I am suffering from a bad hangover. A very bad hangover. Not even a shower seemed to help. It feels as if I have been stuffed with bags of sand and implanted with a metallic heart. My chest hurts. I am having difficulty breathing because of a pain in my back. Walking a straight line takes effort and my gut feels like it contains the remnants of a battlefield. All last night I wrestled with sleep trying to pin it down. Instead, I kept awakening with irregular heartbeats, pulsating ears and a parched mouth. I was nauseous and had images in my head of funerals and jumping over a cliff. A pin or nail seemed to be sticking out the side of my left temple- causing me an unbearable ache . My wife, snoring away by my side, was at peace in the womb of a deep inebriated sleep. I on the other hand was struggling….paying for my night of fun.
Even though I did not drink that much last night (three margaritas and two beers) I should understand by now that if I have more than one drink- all the ills of human kind are going to shower down upon me. One would think that after years of drinking and then spending nights and days in a kind of physical hell (that over the years has decreased the strength of my body and mind)- that I would sensibly abstain from having more than one glass of booze at a time. I have tried to invoke the powers of a healthy life style. I went on long meditation retreats and once did not speak for six weeks. I entertained a yoga practice everyday and ate raw food only- but still I needed a drink. This is no ordinary relationship.
I love drinking…and booze has been in my life for as long as I can remember. When I drink I am no longer stuck in human bondage. I am set free on a terrain that looks and feels like joy. My spirit is elevated beyond the constricting weight of my body and the unbearable lightness of my being puts a smile on my face. Even though I meditate for an hour a day nothing can come close to the power of now, the absence of mind that I feel after having a glass of wine or a beer. I never get so drunk as to lose control but I drink just enough to grow a pair of wings and fly away.
Since the day I was born I have grappled with a fear and trembling that has become more chronic as I age. This anxiety risks keeping me trapped in the safety zone of my home. Heavy thoughts that swim around in my head without traffic control are the substance of my disease. I work hard to disempower my thoughts and keep them from spilling over into the life I live- but at times it feels like a daunting task. Consuming alcohol is not only medicine for my spirit but it quiets down the negative temper of my feelings of impeding doom. For a brief period, while intoxicated I can be liberated from the insurrection that my thoughts wage against my heart, daily. The price I pay for indulging in booze is nothing compared with those few hours I spend in my bliss….or so I thought.
All morning I have been filling up on supplements. In the middle of the night I drank chlorophyl and ate sprouts for nutrients that I hoped would quiet my heart. I have read about how alcohol consumption depletes the body of vital minerals and vitamins causing sleep disturbances, irregular heart beats and a slew of other frightening symptoms. I was supposed to show up for my third “Meet The Author” day but instead I have chosen to stay in. When I am done writing this entry I will return to bed where I hope to find a few hours of sleep beneath my sheets. I can not help but to pity myself a bit and wish that this was not the fate that was upon me. I wish I could drink alcohol like so many others I know who consume it every day and have deep, beautiful sleep filled with dreams and a regular heartbeat. For years I was one of these lucky few consuming alcohol, coffee, cigarettes with no tormenting health effects. Then one day everything changed. Now that I have reached a certain age the only one of those vices that I have left is my booze- but I am afraid that soon this will have to go as well……and I will be left having to deal with myself.
Last night my wife and I bought an expensive bottle of tequila to keep around the house. For guests and fun. My plan was to put some of it in a flask and keep it upon my body at all times. I would douse the anxiety or negative thoughts whenever they arose like a man putting out a fire in his own head. I also planned on drinking the tequilla liberally in small amounts every day of the week….a night cap if you will. But now I am having to come to terms with one of the most difficult truths a man can face.
My body seems to no longer be as strong as my desire. My head is still foggy and my fingers hurt. I could swear I saw blood in my stools as I spent hours sitting on the toilet last night. The taste of alcohol is still in my throat. It all seems too extreme of a price to pay for a few hours of happiness. I want to say that I am going to hop on the wagon and never drink again. That I am done with that stage of my life. I want to say that I have learned my lesson and might be getting a bit too close to the edge. But I know that this is not true. I want to be able to drink, enjoy myself and then sleep like a baby… and I am determined to find a way. Even though I am going to get on the wagon and stay on board for a few days- I know that as soon as this hangover is gone and I have had a few day of rest- I will ask the driver to let me off so that I can enjoy a bottle of wine with my wife at dinner. For now I am going back to bed.