The elephant in my blog. I have been hesitant to write about my drinking. Why?
Well, because for the longest time, I knew it was a problem but I didn’t have the proper perspective to talk about it. When you are living in the cloud of inebriation, you know you can’t properly talk about it. So, I talked about other things. Things I could wrap my head around.
Things really came to a head about a year ago, when my hormone prescriptions were stopped, and then a close family member attacked me with such overtly transphobic comments and actions, I was intellectually comatose for roughly six months after. When my brain is misfiring because of dysphoria I can feel it. I know what it feels like when it hits and I know when it lifts. It is unmissable.
Before this transphobic event, I was doing OK, and I almost had my drinking under control. After the event, I got hit with a dysphoric bout the likes of which I had never experienced before. Which made Mr. Hyde come out whenever I drank. Mr. Hyde is the name I give to my self-destructive, dysphoric self. Yes, he is a man. Confusing? Try living it.
This transphobic attack came at a time when I was unmedicated so I was incredibly vulnerable. Until it happens to you, you just wouldn’t understand. I too once thought names could never hurt me, only sticks and stones. But what if that person controls the roof over your head? What if that person is related to your spouse? What if you are unmedicated at the time and suicidally depressed without your prescriptions? Then suddenly the simple act of name calling, and the negation of your very existence can hold an immense power over you. I get it now. And it is fucking humiliating to know I let someone have that kind of power over me when it could do the most damage.
The first thing I did after this transphobic encounter? I went to the bar, got piss drunk, then picked up a case of beers on my way home so I could continue drinking myself into a stupor.
People say you get honest when you drink. This isn’t exactly the case for me. Yes. I am more likely to say things I would think twice about saying sober… but honest? No. Not exactly. Mr. Hyde takes the controls from me and tries to destroy all I hold dear so when I regain control, I have more reason to want to continue the cycle of alcoholic destruction.
Somehow, I managed to escape my first 37 dysphoric years relatively unscathed but round two was rough… even though it only lasted a few months. Mainly because I thought I had put that shit behind me. Six months of making an ass out of myself. Damaging relationships and generally being a fucking drunk.
So I finally quit being an addict.
And I am here to tell you, sobriety fucking sucks. I now get to look at my past clearly, and feel years worth of emotions I denied with drink. Good times. Lots of shame and whatnot.
The thing about my alcoholism/addiction is it was dysphoria induced. It wasn’t just that I liked to drink but that Mr. Hyde controlled me when I drank. Mr. Hyde reminds me a lot of a drunk Donald Trump. I don’t like him. I loathe being him.
So how am I to process things my body did when it feels like someone else was in control?
Even sober, once dysphoria lifts, it feels like all those things I did while dysphoric were a dream. My memories of those times lack clarity and fade very quickly. There is a disassociation between me and my actions as Mr. Hyde. Like I know I did them but I also know I had no say in the matter. Like being a passenger in my own fucking life.
I am going through another puberty. Probably not the best time to alter my mind with alcohol.
So here I am. Sober.
Fucking bitter that someone close to me abused me when I was weak and at the same time, upset at myself because I let it get under my skin and fester.
Bitter about the relationships I damaged along the way. Mad at the people who abandoned me while fully accepting and understanding their need to flee.
Bitter about the two close friends who killed themselves while I was helpless to be there for them… one of them was very close.
Confused as to how much blame I should give myself for my own fucking actions when I know full well my brain was not functioning properly through most of it, drunk or not.
Livid that I am not able to talk fully about the transphobic encounter that sparked this latest dysphoric bout, for the sake of my own transphobic family members’ dignity.
Accepting of the fact that people just don’t know how to help me when I am in my darkest places. When I need the most help. When I am begging people for it.
Yes, I will still have the (very) occasional drink… something recovering addicts tell me is impossible to do. Fuck ’em. My need to drink to get drunk is gone so if I have to have an obligatory beer in a social situation, I will have one and stop after that. It is suddenly the easiest thing in the world for me to do.
If my wife wants to have some wine, I watch her have some wine without feeling left out or craving a glass (or box) for myself. My desire to be drunk is entirely gone and with it, Mr. Hyde has gone away too. It isn’t one day at a time for me. It is just done. In the past.
So here I am. Finally. Without the evil guy trying to take the controls from me. Without him making my life and relationships so bad, death seems like the more viable option. I am finally in control. That my sound like an overconfident statement but really, I have little experience being in control of my life so I am pretty shitty at it right now… but better me than Mr. Hyde. That creepy, needy mix of alcohol and dysphoria is gone for good.
And it still sucks. But it sucks far less than it did when the damage was spiraling out of control. Now it sucks like cleaning up after a messy party. Except that messy party is my life.
I think I am turning a page, one that allows me to leave the worst of my past behind and finally progress into the great unknown.
My dreams of being an acting professor can finally be addressed and pursued… although, with my rocky past, and willingness to talk about it, it may be a tough sell for some schools, but there has never been anything I wanted to do more with my life.
Theatre trained me to live life with relish, to seek new experiences and soak them in, to be myself and to learn from my mistakes. It is an art form where even your past mistakes come in handy because characters you play also make similar kinds of mistakes within their stories.
So, this next chapter in my life is coming into focus. It is time to blaze a path through this purgatory of guilt and regret for my past mistakes and misdeeds as quickly as humanly possible, so I can finally pursue the life I always wanted before dysphoria mixed with alcohol all but stripped it away.
Scary shit, and exciting… and now, with 100% more boobs!
Wish me luck,