You know I’m not trying to be all nail-in-the-butt mopey Eeyore all the time….
but a week in the house to myself led me to contemplating some things beginning with watching coworker “Hot Stuff” go off the deep end on crank tied to her leg like a cement block…with that in mind here’s my life during the life of this blog outside of the Pub. Thanks for readership! Give me a day or two to get resettled and I’ll be back to my goofy wacky self with descriptions of my disturbing clientele and insane coworkers and my commentaries on other bloggers on food/beverage industry issues. Maybe this will help explain who I am better and where I come from. In the meantime, please check out my lovely friend and fellow class-act Cordelia at http://becausewerenotallthere.wordpress.com/ ! Thanks again to the Bitchy Waiter and the Slightly Cranky Waitress for featuring me on their blog roll and as a guest blogger! I got the biggest number of hits today than I have in the entire life of the blog combined!
As a bartender, the pressure to drink is ridiculous at times and some nights I go the entire time without thinking about the four bottles of chilled Rumpleminz….so easy to mix on ice with triple sec and sprite and keep in a to-go cup I typically keep my beverage of the evening (something like Monster or later, water) in. Obviously some nights I sweat as the taste of alcohol spilling across my tongue makes me shudder like a lover’s touch. I remember how I remind myself that I am an alcoholic….social drinkers don’t typically get aroused by the idea of drinking. For me it was the sole pleasure to depend on, good ol’ booze, the best and worst of times in a bottle, a best friend when I had destroyed everything I worked for.
I began my DUI classes earlier this evening and started attending A.A. meetings again at a local church last month. I spoke during the open discussion how hard it could be and someone reached over and patted me on the knee: a weathered and tanned older woman with sharp spiky hair and a flowery blouse, a warm Dr. Pepper in front of her, talked about how she was a cocktail waitress her first few years of sobriety. The older gentleman golfers in the corner sucked in a collective “oooh, oh man” when I discussed my livelihood.
I should be celebrating almost 150 days of sobriety but for three weeks in March I slipped up: I went out and drank one night when my parents and siblings were out of town and I had no accountability. My spidey-sense tingled that hanging out with this old ‘friend’ was the wrong idea and next thing I knew I was at a club in the city making out on the dance floor with an ex who screwed up my life and my head big-time, a half empty bourbon and sprite in one hand. I couldn’t stop drinking. Then me and this friend were half-naked in the front of an SUV in a dank and dirty parking lot by a church I used to attend many years ago.
So back to day one. For three weeks I drank in the evening when I worked. No more than four shots, no less than four. It made me dizzy, my head light and floating and my movements unsure. Then I got cut early one Friday night and I was shocked: I couldn’t go home tasting my alcohol! I went to the bathroom and made myself throw up a few ounces of Southern Comfort, rinsing out my mouth, washing my face, furious with myself for failing, angry, so angry, so sad.
I don’t like alcohol. It robs me of my focus, my intensity, my smile, the way I am in tune with my bar, my work and the mental juggling that is the Pub on a weekend. I couldn’t focus on schoolwork when I got home, the buzz wearing off. My tongue felt thick and I wasn’t sharp with a catty comeback, I felt delirious and feverish. No one knew I was buzzed, but I did. I almost threw away my job and a lot of other important things. I almost built the wall up between me and my life, pushed myself like a snail in a pretty shell away from the madding crowd.
So back to day one.
And then it was day two.
I promised myself when I woke up that I would lay my head down to sleep sober. I saw myself as a drinker and it wasn’t pretty.
So I recite the Serenity Prayer to myself, a ‘frozen text’ (a term from linguistics class in college) that holds a very powerful reminder than I can control myself and barricade away my addictions from destroying my life. When that’s gone I can deal with life as everything it was meant to be, thriving instead of surviving, hanging on to my last shreds of sanity with white knuckles, walking down the road on many a sleepless night contemplating throwing myself in front of a car or the time I tried to drink myself to death. The road to self-destruction wasn’t beautiful, kind or filled with bright colors and never-ending joy. My life is all of that….now. I can control myself and how I respond to the outside world, and that’s it, day by day.
And in doing so I am finally happy, hopeful for the future, and joyful. So instead of freaking out about the Dean vs. Eiffel debate, chafing under Bob’s authority or reacting when Peach’s old bouncer squeeze is talking about how he’s supposedly going to start bartending (oh hell no absolutelyfucking NOT) I recite the Serenity Prayer. I even sat down with Peach and apologized for coming across as defensive if she tries to correct me, reminding her that my pride and arrogance are my greatest downfalls, trying to make sure we’re always on the same page even when her personal issues seem to cloud her reaction to the ways of the Pub. I encouraged the Squeeze to practice his pours to help speed along his progress in ‘bar training’ and ramped up my speed behind the bar, and politely acquiesced to Bob even though he’s going down the wrong path.
I can only worry about myself and my life and how I respond to what’s in my way, nothing nor no one else.