, that I made up a song to sing to my uterus each month when my period, instead of a positive pregnancy test, would show up. The song was to the tune of “Oh Christmas Tree” – and no, I’m not sharing it with you right now…maybe another time, when we know each other better :)
Those two lines were life-changing, in many ways. I found out later on in our pregnancy that Hubby was secretly afraid that I wouldn’t stop drinking if/when we found out that we were pregnant. It broke my heart that he could possibly think I would ever endanger our future child in that way, but it really opened my eyes to how big of a problem I had, if my husband actually thought I could ever put alcohol before my own flesh and blood.
God blessed me very early on in the pregnancy with a disgust for the smell of beer. Once a smell that gave my heart a little pitter-patter, the smell of beer quickly became a cause for involuntary dry-heaving. If hubs even had a sip of beer, there was no kissing allowed whatsoever until his teeth had been brushed and mouth appropriately sanitized by Listerine. Even then, he had to sleep that night facing the other direction, “just in case”.
Fast-forward to now…baby girl is not much of a baby anymore, she’ll be 2 years old in just a few months. Alcohol just does not taste good to me anymore. Seriously, it’s gross. This is all so utterly and truly not like me….not like the “old me”, that I have actually lost friends over this. Literally, just last week I was “dumped” by someone I considered a good friend. I’ve apparently changed too much. While I mourn the loss of a friendship, I certainly do not mourn the loss of Old Me. I don’t want her back – EVER. She represents a part of my life that I never want to live again.
I am not saying that I am now defined by my child, but I am saying that my life has taken on a completely different meaning, now that I am a Mother. It is important to me to be a good wife, a good mother, a good role-model. Having lost my own mother just last year, it hits me very close to home, the idea of being anyone other than who/what I want my own daughter to become, when she grows up. Becoming a mother has helped me to turn away from the dead-end I was headed towards, and towards what is truly important: my family and God. I am far from perfect, very, very far from it. But life is worth living (and remembering) so much more, now that my heart has embraced what is real: LOVE.