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The Great Walking-Backwards

I was getting my shit together.  Lost almost 50 lbs. over a two year period, got one job, then a second one because I still had too much time on my hands.

Let me back up.  I wasn’t sure I could hold up to working a job.  Had been out of work for over 4 years, had issues with being out in public for extended periods of time, etc.  But after some rough humps (asshole co-workers), I settled in to my part-time, early morning stocking job.  The pay sucked but the job was perfect for me except for the couple times a week management hassled me to go faster.  I never did learn to stand up for myself.

But the time at home was not good for me and I wanted to get myself on a path towards being on my on again so I took on a second job.  This one seemed like a “god-send”: better pay, chance for advancement and full-time, benefits, actually getting to work with more men than women for the first time in my life.

What could go wrong?

First, I had just gotten over a cold when I got the job.  And then the day I went in to fill out hiring paperwork I was violently ill but trying to not show it.  Worked the first week in torment because I had such a severe upper respiratory infection.  Not an auspicious start.

Then both jobs increased my hours.  Was working 40-50+ hours a week, all on my feet and more than half of them outdoors.  Second job was scaring the shit out of me.  Unlike all my other (passive) retail jobs, I was told to sell, sell, sell.  So I walked, walked, walked and tried to sound natural when I greeted customers.  I have issues making eye contact with long-time friends so making eye contact with one stranger after another was terrifying.  And then it started getting really busy and people started getting mad at me because I did know the answer to everything.

And something unfortunate happened.  I’ve always been a drinker.  With the first job, I drank on the weekends.  When I started the second job I actually cut way back for the first month.  But then I started having 2-3 drinks almost every night which turned into 6-8 glasses of wine one night before a shift at job no. 2.  The one outside.

It was already in the 80’s in April.  I realized pretty early in my shift that something was wrong.  I thought I was suffering from heat-exhaustion so I started chugging water.  I spent most of that shift in a bleary haze.

Fast-forward a couple of days to when I had a few drinks the night before.  Was asked to work late on job No. 1 but had to leave due to an extreme attack of dizziness.

And now, a little over three months later I have no jobs.  I have been diagnosed with viral labyrhinthtis (symptom is vertigo) and panic attacks.  Panic attacks have eased greatly but I wake up dizzy every day.

I’ve handled everything very badly.  I couldn’t figure out how to address my health issues with my employees because the panic attacks quickly sent me into a severe depression.  And even though I had the sneaking suspicion that my heavy drinking had caused all of it, I kept drinking because for a few hours everything eased for me.

But now I am back to being the monster I was 4-5 years ago, the one who told all of her friends to “fuck off.”  I have deleted my Facebook account because my craziness is spiraling and I am hurting people I love.  You’d think that would be enough to make me stop drinking and I thought so too the morning I woke up after “The Event.”

But the Vertigo is still here and after a couple of days of sobriety it and the anxiety start wearing on me.

So here’s to this 30 minutes or so of tonight where I am not drinking because I am typing.


About clocklearf

I've wanted to be a writer since the third grade.


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