***Submitted by Deb, who is a regular contributor at Crying Out Now
I am three people. One, the person before she has a drink. Two, the person who takes that first sip. And three, the woman waking up in the middle of the night panicked that she's circling the drain. The one who vows at 2AM to be a better wife, mother, liver of life. A liver of life who doesn't try to fade away every evening.
This is a relatively new split personality for me. Oh sure, I've always drank too much when I drink. One glass of anything? Not worth it. It's so much more fun when the glasses are endless. Conversations are more fascinating, kisses deeper, music louder. When I drink, it's as my life grows sharper, in technicolor, not fuzzier, as the truth may be.
Then, there's the fact that I'm a happy drunk. Life seems easier, so much simpler; so much less boring. My laughter is full and real. I get you, you get me. Things are better.
Or at least they were. The last two years, I've sat in a movie theater watching me on the screen from a seat in the distance. Seeing a woman who was flailing and grasping at alcohol; making it her lifeline; instead of making her life. This was about the time I began to drink every night. Only wine, you know. Only wine. One, two, three glasses. Never more than one bottle. But I was alone. I wasn't laughing. Life stopped appearing easier under the guise of alcohol.
That was about the time I realized I had a problem.
And still do.
But it's only wine. And never more than one bottle.
But I am alone.
I don't feel strong enough to put an end to it. To say no more. No more drinks at book club, no more wine with dinner, no more toasting at anniversaries, no more cheering at reunions. Alcohol is so intertwined with my life as to make it impossible for me to see my life without it.
This is where I am now. I am still three people, unsure how to make herself just one.