Ahhh, the smell of spilled beer soaked into the carpet and cigarettes wafting in from the patio.  I chose this before heading home for the night.  A choice that will have many loved ones on edge.  Hell, it has me on edge.  I am more stressed at the happy hour bar than the stress that made me stop here.

It’s not that I don’t drink because I do.  4-6 beers on the weekend in the house.  No bars, no driving, no shots, no one nighters named Rob, Mike, Tim or Leo, no binging, no blackouts.

I have had a horrible day  on two fronts.  One is just the silliness of having had plans that got canceled and when you spend all day looking forward to meeting someone after work, that feeling doesn’t change just because their plans changed.  The other is a pretty serious beating I can no longer pretend isn’t happening.  And it’s just so emotionally painful, so uncalled for and so something I am powerless to fight.  When you are a fighter in life, it’s mentally deadly to encounter something you have to admit you can’t fight.  It’s an extreme failure and affront to who I am.

I used to cry in my 20s.  Fight with the boyfriend = crying.  Fight with my dad = crying.  Weight gain = crying.  Boyfriend cheated = crying.  Messy kitchen = crying.  And all were accompanied by smoking at the time as well.  And Taco Bell or island whimpies or Bickfords.  I was depressed, got a therapist and went on antidepressants.  Still cried but maybe not so much at the kitchen.

I don’t remember when I stopped crying or why.  My body certainly feels like it needs to.  I do tear up sometimes but I don’t just let loose and cry.  In fact, I look for ways to stop it or stuff it back in.  Except no more Camel Lights, no more Bickfords, no more whimpies.  Occasionally, Taco Bell which I can only find when drinking.

The misconception here is that I am trying to suppress my feelings but that’s not it.  If you follow this blog or are on my Facebook you know I face my feelings as closely as I would if I rolled over in bed to kiss another person’s face.  It’s that I am afraid to let myself cry because I think it would weaken me physically and for some reason that terrifies me.  Like if I let my body just collapse into a pile of skin and bones, I can never reassemble.  

By 10:45 today I was doing breathing exercises to water down an anxiety attack I could feel coming on which didn’t align with my 11 am meeting.  By 4 today, I felt like I could actually collapse.  Driving home in the car, I felt like I could cry.  But I also felt like if I started, I wouldn’t stop…. for days.

So I am drinking and promising myself to stick to my 2 beer minimum, no hard liquor, no shots, no Taco Bell.  But I make no promises about a Rob, Leo, Mike or Tim because if that distracts me from crying, I have no shame in taking it.  I always know within 20 minutes of entering a bar which guys are watching me and trying to decide when to zero in.  There are 2 right now.  I will not cry.