Story time, folks.
While at home over Spring Break, I decided to spend the day watching a film. As well as enjoy it with some wine. With Finals being over and all, it shouldn’t be a big deal to relax with a bit of alcohol, right?
What turned into a glass of dessert wine (which I had managed to crack open from the depths of our refrigerator after eight-plus years. Yes, eight-plus years) became another glass of dessert wine until I had finished the entire bottle (it wasn’t a huge bottle to begin with: really thinly-shaped and barely that much alcohol content, like 5 percent). Moved on to a cup of white wine before deciding to finish off the rum that I had used to make rum cake a while ago. Mixed it with some berry juice and drank it as I continued watching the film.
At a certain point (I believe that it was three-fourths into the film), I started feeling the effects. The sensation just came all of a sudden, like waves; before, I felt nothing. But suddenly, the room started spinning, and I was having a hard time keeping balance. My sense of self-awareness went to shit, as I found myself yelling and tearing up at some emotional scene in the film (which I would have never done while sober). I don’t even remember finishing the film (I think I did, although I can’t be entirely sure), and I found myself lying on my bed during mid-afternoon just trying to cope with all of this alcohol coursing through my body. Especially my stomach. At some point, I went to the bathroom to throw up (dark, red vomit- most likely from the berry juice. Not pleasant at all).
Time became extremely distorted. I was not aware that several hours had passed until my parents came home from work, around five or six o’ clock. They shouted at me from downstairs (my room’s upstairs) as acknowledgment; I grunted in reply. They must have known that something was up (the emptied rum bottle in the kitchen was a dead giveaway), and came up to find me half-conscious. Not a pretty sight.
Of course, they were mad at me. But more importantly, they were worried sick (pun intended). They brought me downstairs to give “the talk,” and I just started bawling in the bathroom. Proceeded to throw up again, and I heard my dad say, “Yep, I smell the alcohol…”
I was still very drunk when they were talking to me. Saying that I shouldn’t be doing this, that drinking alone is dangerous, and that I was just under too much stress and all. I started blabbering, and all of the things that I didn’t intend to tell them (at least, not until later) finally came out: my sexuality, the fact that I had went to that college party a few weeks ago and drank vodka, that one marijuana hang-out with my poetry classmates, and so forth. They weren’t necessarily shocked by all of that, especially my sexuality, which I was kind of afraid of telling them about. They were okay with it; I think that they were more worried about me sobering up and getting better from this alcohol situation. My dad even confessed that he drank a lot when he was in college, even throwing up a couple of times in the process. I was a bit surprised by that, and I felt that I could better relate to him through this experience. They even made me sign up for AA meetings and everything once Spring term started, just to make sure that I get some support from my drinking problem.
Look, I’m a good kid: I don’t skip class, I do my homework, I am involved in a lot of clubs and organizations on campus. But I’m not good when it comes to alcohol. Ever since I turned twenty-one, my alcohol consumption skyrocketed. I supposed that it was due to the fact that I finally had this freedom to purchase and indulge in alcohol legally. I discovered its de-stressing effects on the body, and I went with it. Especially after a long day/week of school and other commitments, drinking a glass or two a wine a couple times a week sounded like a good idea. Going out to parties and taking in beer and vodka shots were ways loosen up and have fun with friends and acquaintances. But from what I learned that day at home, drinking alone is dangerous. Especially when I didn’t know my limits yet. At least, not with rum.
I feel like I broke my parents’ heart that day, disappointed them somehow. While they were wrong in believing that I was drinking to cope with the stress of hiding secrets from them, they were right in that I needed to learn how to control my alcohol consumption. I personally don’t think that I need to go to an AA meeting, but if they insist, I might as well. While I’m not an alcoholic yet, if I keep this up, then I’m on the road to addiction. And that frightens me.
After that day and the following one (during which I woke up with a heavy head and a horrible stomachache), I learned my lesson. I can’t smell alcohol without feeling just a bit nauseated. More importantly, I made a pact to myself that I would not drink any alcohol at all during my final school term. I believe that it’s doable; after all, alcohol is not necessary for everything. And I know that, realistically, I can’t avoid alcohol forever; there will always be circumstances that will involve it in the future. But for now, I need to step back and take a break from alcohol.
With that, I wish you a good day. 🙂
– The Finicky Cynic