Yesterday, I decided it was time to go clean up. As dramatic as it may seem, I had left my own home to completely separate myself from surroundings that both triggered my alcoholism, and made it comfortable as well. I had left pretty abruptly, a backpack full of random clothes, my keys, and my wallet. That’s how fast I needed to get out of there, before I fell farther into the pit of gloom I was in. Fortunate is a minimal word to describe my situation, as I had a family I could call.
In order for me to get my car titled and registered, I’d needed to visit and collect some documents to get the ball rolling. There was no way around it, unless I wanted to have a car sitting in from of my house with dead tags. This meant opening the door into the dungeon that was my room, and I knew it was an absolute disaster that needed to be cleared. I knew there were probably about 15-20 cans strewed across any open surface, some dishware that hadn’t been washed, and there were clothes everywhere. When I left, I looked back and took a snapshot of it for myself, never again.
The drive to my house from where I’m staying is about an hour, which seemed like four. I planned it so that my roommate wouldn’t be home to avoid any conversation regarding my departure, etc.. He knew I was headed out of the house for a while and why, but speaking of the matter wasn’t something I was ready for. We pulled up and everything looked as it always does. Bodhi was sitting in the window and spotted me walking up to the house, he lit up, and it was a welcome site. A dog managed to alleviate some of my anxiety and proved to be a great distraction while I was in the house. Amazing creatures.
Walking in, it was the same as usual. Subdue the dog from his manic state as if he’d not seen me in 2 centuries. Following, I stepped down into the kitchen and immediately, my eyes darted to where the bottle of liquor is usually kept. Jim B. and I had a bit of a stare down while I was reaching for the mailbox key. The last time I was in that corner of the kitchen, I was tipping the bottle upside down to swig the rest of a bottle I didn’t buy. The moment was brief, especially because Bodhi hadn’t been pet in over an hour and this was not acceptable.
Mail, junk for the most part, was thrown into the recycling bin which was pretty much empty, you know, because I hadn’t been home. How the hell could I fill that thing up so fast in a few days? The next step on my checklist (yes, I made one and yes they help) was getting into my room and clearing out what was the result of my bender. Trash bag in hand, I opened the door to what seemed like a stagnant memorial of a miserable human. The air was still and had a slight odor from the plates of unfinished food the and stale remnants of flat, warm beer.
I took the scene in, creating a memory that I’ll purposefully never forget and began to clear the surfaces of my little domain that were littered with cans and bottles. I almost took a picture, but I decided otherwise because my memory will serve more than enough. There weren’t as many as I’d prepared myself for, but one by one I trashed the incredibly empty cans (I was getting every single bit of booze I could). Bodhi watched in curiosity, peculiarly calm as if he knew my process wasn’t exactly an enjoyable one, and that I felt pretty down. Every so often, I’d lean over and give him a rub, his demeanor was comforting and reassuring. Again, incredible gifts to the world.
The last time I was here, I was sitting on the edge of my bed contemplating whether or not I could make it to the store and back in order to slug one or two hundred ounces of beer before my pops showed up. I spent an hour moving from the window, back to my bed, checking to see if I remembered socks, and back to the bed again. I recall that hour or so feeling like a week, but I fought the urge and abstained from intake of anymore drink.
I filled a trash bag, the majority of it being the cans I had polished off a few days before, with some lingering waste I had been too lazy to pick up during my escapades. The last two actually had beer in them, and the weight of the cans surprised me, and I asked myself how I’d have missed that when I was frantically searching for anything with an ABV above that of orange juice. Quickly, they were poured down the bathroom sink and that was the last of it. The bag wasn’t heavy and had a very distinct, yet familiar noise as Bodhi followed me down the stairs, seemingly proud of me. Out the front door, and into the recycling! I had filled that thing up myself for the last time. It was a triumphant feeling.
Eager to get more done that day, I quickly ran up the stairs with a jump I hadn’t had in a long while. I wiped everything down, watered my plants and fed Dwight the beta fish. My list was completely checked off and I was ready to move forward with the day. I glanced at my room again, pleased that I had tackled what seems like a mundane and normal task to most, but an important one for me. As I smiled, I closed the door again to return an even better person than before. I gave Bodhi some more love, gathered my things and locked up. Slinging my bag over my shoulder, I smugly walked down my steps as if I had just conquered a great enemy. Slipping into the car, I said “it’s done, lets go.” Off we went, another step accomplished in completely moving on.
What began as an anxiety ridden car ride to the last place I had consumed ended with a chuckle over black coffee, my new favorite at the moment. “How bad was it?” my dad asked. “Not nearly as bad as I’d thought or remembered, but when you’re completely out of touch with everything, how could I know?” I said.