I'm not much of a drinker. Not because of the hellish hangovers I endure, cuz I never used to get those. Yesterday though, I swear I got all the hangovers due to me from my whole life. More specifically, due to me from my teenage years as a fledgling alcoholic.
No, I don't drink much because I'm not very good at it.
Years ago and in an effort to improve my form, I drank an awful lot but alas, my form never improved. It's not that I'm an embarrassing or nasty drunk or anything, it's just that when I drink, I get very, very tired. I don't pass out, not in the real sense, and I'm a whole lot of fun for the 2.5 seconds I'm both tipsy and
conscious. I'm very pleasant and just like I am now, but a little more so. And then I fall asleep.
Back in the day when my best friend drank brandy and dry and I drank half scotches and coke, every Sunday we'd watch our boyfriends play indoor cricket from the bar conveniently located upstairs. The view of the pitch was so much better from there. Ahem. She effectively drank four times as much as me, what with having two brandies to my one half scotch, but by the end of the ninety minute game, I'd have my face in the chip bowl and she'd still be sober.
There's a three minute window of opportunity between me being tipsy and me catching zeds, and that window usually occurs after the second drink, so a word of advice to any of you sleazeballs out there who happens to meet me in a bar. If your intention is to get me drunk so we can have anonymous drunk sex, try someone else. Or work fast. Your choice.
All in all, I'm a real two pot screamer, which for the uninitiated (and the unAustralian) is what we call someone with a low tolerance for alcohol, who is easily intoxicated, and who is a cheap drunk. My maternal grandfather was the same, and he was over six feet tall. My teenie weenie grandmother, on the other hand, could drink an elephant under the table. My mother inherited the wowser gene, and passed it on to me. If there's a specific enzyme that allows for the efficient metabolism of alcohol, I swear, there are three generations of us that don't have it.
Friday night started out as a regular, white bread evening like any other evening at casa di aibee. Stef came over-and it all went downhill from there when, for no good reason other than 'I have Vodka!', I drank a few buckets of the stuff, with coke, hold the ice. I think I decided to drink that much because my judgment was impaired by the several hundred Archer's Spris I'd already had. Usually and in all seriousness, I'm asleep after just one of those babies, so maybe the speed they went down had something to do with my ability to fit more in before I hit terminal velocity?
I wish I could make the story more interesting than that, but it isn't. I drank because I was really, really sad. Being sad had something to do with the Stef being very, very late, and nothing to do with me being a controlling ball breaker who demands punctuality because I'm not that person, not at all. It has something to do with this not being the first time, not by a long shot, and a lot to do with not wanting to kid myself that Stef cares about me anymore. Stef didn't even realised I was sad, as I'm a very self contained little unit who deals with her emotions by rationally rationalising them.
That last bit may make more sense if you drink three beers then come back and read it again.
I'm not stupid and I know the relationship we have is based on bullshit. I know I pretend I matter to him. He says he cares about me and wah wah wah, but what he says and what his actions say are diametrically opposed. I know all this, but for one night every two weeks, I like to pretend I matter to at least one person on earth.
I don't want to pretend anymore, and even though this was all make believe, there's still a sense of loss in letting it go.
That's not to say that I won't see him again. I'd like to say I won't, but know I will. It's still easier to be reminded of my insignificance than it is to feel insignificant because no one else knows I'm alive. Geebus gawd, that sounds so sad and pathetic when really and truly, I'm neither of those things.
Maybe I can explain.
I'm not a bad person, or even a boring one. I'm very friendly and outgoing and people who meet me invariably really like me. I am, however, habituated to being solitary. I have been since I was twenty one. I hadn't been sick even a year when my parents left for Italy and my life became only mine. I don't know how they did that. Moreover, I don't know how I survived it, though learning how to rely only on myself is probably why I did. If I'd pined for my family's love, I doubt I'd have made it through. At that point, I weighed 33 kilograms and my life became one of daily binging and purging and when I wasn't doing that, I was starving. Every day was about excess and denial, and it went on and on and on. Though you wouldn't know it to look at me, I'm still working to overcome the ravages of those years.
My life isn't good yet. It's certainly much better than it was, but good? Not really, no. Thing is, it's harder now than it ever was. I think people assume that gaining weight meant losing the disorder so life can begin again. More importantly, I think I assumed that. What happened instead was I gained weight and the unbearable feelings that put me there in the first place were still there. They never went away, I'd merely starved them into submission. Now I have my future to worry about, my present to endure and my past to regret.
The hardest thing about overcoming my eating disorder is learning how to live like a normal, socialised human being. I spent so many years hiding my disease-my self
-from everybody that I don't remember how to not hide.
In every other area, I push past the boundaries of my comfort zone. I've known Stef for four and a half years, and during that time, my life has been in constant upheaval. He's been the one constant, and while it's not a satisfying relationship, it is predictable, and that, I suppose, makes it safe.
While all this may explain, at least in part, why I nurture a relationship that nurtures my sense of unworthiness, none of it describes the hangover I had yesterday, which was exquisite. I'm positive that if it exists, Hell will turn out to be exactly like Heaven, but with bigger headaches and a whole lot more bilious.