This pictures was taken in 2015 while I was living in NYC. This was a pivotal year: I had mastered my denial of alcoholism and life from the outside resembled perfection and fulfillment. In my mind, I was prevailing, I had acquired the ability to sporadically drink alcohol without debilitating consequences. My disease was deluding me, it controlled me even when I was not actively drinking. I remained remarkably functional throughout this period of my life. I worked diligently during the week and drank furiously on weekends. My weekdays were consistent: I was running 10 miles a day and working endless hours, all while refraining from the bottle. This self-control proved that I was not an alcoholic. I hear people say all the time, I only drink on weekends. This is my favorite statement because I used to reiterate those same words. I was disciplined in determining when to drink. I was not disciplined in determining how much to drink. My lack of self-control provoked by alcohol was an overt red flag. Of course, I remained all together while straight and sober. That’s not a valid justification that I am not an alcoholic, but It was a damn good excuse. My alcoholism is characterized by my desire and inability to stop drinking once I have started.
This picture was taken on a Friday night after arriving to my friend’s house in the Hamptons. I had busted my butt all week which was my rationalization that I deserved to drink all weekend. Work hard play hard, right? On this night, I started drinking immediately after arriving to my home base. Home base was my safe space to get wasted. I had no car, no where to be and no obligations. I had permission to get blacked out and pass out in a familiar bed with familiar people. This was my ideal scenario. It was the only way I knew how to control my alcoholism.
This picture was taken on the following Saturday morning after a hard night of drinking. I remember waking up in the morning with zero recollection of going to bed. The last thing I remembered was sitting in the hot tub watching YouTube videos with the guy that I was dating. I was comforted when my boyfriend mentioned that it was a fun night because that reassured me that I didn’t do anything too stupid. My headache was thumping, and my mind was jumbled in a massive hangover. We were getting ready to go boat tubing and I couldn’t fathom the thought of functioning in that moment. My hangover had dug its claws deep into my soul. I was not a patient person and waiting for the pain to gradually subside was not in my repertoire. Instead, I chose the “quick fix” and chugged a healthy pour of Tito’s while no one was watching. I immediately felt normal. I felt eager for the thrill of boating. In that moment, I needed alcohol for medicinal purposes, but I also needed it to find pleasure in adventure. I required that oomph, that extra spark to make things fun.
Behind the smile is a girl desperate to feel excitement. She holds a Diet Coke to wash down the vodka that she recently chugged. Her life appears ideal; she is advantaged and fortunate for the lifestyle that she outwardly lives. In reality, she is miserable during the week. Her weekends are her escape, her sole pleasure. She spends the week anticipating the bottle and spends her weekends dominated by the bottle.