For many years, I was fooled. I thought I deserved a pint of vodka (ok, a liter to be honest) or a glass of wine (or a box…ok!). The days had been long for me in high school and college…so long in fact, that often they blended together so two to three days were really just one long ass day. I worked hard (so I told myself) and I had a work-study job delivering mail to the dorm mailboxes on campus which made me super tired. Plus, it took every iota of concentration that I could muster up to understand what my political science professor was even saying. Mostly I slept through that class as a last-ditch resort to make it through unscathed. Dammit, I had a full course load and I needed to take care of myself!
I am unsure of how I so eloquently convinced myself that a stiff drink at the end of the day was the self-care I deserved. My personal motto, which I recited to myself at the end of most days, was, “I deserve a drink after such a long day (insert any potentially stressful hardship that I created in my mind)!” In addition, I could also be heard saying, “If you had my life, feelings, situation, you would drink too.” I believed all that I told myself and others. I believed that lining my pants with alcohol to pre-game with friends in another dorm before a party was a perfectly good self-care action after I just walked 2 miles. That was hard work. I recited over and over that I would pay off those credit card bills I was racking up on liquor, explaining to my ego that I deserved a drink and how else would a poor college student like myself afford it anyway? I was operating under the influence of my broken mind which told me that this was also just me taking care of myself. Ultimately, I chocked it all up to self-care. I was pretty cunning and convincing to myself. I often felt as if the only way I could make it through a class, a week, a semester, a crisis, or a feeling was knowing that I had a glistening, very large frosty liter of Goldschlager waiting for my sorry ass in my dorm fridge, those tiny gold specks hypnotizing me into believing I wouldn’t survive without it. It was just waiting for me to swig it ever so feverishly so that I could…gasp…move on with my life.
Looking back upon what I can remember (and most of it is sort of a range of gray to black out with fuzzy, unsorted memories lining the poor abused hippocampus of my brain), that feeling of deserving to drink was a well-earned reward. I do not recall how it came to be that I formulated this logic or how I thought it made perfect sense. Truth be told, even today, it kind of makes sense still, but the more healthy infrastructure of my very being has learned a great deal about addiction. I learned that self-care is something quite different from what I once thought it was and how I chose to care for myself in the 1990’s. Sadly, it took me many, many years and painful work to realize that self-care is not ten Kool-Aid shots at a dance club in Boston where the cool, cement sidewalk became a pillow for my passed out body and mind. I was able to rationalize that this type of behavior was acceptable. I was able to forget enough of it that I could continue the insanity for many years to come.
Fast forward this tape to 2017. Self-care has taken on an entirely new definition and has illuminated my world in a much different, more healthy light. I have chosen to blog about self-care and its many facets because I believe in all my heart that it is an extremely important topic. I also believe that there are other people out there, like myself, who believe that drugs and alcohol are appropriate forms of self-care. There are others who may not have received the proverbial self-care manual with yoga poses, green tea remedies, meditation techniques and gratitude journals all outlined as appropriate ways to take care in stressful times. This manual would have been helpful and I believe I ended up in the line in the Bronx where other, more sedative like remedies were being handed out.
This blog will cover many topics and include guest posts, cited information, personal reflections and stories, techniques, life hacks, etc. to ultimately provide my amazing readers with a relational perspective. I thrive on constant learning, inspirational quotes, humor and art which will also be incorporated into my blog. I would love for you to subscribe, of if you do not want to receive reminder emails from when I post, you can also visit frequently, comment, add information, challenge me, share stories.
This is part of my self-care: reflecting, thinking about what I’ve learned, sharing with the world, creating a culture of love, hope, and inspiration. If there is any aspect of taking care of myself that I believe in most of all, it is that we need each other. It is a necessity for me to connect with like-minded trustworthy people. Please be a part of it.