I loved my “I’m Party Trained” t-shirt and wore it with so much pride! It was always the talk of the evening as its hot pink letters would sparkle if the light hit them right! The words beckoned for attention, just as I did, outlined boldly in white, dancing across my tits as I would roar with overexaagerated laughter! Man, did I think I was hot shit, and cool as f*cking hell! And I suppose, to some of my friends slamming back the Coors Lights with me, I was.
I mean, seriously, what’s hotter than a sweaty chick, in a tight t-shirt, make-up smeared under her eyes, and sweat beading on her upper lip because she’s had far too much to drink? Did I mention my alcohol induced, shrieking voice that bellowed above the crowd? Or the cocky attitude that would make Jack Nicholson’s character from A Few Good Men look like a priest? Come on, you know I was the babe everyone wanted to take home! Who wouldn’t for I was the life of the party? I was “party trained!”
At least that’s what I believed as I would open another drink never willing to let the fun end. Most people realized when it was time to go because the party was over. Normal people would go home and sleep it off, but that was never something I could easily do. No, not me. I would be the last out the door, hoping the night would go on because God knew, I wanted to avoid what would inevitably come next.
You see, as the crowd died down, and there was no one left with whom I could laugh, I was left alone to face the demons within myself. Behind the images of a woman who appeared to love life and people, behind the perception held that I was a courageous, fun woman who was first to get on the dance floor, or strike up a conversation with anyone who wanted to chat, was a very sad, scared and angry woman, and the toxic mix of alcohol and emotional baggage usually resulted in the evening ending with that same “confident” woman hating on herself and anyone else that tried to intervene.
My anger at the tragedies that impacted my life, my fear of becoming a victim again of ANYTHING, my sarcasm, and my deep seeded need for release would cause me to implode then explode. Trauma and alcohol is a highly volatile combination. If you never knew this, consider yourself lucky and hope and pray you never find out how volatile it can be.
The beer pong playing, good time girl, who sank ball after ball into the red solo cups, sank into a deeper state of depression with each drink she forced the opponents to take! Behind the big smile, the robust laughter, and many reasons for celebration, there existed someone who hated herself so much because she felt like a fraud, a pathetic loser who desperately wanted to feel as happy as everyone around her appeared to feel.
Logically, she knew that alcohol was not her friend. She knew it for years, but God damn it did she want to drink like everyone else! F*ck did she want to be able to wake up the next day without shame or know when to say when. She cursed her inability to avoid a hangover that lasted for days when everyone else would rebound and be back to life the next day.
She tried over and over again to do it successfully, but always failed! So much for the party trained idea! She was failing and clearly needed more practice when it came to drinking! She needed a professional coach who could help her establish her drink limit, but as far as she knew, nothing like that existed.
Instead she spent many parties testing herself. Was it one glass? Nope. Two? Hmmm. Buzzed but room for more. Three? Quite possibly, but then again, maybe a bottle, if she added glasses of water in between each glass of wine? Nothing worked. And if she was really being honest with herself back then, she would have admitted nothing ever would. Sometimes in life, though, things happen precisely when they are supposed to, and they did.
Her precise time was 250 days ago, after another failed attempt at moderation, when something clicked. She realized she was never going to succeed at moderation. She knew eventually it would be the death of her, or her relationship with the man she loved, or the children she bore into this world. She knew she would never dare to risk it again. She was playing Russian Roulette with her life and wanted out of the game.
She didn’t drink to excess every day, not even every week or month, but when she found herself in a party environment, look out, that sweaty, cocky b*tch would come out and it was game on. That party girl needed to go away and never come back.
On the evening of March 7, 2021, she entered my home for the last time, fought with the man she loved, beligerenlty screamed that she hated her life and wanted to just die loud enough for her family and neighbors to hear. That night the party girl stumbled down the stairs to my bedroom one final time, fell into her bed, and passed out on a pillow drenched with tears.
Two hundred and fifty days later and guess what? My smiles are mine now. My laughter is organic now. My sadness is authentic and no longer exacerbated by alcohol. I am so f*cking proud of this woman I call me. I am so proud I want to cry, real authentic tears of joy, not sorrow.
I physically outgrew my former favorite t-shirt years ago, and I am finally proud to say, I have mentally outgrown it now too. I am 250 days alcohol free baby, and I am NEVER looking back. AMF “party trained” girl, this woman is training for the rest of her happy life now!