I will openly admit to drinking more than I should be lately. In the past weeks, I've had a lot of trouble sleeping, but if I stumble in the door with a head heavy with liquor, it's really not difficult. And I don't dream.
Well, not at first anyway. Something I've noticed is that when I come home after drinking, I crash into a nice, relaxing dreamless sleep. Then I wake up, which happens regardless of whether or not I've been drinking, simply because my bladder is the size of a peanut, sometime between 6 and 8 in the morning. I then go back to sleep and have the craziest dreams ever. No, really, this morning I was watching people swim around with fishing poles and comparing condoms with Cameron Diaz. It's like everything the alcohol stops me from dreaming earlier crashes into each other.
I get off track rather easily, don't I? Anyway...
I generally avoid drinking alone. Because if I'm hanging out with a friend and drinking socially it doesn't feel like I'm doing anything wrong. So as a compromise, I've been doing a lot of hanging out with people and drinking. One person in particular, who I'm sure is growing rather sick of me, has spent a good deal of time drinking with me in the past couple of weeks, both distracting me from my issues and helping me work through them.
He's smarter than I am, this much is apparent. Though I generally hate to admit that people older than me do often know better simply on the grounds that they have more experience. What's interesting is that we're looking for a lot of the same things in our lives, but going about it in completely opposite ways. At any rate, he's helping me recognize the things that I do need in my life, and the things that I don't.
And with that in mind, a little bit of the heartache I've been feeling has begun to fade.
The pain exploded, initially. It caught me by surprise, like a jarring blow to the side of the head that makes you see stars. And it burned so brightly that it was impossible to see past how much it hurt. All the things that I was losing - the time and energy and love I'd poured out - were gone forever. And the pain of that realization was blinding. And perhaps it was even blown out of proportion by the feeling of repetition, the voice in my head screaming "No, this can't happen again, not again, I can't stand to go through this again."
But at last, when I can look back honestly at the things I was glossing over, the shit I put up with, and the things I was giving up, I can almost hear my friend when he says that I'm going to be okay, and that it's better that I knew this now, instead of further down the road, and that I don't need someone like him in my life, and that it's his loss, that he didn't realize what he had in someone like me.
And I know that's the stuff your friends are supposed to say anyway. And I'm still waiting for the smoke to clear, I can't deny that. But at least, with every little heart to heart, I'm able to acknowledge that the smoke is going to clear. And that it hurts a little less.