I have an affliction: I am very skilled at purposely producing failure.
This is not a good thing. I suppose, above everything else, it’s best that I recognize it and accept it.
I suppose, also, it’s fitting for me to write this while I’m drinking. For good reason, I promise. Why? Well, I shouldn’t be drinking at all. Because I know better. No, no, it has nothing to do with alcoholism (though it runs in my DNA). But it does fit highly into my incessant need to seek failure rather than success.
Ah, where to begin. Drinking is my vice. My lovely mistress. I like alcohol, not because of the wonderful flavor, but also how it makes me feel – loose, carefree, and apparently a seer of all things the Universe has to offer. It’s interesting all the answers I can come up with when I have the benefit of beer and spirits.
I’m good at forgetting pain. I’m good at slicing my wrists and pretending it’s just a scratch. I’m a pro at jumping off a bridge and expecting to land on my feet. Because denial.
Recently I experienced ONE OF THE WORST instances of gout. I won’t even explain what gout is – look it up if you’re unfamiliar. It was…volcanic. Incendiary. Two weeks of being nearly incapacitated, missing work. Four more weeks waiting for it to slowly dissipate. A glacial pace. Pure torture.
Gout is exacerbated by several issues, two major culprits being alcohol and meat. My life’s blood, basically. But this past experience…I made promises to myself. I’d quit drinking forever. I’d cut out meat completely. And I did. For almost two months I let them go, waving as those two wonderful parts of my life bid farewell.
I drank almond milk smoothies for days. I ate vegetables like candy. I could swim in the amount of water I consumed. No meat, no booze. The gym became my new friend. Because of course I’d need to find an addiction to replace the booze, the horrible food. Just one more thing to dive into. I worked out, I lost weight. My skin glowed. I slept like a baby. I had the energy of an adolescent. I was, as they say, a new person.
But then, there it was, a glass of beer. Why not one? ONE can’t hurt. Maybe two? The gout flare-up had finally subsided. I could walk without a limp, do my job with ease and success. The gym had become as familiar as a comforting blanket. So what could ONE DRINK hurt?
Even as I write this I have a minor gout flare-up in my knee. What does it fucking take for me to learn? I can actually picture myself crawling to the bathroom because that last flare up was so bad. Yet I have no qualms about picking up another beer, simply because the pain – get this – has gone away. My skills of denial put even Donald Trump to shame.
The failures I inflict on myself are multiple. I work out, lose weight, and stop as soon as I see results. I write vigorously for weeks, pleased with what I’ve created, only to set it aside because I “need a break.” And this, the drinking. Will it take another massive flare up of horrific pain for me to realize the joke I’m making of myself?
I write this because I need to hold myself accountable. If no one reads this…at least I know it’s here. I knew, realistically, I’d have a drink again. I didn’t quit because I thought I couldn’t live without alcohol – I quit because of my health. But dammit, even all the benefits – great skin, sleeping well, losing weight, being happy, enjoying work – don’t seem to be ENOUGH for me to recognize the failure booze induces!
Let’s see what tomorrow brings because, even at this rate, I’m not entirely sure.