In my defence, it has been a big week. One of those weeks where the demands haven’t let up, and where I’ve scrambled frantically just to keep up. One of those weeks where I feel that cramming one more thing in my head will cause my whole skull to explode, and everyone within a range of five feet or so will be showered in half-formed thoughts and to-do lists. I’m starting to see the signs that I’m running on adrenaline – and I’m hoping that there’s enough adrenaline there to see me through this busy time. But that’s another day’s worry.
Last night I went to the pub with some choir friends. And then three of us stayed on, and got – well, we certainly weren’t sober.
I’ve already written about the sense of freedom that alcohol brings. It’s something I’m aware of, and concerned about, and working through. But last night I enjoyed it. There was a lot of laughter, and a lot of harmless silliness, and it was yet another blissful golden evening. Times like these used to be a rarity; now I cherish them no less for the fact that they are blessedly more prevalent in my life. This is something for which I am profoundly grateful.
But I woke this morning with a sick feeling of shame. Only part of this was the sickness that comes with a (slight – ahem) hangover. Nothing happened – I did nothing wrong, other than talk a little more than usual which no one seemed to mind. I’d spent the evening with wonderful people, shared and celebrated friendship. I’d had a fun evening and I had nothing to be ashamed of.
But I’m so used to being ashamed. I’m so used to being made to feel ashamed. I’m so used to paying for those moments of joy, being punished by someone for whom joy was such a rarity that he couldn’t countenance the idea of me experiencing it. I’ve learned that fun ends up bringing pain, and I know I have to get out from under that.
I’m sure practise will help. I’ll just have to have some more great evenings with amazing people. That should be fine.