That last day, 30 days ago... December 29, 2020
Updated: Sep 2, 2021
I manage to kick my other golf shoe off and stumble into the kitchen, kissing each child on the top of their heads, avoiding eye contact with the babysitter. Evan makes small talk and I busy myself with some dishes in the sink. ‘She knows I’m drunk, she knows I’m drunk,’ I think to myself. ‘Must act sober. Must act sober.’ I attempt to ask the kids how the afternoon went and what they did but my voice sounds overly excited and shrilly, words slurred despite my best effort. Evan shoots me a glaring look of annoyance - willing me to get my shit together. I inhale deeply and stand up straight, as if this will sober me up.
I didn’t mean to get drunk on the golf course. It was supposed to be a casual round with my husband. A fun afternoon and break away from the kids, on this Thanksgiving weekend. A way for us to reconnect, spend some quality time together. Get a break from the holiday chaos with the kids. But as I always do, I justify my drunkenness to myself. As I wait for Evan and the babysitter I go over the afternoon. The drink the barman made was a bit stiffer than usual today, I think. He definitely added a rum floater!! It’s totally his fault. I should say something to him next weekend! I’ll just tell Evan when the sitter leaves. I must explain it wasn’t my fault! But then a tiny voice reminds me, Evan didn’t order two extra beers with his cocktail like I did. I roll my eyes at that tiny voice.
But it’s hard to shake the look of disappointment off your husbands face.
I probably didn’t need the glass of wine before my round at home either, I think. I pinch the bridge of my nose... or little extra bit of Tito’s that I snuck before we even left the house at noon. But that’s my little secret that no one even knows about. And I shake my head hard and squeeze my eyes shut, willing the memory to evaporate.
The front door slams and the babysitter is gone. Phew. Evan is back in the kitchen now and finds me swaying in front of the fridge.
“Go upstairs, Kim, I’ll deal with the kids.” His demeanor has shifted from earlier in the day. He is angry. Cold. It only feels like moments ago we were laughing at my third shot out of the sand on the 11th hole. Things have changed so drastically.
I stand there for a moment and stare off at the Christmas tree in the family room. The beautiful tree we had just spent hours decorating only just hours ago that morning, the mood and feelings were so different. Neil Diamond holiday music on repeat, the kids arguing over who gets to place the star. So much joy. And now I look around and I’m drunk. And I can’t feel any form of happiness.
I feel empty. I went and did it again. Stupidly drunk. I promised myself I wouldn’t do this anymore, I think, as I slowly walk out of the kitchen, leaving my family behind, on this lovely holiday weekend afternoon.
This was the last day I drank, 30 days ago. This feels like an eternity ago, yet at the same time, the memory is still so vivid. There is more to this day, but it is much the same story as always. I continued to drink my way through the evening. Sneaking drinks and hiding them from Evan, not eating much dinner at all and falling asleep way earlier than I would have liked. I was absent for my kids. Numb. In a fog. And then I woke up the following Sunday morning ready for a change, feeling exhausted, guilty, sad and done with it all. And after telling Evan all of this, it was like a massive weight was lifted from my shoulders. A weight that I didn't even know existed.