Really Shitty Five-Year-Old Advice
Do you ever go back and look over your old blog posts and just think to yourself: what the fuck was I thinking?
I do that all the time. I’ve been blogging for quite a few years (although not always consistently), and it’s inevitable that my mind and opinions will have changed as time has gone on.
That’s the worst thing about blogging, and having a blog on which you bare your soul for seven-odd years: people are always going to remind you of things you said. Even when you’d rather they didn’t.
There’s one particular blog post that gets pretty shocking comments every now and then. I’ve thought about deleting it a few times, but then I wonder what the point would be of having a blog at all if I did that. I didn’t really have a plan when I started it, and I haven’t always treated it — or my readers — in the nicest way, but it’s all been a learning curve. I’ve gone months and months without publishing a single post and published blog posts that didn’t make a lot of sense, but I’ve always been honest. That’s the one thing that has been consistent with it. Brutal honesty. Whether my readers wanted to read it or not.
In May of 2014, five years ago, I shared a blog post titled: “How to Handle the Drunk Angry Girl…”.
I was a drinker back then. I’ve now been tee-total for two and a half years. I was a lousy drunk, and I was every bit the girl in the blog post. I can still remember the night that prompted that post — a night with Jock that had gone horrifically wrong. I don’t know what flipped me over the edge or why I said and did the things I did, but the relationship went into a very sharp decline afterward. Maybe my drinking was the reason why that happened? Our drinking?
In that old blog post, I give advice on what you should do if you have a drunk, angry girlfriend — and it’s really shitty advice. It’s advice I wish I could take back, that I wish I’d never said in the first place. And it reminds me of just how selfish I was back then. Half a decade ago. When I was in my early-to-mid twenties and not my early thirties. Those last few years of your twenties really make a difference to you, don’t they? They sure did to me. They were a real ballbreaker.
I gave up drinking because of the girl I spoke about in that blog post. Tee-total. Zero alcohol. I don’t even eat alcohol-flavoured stuff. Coffee. Cake. Nada. I don’t have any alcohol in my house, and my boyfriend is also tee-total — an ex-alcoholic. (Can you BE an ex-alcoholic? Or are you always an alcoholic, just in recovery? I don’t know the specifics.)
My boyfriend’s son is now of an age when he starting to experiment with alcohol, and I hate it. I can’t tell you how much I hate it. I wish he wouldn’t drink at all, and it’s a far cry from the 14-year-old lad I first met who was adamant he’d never drink because of the way the stuff destroyed his family. I want to save him all the drama of drinking and being hungover and losing friends and girlfriends, but I know it’s a process that he’ll need to go through himself. Just like I had to go through it. And trust me when I tell you I DID go through it.
I was never violent when I was drunk unless I had the need to be, but I did verge on abusive. I was definitely verbally abusive at times. Shouting stuff I wouldn’t DREAM of saying when I was sober. Acting in ways I didn’t recognise or understand. Doing things that make no sense to me, even telling lies that I can’t explain … to this day.
Why did I say those things? Do those things? What weird switch did alcohol flick in my brain to make me turn from a rational human being into an absolute fucking maniac? Because if someone said and did the things I said and did to me when they were drunk, I’d probably turn around and punch them in the face. Or just cry. Probably cry. I was awful, truly awful.
It was a similar situation that caused the dramatic breakdown of my relationship with Bestie, too. One big drunken night out that quite literally tipped us over the edge. The cherry on top of an already-toppling cake, granted, but I acted in ways I shouldn’t have acted, said things I shouldn’t have said, and went way too far. We all did that, though, our little gang. We’d all had our own versions of nights like that and we’d all done our fair share of apologising to the others. Punches had been thrown. Drinks had been swilled. Glasses had been smashed. That group had been through a lot, both with and without me.
But I grew up.
I made the connection between alcohol and *that* girl. Too much alcohol turned me into *that* girl, and I didn’t know what “too much” meant.
Was it one glass of wine? Three? Five? A bottle? Six bottles?
I certainly didn’t know … and still don’t. I never learned. There were nights I could have two bottles of wine, three Jaegarbombs, and a couple of Sambucas and still be as good as gold. Other nights, I’d have three glasses of wine and spiral into a black hole of destruction, c-bombing anyone who dared to come near me. God help those who attempted to calm me down.
There was never just one thing — one particular, specific thing — that would turn me into a monster. No definitive amount of alcohol. No distinct drink. No single individual that would rub me up the wrong way. The goalposts changed each and every time, and the time had to come where I gave it all up for good.
When you’re throwing away personal relationships because of an alcohol-fuelled night out, it’s probably time to end the relationship with alcohol, right?
(*I feel like I should add that I had around 20 of these horrific nights in total, over my entire drinking life. Aged 14 to 30.)
You’re probably wondering why I’m talking about this right now? It’s because I’ve received some comments. More comments. There have been a few that prompted the start of a blog post, but I always end up deleting the words because I’m just not sure what I’m trying to say. I’m still not sure. But I am sure that I don’t really deserve comments like this:
“This woman is an absolute piece of shit, and there is NO chance she’s grown AT ALL, no matter how much fuckin’ yoga she’s done. OF COURSE she has to get high to deal with her shit, SHE’S A HORRIBLE PERSON.”
I might have been a horrible person when I was drunk, and full of really shitty advice when I was hungover, but I’m definitely not a bad person. And I wasn’t a bad person back then. I do love it when a person reads ONE blog post, published FIVE years ago, and taps a comment up on it like it’s relevant today, though.
Thanks for your comment, R.
“You are a sick twisted bitch who needs a dose of reality. Why should anyone handle your shit. If anything you should be left in the gutter behind the club! Selfish narcissist! Get a grip or Kill yourself!”
Jeff’s nice, ain’t he? I reacted to this fine chap already. He got a blog post all of his own. You can read that here > A Man Told Me To Kill Myself Today.
I do deserve to be told that I’m wrong in what I said back then, but there are ways of saying it that doesn’t involve telling me to kill myself. I liked this particular comment:
“Girl, get help.
It’s selfish if you want to request that someone doesn’t remind you of what you did when you were drunk. It’s selfish because you ruined their night, insulted them, botched expectations, and in general took something that should have been really great and completely decimated it. If you’ve called your boyfriend, and then in turn his friends and their significant others the C-word, that’s break-up level. And it’s downright selfish to try to say “don’t remind me of it”.
You can’t just do that and expect to not suffer the consequences. You can’t mistreat people and use alcohol as an excuse, as if it absolves your behaviour. It doesn’t.”
I absolutely fucking adore this comment. I feel like I need this person in my life. They seem like a good person, with some really good advice. They were right in everything they said. Every. Single. Word. I read, understood, and appreciated what this person had to say, and I totally took it on board.
I quit drinking.
I was selfish and I realised it. I did need help and I got it. She was right: I was selfish. Horrible. Abhorrent. I’m assuming it’s a she … I don’t know why? But she didn’t tell me to go and kill myself or call me names. She/he/they said what they needed to say without being a dick and that, I think, deserves some respect.
I know it’s to be expected when you’ve got a seven-year-long record of your life in blog form, but I really wish people wouldn’t judge me today on the mistakes I made four or five years ago. I refuse to delete the post, though. What’s the point in having a blog in which I learn and grow, when I delete the record of that growth?
That old blog post is a piece of shit, filled with advice that I wouldn’t dream of giving someone now. I’m sorry that I ever wrote it.
But look how far I’ve grown.
I’m proud of that.
2.5 years later and I still don’t miss alcohol a drop!