I told everyone that I was a mess. They all believed me when I drank.
Every so often, each person is allowed to transform into a disaster. Emotions grow too much in a brief time and shift into a cyclone that overtakes life. The friction experienced in all of this causes rash decision-making, poor judgment, and alcoholic tendencies.
I fell into a hurricane with a ten-minute phone call. I spiraled into a mess. I had cried in public before, but usually the tears were accompanied by laughs and mixed drinks bought by many men. This time was different. My face smashed together and turned orange as my lips met my nose. I could barely feel my eyes, but I was sure that my cheekbones had absorbed them.
After a public meltdown like that, you are no longer ashamed to sob in public.
I cried everywhere. I hiccupped words to order my drinks. My eyes welled as I flirted. I sobbed as I was brought into strange places to sleep. It was great. And by great, I actually mean awful.
The only way I could combat the emotional swells of tears was with the use of copious amounts of alcohol. I viewed each day as an opportunity to get hammered. Every evening was a new chance to forget my life with shots and wine.
I really don’t remember too much of this time. I know that I had “fun”, but I was never really present. My activities acted more as a concealer than as a solution. However, it was what I needed.
Every person in my life tried to grab me underneath my armpits in order to pull me out of the hurricane. They did so by inviting me to farmer’s markets, movie nights, club meetings, and parties. While I appreciated each invitation, I knew that I had to wait for the storm to pass in order to become my regular self.
It took several months for the storm to crawl through my lungs and veins. When it finally passed, I was not back to my regular self. I had been twisted by the hurricane. While I could still look similar to the person I was before, I was marked.
For another month, I attempted to smooth over these scars with shallow friendships and unsatisfying hookups, but each indent clearly showed. I became upset when I realized that I could never go back.
Then I started to embrace my marks. They were signs that I had survived the storm. They demonstrated that I made it through the worst period of my life. The scars were signals that I was becoming the person I wanted to be.
You can never dip your toes into the lip of a storm. You can rarely hear the warning sirens, urging you to evacuate. It will just overtake you. You will try to duck and cover, curl yourself in a ball and deny the existence of rain. But it will pour until you recognize it. It will look like it is destroying your life, but it is not. It’s just molding you into the self you need to become.