when did i stop being the hip, fun, having a blast galpal at the bar at rick’s cafe? the one who had a few glasses of wine with lunch because, well, there wasn’t any other obligation that was required of me besides an afternoon nap? this past thursday i was the gal so mortified by myself that all could do was hold my glass with both hands to quel the shaking. down the bar was a gal who came in every day. quiet, with the best manicure, older and dignified–but we both had our backs to the dining room where the real people, the people who are connected to each other, celebrated their meal.
i went on a bender. a thursday, friday, saturday day drink until it’s gone and then figure out how to get more bender. i lost the ability to pray. i had an appointment with an outpatient facility on monday morning. i just had to make it to that distant shore of ten thirty a.m. monday.
on sunday morning, i woke up ready to drink as soon as noon hit. that’s civilized, right? on a weekend, right? instead, i wandered around the apartment until i felt something like an electricified blue glow around my head. i know i fell but i don’t remember doing that. i dropped a glass of water, but i only know that because i woke up on the ground with the remains around me. i had had a seizure. something i had dreaded. i was a mess. i couldn’t brush my hair. couldn’t figure out the shoe situation. wallet and keys seemed a problem more daunting than d-day could have been to eisenhower.
i took an ativan. i started packing for monday. i drank with a friend, thinking i have to do everything in my power to stop the shakes. on monday, i made it to my appointment. and was sent to the emergency room. i’m now in the cardiac unit at evanston hospital. i have withdrawals.
for anybody who is thinking of quitting drinking, i have this: it doesn’t matter who knows, doesn’t matter if you feel you want to be anonymous or to hide yourself. what’s more important is to do what’s necessary (not that i even know what that is right now). you should also talk to your doctor about whether you’re at risk for withdrawals.
so i’m wearing a hospital gown that smells like desperation. i have quite a number of tubes coming out and into me. i’ve gained nine pounds in fluids overnight. i have no idea whether i have the strength to reach the distant shore. but i swim.