I just ate three Luna bars in a row. In quick succession, actually. For dinner. And I ate one around 4 o'clock as well. That makes four Luna bars in the last four hours. Two Chocolate Peppermint Stick ones and Two Nutz Over Chocolate ones.
I haven't had a drink in 17 days.
Until today, and the Luna bars, I hadn't had any sugar in 10 days.
I've never really talked about it. My drinking. Problem. I've talked about it with my therapist a little bit. I've talked about it with some of my friends. Most of whom have the same problem. I certainly haven't written about it.
I started drinking regularly, heavily, the summer after my mother died. I was nineteen years old. I had dropped out of college and was living at home with my Dad. We spent our days trying to figure out how to live our lives without my mother. At night I worked in a little cafe. Every evening after we had swept the floors and wiped down the counters, I would join the rest of the staff, a motley assortment of late teen & early twenties fuck-ups, and we would traipse across the square to this dingy little piano bar.
I drank vodka tonics. I leaned my lithe young body up against the bar, the liquor numbing, my dead mother disappearing, my stance softening. It was easy. It was easy. It was very easy.
I fell in love that summer. He was a few years older than me. He'd just lost his younger brother. We sat next to each other on bar stools and knew that we knew things about each other that we didn't have to explain. We drank drink after drink.
I used to drive home drunk, can barely remember the winding curves of the wide suburban Atlanta roads, the moonlit magnolia trees and gently hanging wisteria. I remember my mattress, my body thudding heavily across it, shoes left on, feet dangling. It didn't matter. Nothing mattered.
We drove to New Orleans in the middle of the night one night. We weren't sure if we were in love so we drove all night, through Alabama and Mississipi, dawn breaking as we entered Louisiana. We got a hotel room on Bourbon Street and we sat on the balcony watching the sun break over the rooftops. We were drinking red wine out of tumblers. I looked over at him, the morning light fresh and pale across our faces. I loved him. I knew it then.
We stayed there for three days. We drank and we fucked and we lay, tangled in the sheets, numb and soft from quaaludes and red wine. Nine months later we were living in Manhattan together, in a fifth floor walk up in the East Village. We lived there for four years. We were both bartenders. We drank and we drank and we drank. At night he lined up empty beer bottles along the base of the front door...a homemade burglar alarm. Sometimes, stumbling drunkenly to bed I kicked into them, the sound of hollow glass ringing through our little apartment.
I'm eating another Luna bar now. It's going to make me sick but I don't really care. It's a Chai Tea flavored one and not nearly as tasty as the chocolate ones.
Almost everyone I know drinks. And they drink a lot. There have only been a few times in the last ten years when I felt like my drinking was really out of sync with those in my social circle. After my Dad died and J. Ryan and I started dating my drinking amount didn't waver. It remained pretty steady at five to six days a week, 1-2 drinks on an average night, 5-6 drinks on a social night. We made it into more of a hobby by attempting to become something of a wine connoissuer couple. We went up to Los Olivos every 5 weeks or so, touring the vineyards, bringing home cases of wine to stock our little wine refrigerator with. It was fun and sophisticated and made drinking into a real activity, an event.
Ugh. Fuck. I can't believe I ate that last Luna bar. I feel sick now.
But that's my problem. I've always been like this. As much as I can get, as often as I can get it. I was a pack-a-day smoker from day one. I can still remember how much I loved that first cigarette. I was never going to be a social smoker. It was going to be cigarette after cigarette after cigarette and if it wasn't cigarette after cigarette then it was going to be drink after drink after drink and when I stopped that 17 days ago it became chocolate after cookie after candy after chocolate after cookie after candy after anything, fucking anything, just put it in my mouth.
So I quit that too. After a week of no drinking and bingeing on chocolate and sweets I threw it all out and went to Whole Foods and spent $150 on vegetables and vitamins and healthy soy products. I've been going to yoga or walking or doing the steps every day. When I really want to scream, when I really want to break something, when I really want to rip myself open and tear out my insides, I take a bath. And I sit there in the scalding water, candles lit all around, steam rising up, and I cry.
I'm not sure where I'm going with all of this yet. I've gone to a few AA meetings with a sober friend and while it helped in some ways, especially that first week, I'm not sure that AA is for me. I don't know how long I'm going to go exactly. My substance abuse class teacher asked us to give something up for the quarter, some kind of vice or habit, and I'd already gone almost a week at that point so I said what the hell and comitted to ten weeks of sobriety. I gave up sugar too...or at least any kind of sweets. I guess I just fucked that up with the Luna bar binge. How pathetic. I binged on fucking Luna bars.
So yeah. That's what's going on around here. A lot of baths and a lot of not drinking. It could be worse.