Years have passed, and I am much stronger than I used to be. At least, that’s what I tell myself. I no longer need the quick fix a fifth of cheap vodka could always provide me. I do alright sober now. I think I do, anyway.
Honestly, I might have just replaced that cheap fifth with a cheap box of wine. The pain, though no longer as piercing, can still be felt deep down in the very depths of my shattered, but still beating, heart. Years of alcohol and substance abuse have forever ingrained in my mind blurry but vivid images of a lost young girl seeking to numb herself with every twist and turn of life. That poor girl picked up anything she could get her hands upon. Pot, opium, shrooms, liquor, pills, and hell, even cough syrup. I would take anything to feel that high.
My rage was palpable back then. I had no healthy outlet for that. I pushed, I shoved, I punched. I threw cell phones at windshields, I threw beer bottles at heads. I hated everyone around me. I hated myself. I hated how I felt. I hated who I had become. I contemplated suicide, but decided that I was too much a coward. Instead, I would drink myself into a stupor most nights.
I just wanted to forget my existence. What was the point of living, anyway? I was just a huge disappointment to everyone around me.
Somewhere along the line I took myself to counseling, and slowly I healed. Slowly I started realizing my worth. I knew that I had to choose a path. Either I was going to continue down the path I was already following, stumbling and fumbling in drunken, drugged-out despair, or I was going to try to change my life. I went back to college and started working my way toward graduation. I still struggled with a drug and alcohol problem, but it wasn’t so bad anymore. I was going to be OK.
Until I met him, the love of my life. The young boy who promised me the world, and who, in the end, crushed my world instead. By the time he finally decided to stop manipulating me because he had found someone more worthwhile, three and a half years had slipped by, and I was a half year away from my 26th birthday. And once again, I struggled to find my worth. The very person I had once thought I was going to spend the rest of my life loving had brought me right back to where I had been just a few years prior.
I handled it better this time around. I only spent a couple of months drunk this time. After I sobered up, I retreated to the safe enclosures of my home to begin the healing process. I spent my days binge-watching Netflix, crying, and realizing life epiphanies through teenaged dramas. Wine became a constant companion, but it was more a comforting friend than a clingy significant other. I didn’t rely on it to get me through my pain.
It’s been a year and a half, and I am now 27. I guess I can safely admit that I’ve moved on – from him, at least. I tell people that I’m OK. I’ve healed, I say. I’m stronger now than I’ve ever before been. But I still struggle. I’ve been drinking a lot of wine. I’ve even blacked out a couple of times. I laugh it off and chalk it up to a rare night of letting loose. I just won’t drink so much next time, I tell people. After all, I’m just a late 20 something woman stressing because I haven’t quite figured out my life yet.
Next time I’ll know my limits, and I just won’t drink that much. Until it happens again and again and again.
I think that I will get myself through this. I mean, I always do, don’t I? I’ll find it within myself to stop using alcohol as an outlet for my agony. I’ll start working out again! I’ll eat healthier! I’m going to prove to everyone that I’m not just an addict. And everything will be just fine until life throws me another lemon, and I start the downward spiral all over again.
But I guess that’s just the life of an addict, isn’t it?