Day 9: I can tell fall has arrived in KS. Up to now I've been actively seeking shade on my daily rambles but today I was looking for the sunny side of the street. Luckily, I found it. So today I'm grateful for sunny spots on the way and the fact that Kansas doesn't have many trees.
I've been putting this off but it's time to relive the vacation to Hell. Where I fell of the wagon, dropped my basket, and just generally f'd up.
But first some background story.
We had been living on our sailboat in the northern Bahamas for 5 years. We loved it but I always had the feeling we had arrived 10 years too late. Housing prices had gone through the roof, clicks (sp?) had formed, and really all the groundwork for social improvement for the inhabitants had been done. However, we managed to find a role we could play. Social directors. For five years we instigated and participated in every major drinking event in the island chain. And while I'm sharing my sordid past, I have another confession to make. My name isn't really Kary May. Kary May is my evil twin who lives on Guana Cay in the Family Islands of the Bahama's. In the Bahamas, when I would go up and introduce myself to someone and they would reply, "We already met you over on Guana. Don't you remember?" (Oops!) I would reply that they must have met Kary May, my evil twin. I would then go on to explain that Kary May is the one that dances with trees and poles. She doesn't dance with men because they always spin her too fast or dip her too low but she still manages to fall down. Yep, Kary May is a hoot! I wish I could say I left her behind in the islands but she still shows up now and then.
Anyway, after five years we were tired and we decided to take a trip to Mexico for a change of scenery. On the last day of our trip, on our way to the airport we stopped to look at a house and fell in love. We arranged to rent the house for a month. In that month I fell in love not only with the house but also with the opportunity to do good in the poor fishing village in which we would reside but most of all I loved the idea of being able reinvent myself. The community in which we found ourselves was a new one comprised of expats that wanted to better their surroundings and the lives of the natives that they were living amongst. We had just witnessed this being done in the Bahamas and we had a lot of great ideas. Best of all these people didn't know Kary May and if I had my choice they never would.
We spent our first winter in Mexico this year and unfortunately Kary May did show up but except for a few appearances (karaoke on my birthday comes to mind) I was able to keep her out of the public eye. At the end of our 6 months when I was asked to help with our local Christmas toy drive I jumped at the chance. I threw myself into it and in my usual manner I've taken over (in my defense, nobody else wanted to take charge) and I'm sure I've managed to step on a few toes. But I'm doing a helluva job.
Our planned short trip in September filled me with both eagerness and trepidation. I was eager to get down there and help with a fundraiser we had planned and prove to everybody and myself that I could do it. But I also was afraid of once again surrounding myself with people that had way too much time on their hands to drink. I had done that for the past 12 years and look where that got me. Even though I wasn't in charge of the fundraiser, I was helping and I thought that would be enough incentive to keep me on the straight and narrow. Wrong!
The night before we flew out, after 17 days of abstaining from alcohol, I decided to have a couple of drinks. The couple of drinks turned into four or five. But I was okay and the next day, I don't think I even had a hangover but I had a couple of "spookers" on the flight to Houston and then a couple of glasses of wine in the airport, a couple more drinks on the flight to Mexico. And now my cycle had begun. By the third night I wasn't sleeping. This is what really does me in when I'm drinking, my inability to sleep. Because then I wake up in the middle of the night and I'll have a couple of glasses of wine just to relax and then, of course, I feel like crap the next morning so I have to have a couple of shots in my orange juice just to get going and get done what I have to do. This time what I had to do was go around to local businesses and ask for donations for our toy drive. Which I did. With glazed eyes and bourbon on my breath. But I got it done. Barely . By Day 5 or so I couldn't even leave the casa. I walled myself in and all I could manage to do was float around in the pool. I didn't cook. I didn't eat. I didn't even go for a walk on the beach the whole time I was there and it's right outside my door. This is so sad! It's pitiful. My heart goes into a funny rhythm known as "holiday heart" which is a merry way of saying atrial fibrillation. It has a tendency to do this with alarming frequency almost every time I drink anymore. That is because when I do drink, I drink too much which is just fine with my heart, it just doesn't like it when I try to stop. It usually eventually converts back to a normal rhythm on its own but this time I took some medication to help it. Obviously, I've been through this before and yes, it's never going to happen again. Blah, blah, blah…
So by the night of the big fundraiser I'm not drinking but I'm in a haze from the medication I took and, of course I keep feeling my pulse just to make sure I'm not getting ready to keel over. I get through it and it's a success but no thanks to me. I helped. But I know it wasn't to the best of my ability. And that pisses me off. And that makes me really sad. Another lost opportunity. Another lost chance to prove to myself what I'm capable of.
I'd like to say I didn't drink the rest of the trip, but I did. Not as much, I was too exhausted. The last of the trip was just a blur of exhaustion. By the time I put feet back on U.S. ground I hadn't slept in well over 24 hours. I had a couple of drinks on the way to the airport at 0400 in the morning and a couple more on the flight home but I haven't had any since.
It's good to be home.