I'm ready to call it quits today. That's what I was saying and have been saying every single time I've gotten super wasted over the past few months. We give writers credit for living the lifestyle, but we never want to actually talk about what it means to have your mind made up about certain topics . . . until I met him.
This kind of thing isn't often talked about in the arena of nightlife and drinking, because let's be real, when it comes to nightlife, everything revolves around drinking. But the reality is that those who understand what it means to be teeter-tottering on the edge have openly talked about it.
In October of 2017, I wrote about how I decided to take the month off from drinking; call it a #refresher. I kept everyone looped in on my progress and thoughts each week while still trying to stay engaged with the allure of the night.
Well, here I am, almost eight months later, with the same questions on my brain. Should I use money as an incentive to stop drinking? Is my man the best reason why I should stop drinking? Should I try yoga as a meditative practice and alternative to an unhealthy lifestyle?
The past few months have been some of the best and worst months of my life: the perfect little ball of organized chaos, I guess you could say. And most days I don't know how to decipher the best answer to any of my questions.
Have you ever seen 28 Days, the movie starring Sandra Bullock in which she has to go rehab because her contentment with drinking had gotten to the point that she couldn't even function as her sister's bridesmaid? I watched it on one of those sober October nights and couldn't help but see myself in her main character.
In the movie, Bullock's character Gwen Cummings states, "Yeah, I know I drink a lot, I know I do because I'm a writer and that's what I do, I drink. I'm not like those people out there, I can control myself! I can, if — that — if I wanted to, I could, if I wanted. I can! I can!"
I watched her say that and wondered if I was the same person, even after being able to take a month off without any problem. Some of my best work has come from nights of drinking. Stimulated by hundreds of thoughts and inspiring conversation, I find myself staying up until the wee hours of the morning just to write — a task that I have a harder time doing in the middle of the day when I should be most productive.
I also thought about my best friend, who just moved to Pittsburgh, about how she came into play with those October articles I wrote. Recently, I had asked her again if she thought I was an alcoholic and she assured me that she didn't believe I was.
But the fact remains, I'm still struggling to find total happiness.
If you're a night owl like me, you know there's a stillness at the end of the night, post-drinking, that can't be refuted or ignored. No matter how annoyed I am at a political or personal conversation, or someone's negative energy, I keep going. And when my mind goes to #theUpsideDown, I can only wonder if it's because of the alcohol or if the alcohol is just intensifying feelings that already exist.
The other day I was driving through Plaza Midwood and noticed a building I hadn't noticed before, with a couple people sitting on a porch. For some reason, I immediately knew what it was: a support group. A gentle reminder that there are safe places where people who are struggling can go.
I thought back to the man who wrote me a couple years ago now; he wondered what an AA crawl would look like. I'm thinking now that it wouldn't be the worst idea, though not something for print. At the time I thought writing about it would be taking advantage of the resource. Now, I'm not so sure I shouldn't take that crawl — privately.
But I digress, I'm just reaching a point in my life where awareness is critical to making the right decisions moving forward. I want to continue to have meaningful interactions in nightlife with patrons, owners and the people I love.
Transitioning from #vamplife may never happen, but finding the best ways to make the most of that lifestyle will continue to stay at the top of my mind.
If you've ever struggled with finding the perfect balance between nightlife and drinking, share it with me in the comments section below or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.