I’ve been sober for nearly a week and although I’m seeing lots of benefits I am positively and absolutely fucking knackered.
Sleep has been a real struggle, I have a sudden rush of energy and an activation in my brain like a switch that has lay dormant during my booze fuelled haze has been triggered and gone in to overdrive.
I’m putting loads of washing in, replying to emails, online shopping. Getting shit done, all before 4am. But this newfound productivity and energy does not bode well when you have to adult in the day. I’ve done one of the busiest shifts of my bartending career running on 2 hours sleep and both laughed and cried hard when Mila filled the bath and flooded the downstairs this week.
(I’m pleased to report I’m finally getting forty winks and feeling like a new woman for it.)
So for a couple of nights I’ve laid, like so many times before, listening to the morning birds in their song in hopes the sandman will finally pay me a visit. But this time I lay here feeling serene and grateful for the birdsong despite my lack of sleep. I smile at their call. Because this time I’m not trapped in a personal hell created by hours of ‘partying’.
You see when there’s an occasion, a gathering of friends, after the first crate is gone and it’s time to go home, for some of us the thirst remains. The ‘hardcore’ amongst us must continue into the night, and it usually takes us to someone’s kitchen.
My kitchen, friends’ kitchen, a stranger’s kitchen. Who gives a shit as long as there’s beer and drugs. Have you been? To the kitchen party?
The dimmed lights. The air thick with smoke. People wearing strange mismatched outfits. People wearing no outfits at all (usually me). Fun songs becoming increasingly obscure and stronger in deep base, as we shuffle across the lino, bopping our heads to the beat as we search for the nearest ashtray, the next line or yet another beer. You have a deep meaningful conversation with a complete stranger who you will pass in the street a week later when you’re going about life and both mumble a ‘hello’ or an awkward smile then focus on the floor, moving away as quickly as possible.
The party must end of course and we must get home not long after dawn. We must not, under any circumstances be spotted by the day folk! Our already anxious fucked up state will only be worsened by the old lady on the way for her 6am paper observing us with both pity and distaste written all over her face.
Then comes the hell, the time I am left alone just me, myself and I. My fellow kitchen dwellers already deep in slumber. But I am alone. In the dark. My thoughts spiralling out of control. Every mistake I’ve ever made. Worst case scenarios. My heart about to beat out of my chest. I’m scared I’m going to lay here and die. I shiver and curl into a small ball. I pull the covers around me. I am terrified. I am in hell. I want to die. Every. Single. Time.
Yet I continued to repeat this pattern, I continued to follow the crowd or shout ‘let’s go back to mine’. The fear of missing out gripping me in it’s icy clutches and leading me once again in to the darkness.
I no longer fear missing out on the kitchen party. I now fear missing out on sleep. Missing out on a day with my children. Missing out on money I would waste on poison. Missing out on my sobriety. Missing out on smiling when I hear those birds calling for the day to begin instead of end.
The kitchen is the heart of the home. Choose wisely how you treat your heart.
The Sober Barmaid x