Chapter Three – You Ain’t Leavin’ till Yer Heavin’

22 May

I promise you – this entire blog is not going to be me whining about how I get panic attacks in inappropriate places.

In fact, this post is entirely about how I spent four years of college getting drunk with my friends. (Sorry Mom.)

So we got to the part where my high school boyfriend dumped me, right? A few months later, my parentsĀ separated. I learned this from a voicemail on our answering machine at home one afternoon, when I was back from college.

Needless to say, I was completely unprepared to deal with any of the emotions that were flooding me. I’d had such a shit freshman year of college (who knew that you couldn’t make friends when you went home every weekend to your high school boyfriend?) that I was ready to transfer to Arizona State University. Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. Let’s send the pulsating ball of nerves across the country at 19 years old when her only coping mechanism is crying.

And then… I discovered alcohol. And we became friends. Very, very good friends. With alcohol, I was as smart, funny, beautiful, and graceful as I’d always wanted to be. Alcohol didn’t judge, and it certainly didn’t pass mean notes about you in class. Oh yes, it was the start of an outstanding relationship.

The thing about alcohol was… I started to use it to protect myself. And when I couldn’t drink (which wasn’t often in a tiny college town where the only entertainment we had was beer and Wal-Mart), I protected myself from pain by being outright mean to people. I was convinced that I was hilarious. The truth was, I used sarcasm to mask the pain that didn’t seem to go away except when I was drinking. It was my armor. I hate to say it, but it still is. (More on that later.) I hurt a lot of people, and I didn’t care, because I had blonde hair and blue eyes at a school that was 80% male, and I could’ve gotten away with murder had I chosen that route. (I would’ve looked terrible in orange at that point in my life.)

I wish I could tell you that I met the friends I have now and my whole life changed and I became a wonderful, upstanding member of society.

Remember how bad I am at lying?

I did meet some amazing people. People who made me feel like being ME was ok. I was always good enough for them. I still am. They’re my rocks. They’re the people I could call in the middle of the night in tears, the people who helped me moved, changed my oil, walked me home from the bars, and protected me. They’ve moved me across the country, visited me across the country, invited me to be part of their weddings, families, and lives. And I love them.

So a lot happened in college. We partied. We threw up. Our cell phones fell in toilets. And I became the popular girl I wanted to be, protected by a shell that fed on hurting people like vampires drink blood. (But of course, I had better shoes and slept in a queen bed with 400 thread count sheets, not a coffin.)


One Response to “Chapter Three – You Ain’t Leavin’ till Yer Heavin’”

  1. Senor Feliz May 24, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    Jose, Jack, Jim and the Busch family are allgreat friends to have…they make the rest of society so much more tolerable

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