Yesterday was a tough day. I love being in love. Valentine’s Day, when I have a partner, I will spoil them. I’ve made mixtapes, I’ve cooked really intricate dinners, I’ve gone above and beyond on this day in the past. I’ve also tried to pretend the day doesn’t exist, downplay it for partners who felt it was a stupid holiday and in the case of yesterday, I’ve gone to bed early to avoid the day entirely.
I woke up in fairly good spirits. Hung out with some friends and enjoyed the afternoon. Then as I wait to eat, I see couple after couple after couple and the reality that I’m really single starts to sink in. How badly I just want to find my person whoever and whereever they are.
I return home, ordered my boy weight in dessert and proceed to eat that and fell asleep around 6:30pm. I woke up from that slumber to a memory. Something I must’ve stuffed down for many years because I wasn’t ready to think about it until now.
My toxic relationships with drinking actually started earlier than I thought. Sure I had tried alcohol as a kid, snuck some drinks but I never drank so much that I was intoxicated. It was too gross to get any further than a few sips and I just didn’t want to be called a nerd for not at least drinking some of it.
Trigger warning – it’s going to get ugly after this point. There will be mentions of abuse and rape. If you are triggered by theses things please take care of yourself and do not read any further.
My drinking career actually started much earlier than I thought. It actually started when I was married. There was a chunk of time where alcohol was being used to lower my inhibitions for the purpose of sex with my then husband. I’m not sure if it as because it made me less reserved or perhaps he felt less bad about the things he was going to do to me. In any case, it was being used.
I was always just willing to try anything and everything to hopefully get him to a place where he would stop being angry with me all of the time. That maybe this would be the thing to make him stop calling me names and making me feel worthless. Just like everything else that came before it, it wasn’t the solution. It worked for a brief amount of time, he seemed satisfied.
But then a few casino visits where he lost and I would end up drunk after being fed drinks for hours – I was screamed at, shamed and made to feel like the lowest piece of shit on the planet. This cycle went on for a couple years before I finally got the courage and left. 10 years of my life spent in this type of turmoil, but I walked away.
Armed with this new information, I’m heading into therapy today to talk it through. In the past, I might have remembered something like this and went straight to the liquor store and picked up a bottle. I’d keep it to myself and just drink it today. But not today, not anymore because I love myself and someone who loves themself doesn’t continue hurting or punishing themselves for what happened in the past.
That is progress that I am very proud of.
So yea, yesterday was a rough day. It was already tough made tougher by having this memory come back to me. But ultimately, though it was difficult, I am grateful to have remembered so that I can continue to process and heal. These painful memories do no good to me hidden in my subconscious. Bringing them out into the light helps me process and heal.
“Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live. Maybe one of these days you can let the light in. Show me how big your brave is! Say what you want to say and let the words fall out. Honestly, I wanna see you be brave!”