Chapter 1 Page 2
As I open the garage door I can’t help but to expect her standing there in the kitchen, but she’s not. I pause for a second after I shut the door to see if I hear any movement. My stomach feels full. The beer is starting to kick in. There’s a slight warm feeling coming over me. I feel like I have sea shells against my ears now. The bags under my eyes are losing their pressure. The supersonic hearing is getting quieter and my anxiety is coming down. My trip back down the hall is a little more relaxed. My story becomes easier to tell at this point. If she were to ask why I’m up I can say I heard a noise. I’ve done it. I get back in the bed and pull the cold covers back over me. It takes seconds for them to warm up. I feel better. My mind isn’t racing so bad now.
It’s about three thirty and I have to be up soon. I try not to stress it. I’m out of beer now. I only have a few options. I think about the jobsite and what all needs to be done that day. Can I call out? What would be my story. This isn’t the first time by no means. I know I feel better now but I won’t in three hours. I need to get myself out of this heavy cycle. I need a day off to rest and not be so sick in the morning so I can make it to work. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. I look awful and I’m going to feel even worse, I just can’t go to work and have all these people asking me important questions and making decisions like this. I know. I’ve been doing this a while! So it’s decided I need to call out. I close my eyes and try to fall asleep.
What seems like minutes later my alarm starts going off. It’s five a.m.. I roll over and hit snooze. My wife’s alarm will go off in about forty five minutes. At that point she’ll ask me why I’m still in bed. I should be gone. I usually give her a kiss and tell her by long before she gets up to get ready for work. She’ll more than likely know. She’ll be mad. She’ll tell me I can’t keep doing this, I’m going to lose my job, we have bills to pay. I’ll tell her I know and that I’m sorry. She’ll remind me to call my boss and let him know what’s going on. I’ve gotten into a bad habit of not showing or calling. Why I’m not fired already I don’t know! Before she leaves for work she’ll make sure to let me know she’s not happy. Her approach to my drinking is to make me feel the negative effect of it as much as possible in hopes I will lay off. She doesn’t understand what I’m going through. Truth is at this point I don’t understand what I’m going through. She’ll leave for work and I won’t be far behind her. Headed to the gas station at seven a.m. to buy a case of beer. It’s an ugly sight. I’m shaky, sweaty, red in the face and beyond ashamed, yet I still do it. I often scope out the parking lot before I go in making sure I don’t see anyone I know. And while I’m in there I pray no one walks in. I would go to a store further away where I’m less likely to be seen, but not only am I desperate for the drink, the Jell-O feeling in my head makes me nervous I’ll get pulled over and get another DUI! I can’t handle that right now!
My plan isn’t to get drunk! I just don’t want to feel bad. I can’t handle it anymore. It makes me feel crazy. It’s like a panic attack mixed with schizophrenia on steroids.
At this point it’s around 2012 and I’m almost thirty years old. I’ve been drinking and doing hard drugs since I was a young teenager and it has never had this effect on me. Not this bad anyway. It’s Wednesday and I’m so sick this morning I can’t pull it together to go to work. Not cold sick, alcohol sick. Yet I keep doing it! The one thing that is making me so sick is the only thing that will make me feel better!
It’s a heavy cycle I’ve been in lately. I drink so hard through the weekend that it rolls into the weekday. Usually I feel like this Monday morning, but it’s gotten worse. I have a bad habit of calling out on Mondays, or leaving early. So much the guys at work call me Monday Mike. I usually do the same routine. I drink throughout the day on Monday to feel better, not to get drunk. Tuesday I make it to work feeling pretty rough, but I make it, and I only buy an eighteen pack on the way home and try not to drink it all so it’s a little easier to handle getting up the next day. Wednesday I try to only buy a twelve pack on the way home, usually. And so on. I literally have to wing myself down throughout the week. I usually try to start winging myself on Sunday so I can make it to work, but it doesn’t always work that way. By Friday I’m only drinking around twelve beers a night so I almost feel like a normal person again, only to start the cycle all over.