See, I had this cancer checkup last August the first. I spent the summer getting radiated and shitting my literal brains out. It was amazing fun. Great times. I never thought as a gross boy that I would ever get tired of pooping but after last summer I get happy when I don’t have bowel movements for days. My girlfriend was moving into her new place, and I was aching, I had some shoulder and back issues and it was because of the radiation and more importantly, that I wasn’t taking care of myself at all, drinking a ton and not doing any exercise and blaming it on being sick. The spoiler to this story before it’s even told: I did not tell my girlfriend about this checkup at all, in my head I thought, “Hey, if it’s good, there will be a reason to celebrate,” as we had both been stressed out, I was just reeling from being arrested and fired from my job over shitty miscommunication; she was stressed over work and moving. I went and got tested early in the morning and spent the day salty because she didn’t need my help moving. I thought it would be great to find out the news, and then go out for lunch at one of my favorite bars, Players. The results came back and it seemed like I was in the clear, so as anyone that knows me can imagine, that meant, ‘hey, lets go to Players and get absolutely shitfaced on Tullamore Dew.’ I passively ignored my girlfriend and simultaneously proceeded to get annihilated. What happened next is the culmination of a string of actions while blacked out and second hand story told to me.
As mentioned, I drank enough to down a couple college girls for a night, proceed to not tell my girlfriend the good news but rather throw out some passive aggressive social media posts looking for validation from everyone else besides her, because I was irrationally angry at her. I then decided while blasting off shitty text messages and snapchats that I would stop at Applebee’s and get $50 of apps to go, meanwhile still being an asshole threw all media that wasn’t personal contact. The next bit is fuzzy but I got home with my food and I said some stuff about hating myself and maybe ‘just ending it’ which led her to actually contact the police for a welfare check, which actually sobered me the fuck up. I then got mean and nasty until she basically blocked me on everything. I faded the cops by telling them I was on my way to the casino and that I was fine, all while slopping a quesadilla in my bed and hangry eating mozzarella sticks and grumbling about how dumb my girlfriend was for worrying about me. Once the cops left, I snuck to my car and definitely drove to the casino afterwards, partly because the only rational part of drunk me knew that I wouldn’t get service in the casino so I would literally have to stop sending shitty text, mumble filled angry voicemail, jumbled snapchats with captions that made no sense other than bad words. Drunk driving? No, not me. (sigh)
Words were exchanged the next few days in between drinking at little festivals with friends and pretending I was okay. She broke up with me, understandably. I still think about the whirlwind in which it ended - the last time I saw her in person I told her I loved her and couldn’t wait to see her new place - and it ended through texts and direct messages and a box on my stoop one morning.
Here we are, a year later, and I am writing this on my phone screen in a truck stop parking lot, between Madison and Milwaukee, waiting to walk into a diner when my eyes aren’t so red. I just gambled to distract myself yet again, it didn’t make me feel any better, again, and the sting of my mistakes still burns as much as the looming house arrest I’m about to serve.
This year has been all about progress. Trying to move on. Acting like an adult for once. Things normal people don’t have to tell themselves to do in their mid thirties - unless they’re stuck in habitual fuckups and midlife crises - and yet here we are. I have to say, after eight months of sobriety, I look at alcohol as the punchline to the shitty jokes I tell. “Man, I fucked up, maybe if I got whiskey drunk it’d only be a better story.” There are clearly still unhealthy things I do to handle my stress. Those won’t ever go away, I’m afraid but not ashamed to admit. Managing them is the greatest obstacle these days and at least I’ve found out in the past year who cares enough to stick around and help.
The one that I still have problems attempting to do? Staying home, alone, and venting in rants and stories.