Shame for Breakfast


I think the pink cloud has vanished and sobriety is no longer easy. Sobriety last night was like leaping into fresh hell. And, no, not the hell queers imagine ourselves hanging out at once our physical bodies leave this realm. I’m referring to hell when your body feels so tight you might just snap in half. I’m talking about when you have a shooting pain in your chest and your fists are so clenched you forget to breathe. Or knots lining your spine and reminding you this emotional pain is here to stay. I was at a show last night and in retrospect, it was not a show I was ready for. I have never been to a show sober and this realization caused a reaction so visceral I thought I might crumple to the floor. 

There were a few people there I could have gone without seeing. I think we all have a few people we wish we could erase from the universe. I started thinking about why I didn’t want to see certain people and it’s rooted in shame. It was never about those people. It’s never been about those people. It’s about how I’ve acted, it’s about who I’ve been with them. And, wow, that realization really fucked me up. 

After two drinks,  I’m a pretty lively version of myself. A more feisty and vibrant color. But it’s never two drinks for me.  It was supposed to be just dinner and now its 5 AM and I can’t figure out how to get in my front door. 

And then the next morning, it’s breakfast and shame. I know people have a tendency to feel shame when it’s not warranted. But, this shame, this shame is warranted. I’ve hurt people I’ve never intended on hurting and this doesn’t remove the accountability. Regardless of intention, it’s your impact. When I’m drunk, I have no intentions, there are no consequences. It’s like driving a 100 miles an hour down Lake Shore Drive and laughing.  

Those things, they’ve stayed with me, sometimes I think they’ve festered under my skin and no bristle pad is going to remove them. I started to make a list of the things I feel ashamed of and how I can change those behaviors. Writing the list, was like hell on earth. 

I don’t think I can make this pretty. I don’t think I’ve forgiven myself enough to face those people. I just feel grateful for the people who had to really really really love me to see through me.

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