Please no more bad dreams. I am so tired from fighting failure and public humiliation all night. The last two days I have been wrung out like an old sponge, spent and useless all day after dreams that provided no rest. I knew this was all going too easily!

I am a one eyed typer just now, peering at my tablet like a pirate. A sleepy, sleepy pirate. Ahoy, Matey! I’m afraid to go to sleep because I’ll probably dream that I run out of tampons in the middle of the day in highschool and Kurt Cobain shows up to laugh at me and then he decides to murder me because he knows I accepted The Journals as a birthday gift.

I don’t want to drink. I just want a decent night’s sleep. So let me count the reasons I will ride out this nightmare phase of a psyche waking up and being like “brah…you really have been fucking up our life huh?”

I took a nude picture of myself in January because I caught sight in a mirror of my lumpy bloated pasty body punctuated by some bruises of murky origin. I was so stunned by my appearance that I needed to document it. I looked like shit. Something had to change. Two years of drinking 1 to 4 beers a day had taken a disturbing and rapid toll on my body.

Why would a petite woman go the beer route? Because I could hold so much liquor it was scary. I was moderately concerned I might die of acute alcohol poisoning if I kept drinking liquor. There were times at the worst of it that I could drink and drink and drink liquor without showing or feeling symptoms of being drunk and then quite suddenly be extremely drunk. Spinning, slurring, crying, vomiting, can’t hold myself up over a toilet to puke, best to just strip naked and lay in the bathtub to contain the mess. I have read that is how Jim Morrison processed alcohol. He’d be fine for many (in his case 20) drinks and then one more turned him into a falling down danger to himself and others. He died in a bathtub. Not a comforting thought.

I cannot physically get in my stomach the amount of beer it takes to get that drunk. Two is the most I can drink before I’m sleepy and either going to bed for the night or taking a nap, usually one does it. I don’t particularly enjoy the taste of beer either like I liked straight cinnamon whiskey or vodka and tomato juice. I switched to beer in self defense. My drinking wasn’t dangerous the last two years, it was just sad. Passive. Lazy. Come home drink a beer, go to sleep. Day off? Have one with lunch, take a nap. What’s the point of doing anything? Life is a disappointment, I’m anxious as hell, drink a beer, go to bed. It wasn’t cool.

Controlling my drinking…a real time suck. My drinking went from “girl who rarely drank for 35 years” to fucking disconcerting in 24 months. The situation stayed fucking disconcerting for a year after I realized it was disconcerting. Then I tried to taper. The recommended time frame on a taper is 1 to 2 weeks. Yknow, or two years if you’re me. I tapered like backtracking my entire drinking history. Liquor back to wine. A bottle down to a couple glasses. Oh shit, wine makes me anxious as hell. Finish the bottle to fix the anxiety. Wine taper failed, try liquor in moderation. Goddammit, I’m throwing up again. Beer. Beer!! Commence year long beer taper.

I hate beer. I am not a beer drinking kind of chick but it’s what I can drink without getting way too drunk. I hate buying beer. I hate the security guy at Walgreens who says “you’ll turn into Sam Adams!” I buy a bottle of vodka. It kind of scares me because it reminds me of the end of the vodka days…drinking straight out of a bottle before flinging myself into bed with a trashcan nearby. I do not want to go back there. It was even worse than drinking Stella on the couch alone. For two weeks I have one small bloody mary in the evening like a grown up. Success! Then I drink 3 bloody marys and am hung over. Failure. Then for a week I have one small bloody mary every other night. Then…finally…I am exhausted of moderating. It…finally…seems easier to just stop. So I do.

Also if I look like shit, what is happening to my organs?? My contemporaries and I have all just crossed into our forties and The Reaper is making his first real pass through us. Two people I graduated high school with are fighting bad cancers. The wife of one of my classmates just died of cancer barely a year after diagnosis. The husbands of two of my friends are currently doing chemo. The last 3 people I just referenced were clean living folk who should’ve made it to 100. Health is a mysterious thing, it needs all the help we can give it. It doesn’t need to expend its energy filtering poison that I put in my body.

So those are good reasons not to drink. I’m 40. I was starting to feel that if I did not stop this and make a stand to live differently then I would just keep sliding toward the grave bloated and disillusioned, Fat Elvis style. I get you, E. Shit gets so messed up that you don’t even know how it happened or how to change and thinking about it is super stressful and you’re too tired anyway from holding the reins.

I shall persevere!!! For Elvis and me, at least one of us isn’t gonna die on the bathroom floor wondering what the hell, we used to be hot.





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