It was two years ago. Two years to date. I made one decision. One decision that changed it all. Everything. The entire direction my life would go in. All the people in it. And who I am.
I was laying in the small pullout bed of the camper, one leg on the floor, attempting to steady myself as the entire room spun around me, the contents of my stomach threatening to expel themselves everywhere. Why was I here?…. again? The same place I’d spent every weekend, if not multiple times a week, for the past decade. Drunk. Wasted. Fucked up. Again.
I don’t know what made it worse, the darkness of the camper or the darkness within my heart. A thick, black blanket draped over everything.
As the room spun faster and my mind grew darker, I couldn’t hold it down any longer and, running outside into the bushes, I hurled what was left in my belly on to the grass. Heaving until there was nothing left to get out, and then heaving some more.
I sat, crouched in a squatted position, staring at the ground. My head resting in the palms of my sweaty hands, remnants of vomit spotting my mouth. I squeezed my eyes shut, sobbing, I felt the warm tears stream down my face. The salty drops landing on my lips.
“Please help me.” I whispered to the darkness. “Please….”
I don’t know who I was begging to save me, but my plea was desperate.
I stumbled back to the camper, crashed once more back into the bed where I tossed and turned through my stomach pangs to the morning. As I awoke, I tried to decipher what hurt more, the aching swell that ran throughout my entire body or the aching sadness that lay in the pit of my heart. The anxiety. The disappointment. The guilt. The anger. The shame.
That afternoon, during the two hour solo drive home from the camp out, I had a lot of time to sit with that shame. That sadness. That anger. I had a lot of time to feel the depths to which I’d abused my body the night before and while the color was returning to my face, the internal pain was only deepening.
That was the last night I ever drank.
On that drive home I made a decision. One decision. That would change everything.
I sit now, looking back on that day two years ago. In my mind I travel back and give that scared, helpless little girl squatted in the bushes a giant, loving embrace. I tell her that everything is going to be alright.
EVERYTHING is going to be alright.