The Saturday Night I Met Myself

In my drinking days, his being a practical stranger would have been the perfect rationale for me to swipe on some lip-gloss, grab my purse and follow him to the bar.

It’s not that long ago I would have said yes.

“I’m headed to the Train Wreck. Come with! You can’t just sit here on a Saturday Night!”

My girlfriend and I were settled on the couch, brownies in the oven. Leaving Utopia wasn’t an option. I could have made the excuse that I don’t drink, but didn’t bother. He was just a guy renting my guest room for the weekend; we’d probably never see each other again.

In my drinking days, his being a practical stranger would have been the perfect rationale for me to swipe on some lip-gloss, grab my purse and follow him to the bar.

There was an awkward pause after he asked…as though he couldn’t believe we would turn down his offer. How could we be satisfied sitting home, when we could be perched on a barstool next to him, indulging in the drink special of the night?

“Oh, you’re serious? Staying home on a weekend? Well, have a good night.”

We nodded and I said “Drive home safe. Call if you need a ride. Don’t drink too much and drive.”

My own response surprised me.

Who was I?

Where was the girl that would do anything to get numb and avoid reality?Even if it meant ditching her friend for an unattractive, unknown guy and a bar literally called the Train Wreck? Where was the girl who would shove the voice of reason so far down it couldn’t be heard, then walk out the door avoiding every flapping red flag?

What about the girl who by 8pm on a Saturday had already consumed a bottle of wine or some ungodly amount of IPA, but would still jump at the offer to drive everyone to the bar?

I was that girl. The girl who would trade a perfectly nice night at home with my dog and my friend, for a night of so-called adventure; even if it meant risking my safety, sobriety, and sanity. The so-called adventure never came to fruition of course. The most exciting thing that would happen was chatting up a greasy stranger and making plans which I had no intention of following up on, but for an hour or two they’d be my best friend and soul mate while we bullshitted at the bartop.

Eventually I’d realize I was the only one left, and after finagling one more drink out of the bartender, the “adventure” would continue: me driving home drunk, followed by a confusing sense of elation having made it home without getting pulled over. The elation would fade away with the drunkenness, leaving only a pathetic, fuzzy memory of secrets shared with my “new best friend”, a mouth resembling a cat’s litter box, and my self worth replaced with soul eating shame.

Ican still touch those memories.

I can reach back into them and experience the sadness and fear. It’s not a stretch to see myself in hindsight and pinpoint the exact minute a bad decision was made. I have a few lingering regrets and a ton of compassion for the hours I spent with my legs wrapped around a barstool.

But I don’t stay there. I don’t go under so far that it takes my breath and is a struggle to come back. Because while I might remember what she looked like and how she acted; I am in no way her any longer.

On this Saturday night, I realized how true this is. I’m the girl that genuinely feels excited for a night of brownies and SNL. Honestly concerned that someone might drink and drive, I’m the girl that offers to be D.D. (kind of halfheartedly, ‘cuz I’m loving my pajamas and no way do I want to leave my house past 9pm; but I do care enough to pick up if he calls).

I’m the girl that laughs louder and bigger and realer than I ever did drunk; that’s impressed by the new flavor of sparkling water in my fridge, that is grateful to be planted in my recliner with my dog. Not as a consolation prize either – thinking I need a break from all the partying I’ve been doing. This is the grand champion of Saturdays. This is the me that experiences zero FOMO when it comes to others’ weekend plans.

I’m the girl that looks forward to hangover- free, early morning runs and pancakes. That loves herself and her friends and shows it by not trading time with them for random male attention. The girl that doesn’t feel provoked, even when the drink invitation comes in the form of a dare. I’m the girl who does not for one second miss the smell of the inside of a bar; and who considers time spent at the Train Wreck a legitimate risk of becoming exactly that.

I didn’t know I was this girl…..and then suddenly, I did. Glowing gently from the inside, I found myself. I had been here all along.

There was nothing more I needed, and nowhere I needed to go. Nothing to numb, avoid or search for.

“You sure you’re staying home? It could be fun….”

And the girl who is ME answered uncompromisingly:

“Of course I’m staying home, everything I want is here.”

I’m the girl that’s recovered. Recovering. Recovered.

If you had any doubts, I’m living proof. We can and DO recover.

Cheers and Gratitude,

Tiffany

Thank you for reading! If you like what you read here, follow me @scrubbedcleanrn (IG and Twitter) and learn more about how to work with me as your personal Life/Recovery Coach at facebook.com/recoverandrise/

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Thank you for reading! If you like what you read here, follow me @scrubbedcleanrn (IG and Twitter) and learn more about how to work with me as your personal Life/Recovery Coach at facebook.com/recoverandrise/

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