Since I think "Honesty" is the third-best policy (after "Never Put Tomatoes in the Refrigerator" and "Don't Negotiate With Any Neighbor While Either of You are Wearing a Bathrobe"), I've decided to go ahead and talk about what's going on in my life.
Thanks to the prompting of a few (ok, 514) friends, I've elected to enter rehab tomorrow morning for a short stay to help clear out the corkscrews and cobwebs in my brain and emerge with a clear head and a toolbox full of tools to help me navigate the rest of what's ahead. It's hard to talk about it all without dinging the (as my friend Beth says) cliché bells, so if that atonal ding-donging makes you itchy, you don't have to read any further.
I've been a drinker for a long time, and a pretty heavy one for over half of my life. Things have ramped up over the past year - and especially over the last six months or so, since the loss of a job I loved. I'm not blaming that loss, just identifying it as a trigger. But for years now, I would accept each and every invitation I received if there was the barest hint of a promise of noon wine. (I think that might be a Tennessee Williams quotation, but I'm lifting it for my purposes). And oh, I was FUN! Fun fun fun! I could always be relied on to be the fun one. My friends got tired of it before I did - by a long shot - but everything coalesced last weekend when just the right people were in my orbit to help stop the hurtling asteroid. If I have to sacrifice being "the life of the party" to being a "party to my life," well, then that's what's going to happen.
It's been four days in between the decision and now - it took some time to work out the financials of going to get help - and that's a lot of time to get scared and second-guess and think non-stop about the liquor store, all of which I've done. My only serious regret about last weekend is that my final glass was Corbett Canyon boxed chardonnay. If that's not a sign of a cry for help, I don't know what is.
I'm nervous about 12-step language and method because so much of it is faith-based, and the only thing I have faith in is Cate Blanchett's talent. But I think if every time "god" comes up, I just think of a pretty path in the woods or the crackly poppy sound a campfire makes late in the evening - you know, my particular brand of religion - I can get through even that.
I'm scared to death and practically haven't stopped sobbing for four days, but it's Time, and I use the capital letter on purpose. A capital letter comes after a period. A long, terrible, period.
Think of me when you can and I'll be back soon, better than ever.