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.