Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Weekend Trip: The Bad

It happened again. Another perfect weekend gone sour due to intoxication.

Everything has been going wonderfully. I had an awesome interview last week for a position I was born to do, and have a second interview scheduled Wednesday. I’ll know by the end of this week if I got the job. If so, I am relocating and starting a new adventure. Upon completing a hopeful week, I decided to go home for the weekend for a couple of important reasons.

First, I wanted to make a special trip to see my family. Last weekend I came to town and spent Memorial Weekend with friends and did not make time to see my family. When I called to tell my dad about my awesome interview and scheduled follow-up interview, he told me how my stepmom was not happy how I “always put them last”. I understood their frustration, and I wanted to right my wrong by making a trip down especially for them. When I arrived on Friday evening, my dad was still working and I had the opportunity to spend some one-on-one time with my stepmom.

I opened up the conversation about me not visiting as much as I should, and how I feel that I am growing into a more mature, healthy individual and am ready to connect with the family. (By the way, the dad and stepmom I am talking about here are not the crazy ones; I actually have two sets of a dad and stepmom duo, and these are the good ones.) I was very open about how I was a mess “back in the day” and how my coping mechanism for all of my issues I was facing was to isolate and avoid. She expressed her feelings and I listened quietly. I felt that we ended the conversation on a good note, and that both my dad and stepmom understood why I made the mistakes that I did and were ready to accept this new and improved me.

Well, the topic of “the past” still kept coming up over and over again throughout the weekend. I wanted to spend an extra day in town and offered to watch my sisters while my dad and stepmom were at work. Upon my offer, I immediately hear about how I’ve offered to babysit my sisters before and didn’t do a very good job. I haven’t watched my sisters since I was about 22. I’m thinking, really? Five years have passed and they’re still hanging on to something I did while I was a young, partying college student? Did our previous conversation about how far I’ve come completely fall out of your minds? The topic of the past continued, both about my babysitting skills and a few other situations. I kept a smile on my face and was able to constructively deal with their ridiculous reminiscing of things of the past.

That was until…I started drinking.

The second reason I made a trip home was to spend time with a guy I have completely fallen for. The new guy and I go out Friday night and have the best time ever. We start talking about me possibly moving down with him at the beach where he is working for the next several months, and me getting a job down there and spending a couple of months together, if I don’t get this other job. Well, we are together again on Saturday with some mutual friends, and drunk Kristin decides to ask all of our friends what they think about me heading down to be with him for the summer. Big mistake. He and I haven’t talked about any of the details, or even totally decided if we should do this or not. So…it becomes a bit of an argument between he and I and some of his friends, all of which have been drinking heavily in the sun for a few hours. He starts telling me that he’s not sure if it’s a good idea after all. I was totally confused because he told me so many things about how he wanted to “spend so much time with me” and “where have I been all his life”. That kind of stuff. I leave in drunken, overreactive tears and head back to my family’s house where I am staying, and I am just a mess.

I hadn’t been taking my medicine because I drank Friday night and was drinking Saturday, and I didn’t want to take my medicine with alcohol being in my system. Another big mistake. Immediately after the fiasco with the guy and the friends, I was feeling severely down and rejected, because of the situation that had just happened and the ongoing weekend criticisms from the family. I was mentally going crazy – thinking that no one understands, and no one cares, and nothing in my life is working out. I send my counselor this distraught email, which causes her to email me back asking if I need to see her immediately. I had lost complete control over my thoughts and my feelings, and I know it’s because of the alcohol.

I’ve been in that place before, drinking so much that I get depressed and start contemplating life-altering things. It hasn’t been as bad as it was Saturday night in a long time, and I am feeling really down and confused about why it’s happened again. I’m in a much better place mentally and emotionally than I have been in probably forever, so the fact that I am still having problems when I drink is telling me something that I didn’t ever want to admit, which is, I don’t need to consume alcohol in any amount.

After sobering up and spending Monday with the family (yes, my babysitting skills were put to the test and I did a fabulous job), I realize my tyrant wasn’t about the guy, or the friends, or even some things that came up with family. It’s about my relationship with alcohol, and how it’s damaging to my life. If this were a person causing these kinds of problems, and telling me the things that go through my own head after drinking too much, then there would be no question as to whether I needed to keep this person in my life or not. So why is it so hard with something as worthless as alcohol?

When alcohol is not in the equation, I am genuinely happy. I am happy about myself and others and my life, and I am hopeful about the things that are yet to come in my life. After a night or two of heavy drinking, and often even while I’m drinking, I feel the complete opposite. Again, if this were a person crushing my spirits I would cut him or her out of my life completely, no questions about it. In fact, I’ve done it before, completely (and easily) pushing people away if they do or don’t do something that rubs me the wrong way. But this, this little thing called alcohol isn’t as easy. I'm not ready to let it go.

I’m spending this evening with a dear friend who I can be completely honest with and who has helped me so much along my journey. This will most definitely bring me clarity and peace to this situation. I visit with my counselor next Tuesday and am very much looking forward to hearing her insight about all this mess.

Until then…no drinking for me.

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