People fuck up. That is a damn sure fact. I have yet to meet a “perfect” person. I’m sure even Ned Flanders has some deep dark secrets in his life; secrets that haunt him. Sure, for him it might be that he spilled a cup of tea 14 years ago at a friend’s place and blamed it on the dog, but still. That shit will find you, haunt you, stay with you.
Here’s what I’m well, not ashamed, but pondering on coulda should woulda perhaps maybe done, do differently currently in my life:
- Drinking 3 bottles of wine (now graduation to 3,5) a night
- Messaging all my friends and colleagues with the most random things (mostly memes, occasionally deep thoughts, and way too often unsolicited life advice) after the forementioned wine intake
- Blacking out, texting a random dude on tinder, inviting him over, having sex, not remembering it the next day
- Spending 2k a month on online gambling sites putting my bank account on minus
The thing is. I do these things again and again and again. For a while I pretended they were not issues, then I realized they could be. Brush it under the rug I told myself! ..it is what I have done for years after all.
Solid advice for the first crumble or few – add years of that pile under the rug and it stands out, breaks.
The worst of it all, talking to people, whether on tinder with randos or on whatsapp with friends, and not remembering any of it the next day. I would not remember anything I said, wrote, promised. So what do I do when I wake up? I drown my head in the pillows, acknowledge I still have my phone beside me while secretly wishing it was magically stolen, and not go through my message and/or call history – nothing good is in there. So. Enter alcohol, the magical elixir of coping with shit I did with alcohol the last night.
And that’s just my last two nights, repeated over and over again the last two weeks, and the last two months..maybe more, surely for more. Don’t get me started on the past 36 years of my life and all the cringy moments I may or may not fully remember. …for example, the number of people that have come to me years later with “I still remember our kiss in xyz” is way higher than it should be. ….So offering that just as a example and using that purely to downplay my semi- and/ or more than – embarrassing moments…
And the logical choice after those acts and thoughts and after plays? Hide. Regret. Pretend it didn’t happen. Or, in my case nowadays; drink more to be drunk enough to see what I wrote to people when I was drunk.
That, my friends, is an excellent way to separate yourself from reality. Get drunk to do things, and then get drunk to “remember willingly” and deal with things you did while getting drunk as you can’t do that while sober. Ain’t that a fun circle of fucked up to live in?
Manage your damage.
So. Listen up! Time to establish some rules. It would be great to tell people to stop the shit they are doing but how realistic is that? People don’t just immediately get over their damage because someone says so. ..side note; fuck people who think it would be as simple as that… What we can do, should do, could do, is manage our damage. I have a gambling issue; I have set gambling limits on the websites that mean I cannot lose more than what I set as a loss limit. My drinking of black out times meet random tinder times – only once a week. Instead of wherever whenever (we’re meant to be together…..not…) I tell myself I can have one night a week to have too many drinks and have too many tinder chats. Should I go for non-tolerance? Maybe, but. Just like a kid, a candy day a week is what motivates, what keeps you from having candy every night. Consider it a pit stop for candyless future? Maybe. Better than candy-all-day, sure…maybe…
I’m not saying I will give these things up. Drinking, one night stands, gambling. I like them, but for damn sure need to limit them. And especially on the day after; not starting with need-drinks-so-that-I-don’t-feel-bad -shit. If things have gone over the proper limit of said things; had a drink too many and got sloppy drunk, slept with a colleague you should not have, gambled your life away…what ever your damage is; feel that pain, that damage. Deal with the emotional after math of it. Don’t hide, don’t pretend, don’t have drinks or shots to ignore it while moving onto the next one. Don’t feed the cycle. Manager your damage. Set them limits. Allow some of you and your past to exist while actively creating that pitstop for your future you.