Previously on Ceej: A Mental Breakdown.
Part XIX: You Can’t Just Medicate Problems Away…
They never did chase me. My brother was home when I got there, but then I was gone for several hours. It may just be my memory, but I don’t recall it ever being mentioned again. The open claims became silent contempt. It was still clear I wasn’t trusted or believed.
I started developing a taste for liquor. I started out drinking mixed drinks with friends but, soon enough, I found mixing and pouring to be too much of a hassle. I was doing straight shots. Then I found washing shotglasses to be a hassle, and just began drinking from the bottle. When I was getting drunk almost every night, I oddly didn’t listen to those who said I had a problem.
My drinking wasn’t the problem. My drinking was caused by the problems. Drinking after hearing bad news? Yeah. No problem in that.
Then, one day, Damien got me so pissed that I swung back my arm to punch him, but something stopped my delivery. I couldn’t hurt him. I hated myself for being so weak, and I put the punch’s momentum into turning my body around and walking out. I made sure to let him know that what I was going to do when I got home was his fault.
I don’t think I’d have told him what I was going to do even if I knew at the time. However, I knew by the time I got home. I was going to drink that bottle of Bacardi. The whole 1.75 litres. That would sure show him what happens to people who make fun of arbitrary and inconsequential details of my life.
So, when I got home, I cracked the seal on the bottle and poured myself a shot. Why not this time? I could use the same glass for all of them. It felt nice and warm going down. I poured myself another. And then…
Well… I just don’t remember. The next thing I remember doing is waking up at 2:00 in the morning in a puddle of my own vomit, the Bacardi bottle empty. I wasn’t quite sure where, or even who, I was. I wasn’t sure what the hell had just happened. As I pulled myself to my feet, with great difficulty, I saw my phone on the counter. It was turned off. Why was that? Oh, right. Because Damien was surely going to call me and talk me out of doing this. Well, I guess it’s a good thing he couldn’t do that.
I turned my phone on, and decided to check my voicemail, but I couldn’t figure out how to do that, so I just decided to call the last person who called me. That should be easy.
“Hello?” Damien answered.
“Where am I?” I asked, “Who am I?”
“Guys, shut up,” he said, “It’s Ceej and he’s really drunk. He needs me.”
“Am I drunk?”
“Yes. You are.”
“I think I drank the whole bottle. I don’t know what to do.”
“Do you see a sink anywhere around?” he asked, “If so, drink some water. Eat some crackers if you can find them.”
“Damien, you did this to me!” I insisted, “You did it! Why did you do this to me! Oh, God, why did I do this to myself?”
“It’s okay, Ceej,” Damien assured me through my tears, “I’m here.”
I didn’t really notice the empty liquor bottle until the next morning, and I had no idea whether or not I really had finished it until then. But, I noticed something far more important. A true friend. The first of his kind in my life. A guy who was going to be there for me, even when I had done so much to hurt him.
I was really in no position to be thinking about what to do that night, or talking about things, but Damien and I had the time to talk during the second day of my four-day hangover. His recommendation was Alcoholics Anonymous. Mine was somewhat less orthodox…