I am not the best at processing my emotions. My wife will sometimes ask me, “What’s wrong babe?” To which I will usually respond, “Nothing.” It is not that I am lying if something is actually wrong in my world; it is more like I am not yet dealing with whatever that is. Though I try very hard to be present in this moment, a lot of the time I find myself in autopilot, and it is not until I am removed from the moment (usually through drinking) that I find out what is really going on inside. Case in point: For my birthday we went to my sister in law’s house for a few drinks.
My wife enjoyed a few beers while sister and I imbibed some Turkey on the rocks. That first drink is always the decider of the evening for me, and this time I could see the writing on the wall. The first taste was magic, and the potion warmed my soul alleviating any sort of pain that I had been feeling (which I will get to later) sending me into that special euphoric space saved for only those who suffer from the genetics and predisposition for alcoholism as I do. One drink turned to two, and two to three, and three to a bottle, and a bottle to more, until I was certain that I should be finished with this game of drink. Unfortunately for me, I was no longer in the driver’s seat for this trip, and this night of debauchery would continue on to the bar.
Now, at this point I was not yet out of control—merely an unstoppable force, and after meeting up with some more friends and family, the night began to go south. I met up with a fellow musician, and we decided it would be a good night to have a patio jam session, with he and I both singing while he played guitar. I have to admit, it was a refreshing change of pace from my normal day to day and the whole thing brought me right back to the days when singing was my every waking moment.
The whole thing was completely improvised, and since we are both quite versed in this art it sounded like we had been working together for years, which we had, though not directly. We used to often play the same shows, and have always been fans of each other’s work. The big difference between us besides genres of practice was that he remained a paid musician, and I did not. It was not until about six more drinks that I realized that this bothered me. Not that my friend was still performing, but that I was not. It has been about eight years since I was involved in the scene, and despite an otherwise happy existence, I realize now that this is a pretty big hole in me.
As the night went on, my performance got more and more sloppy and went from solid harmony to simply bad on my part. I needed to go home, but that is not what happened. The rest of this story is more or less second hand, as I do not quite remember what took place. I left the “stage” and proceeded outside where for whatever reason I decided to go and make a violent scene inside. I am not a violent person, and luckily there was no altercation, but I can say that I was yelling and otherwise making a general commotion as drunk people sometimes do. You see, I was not mad at my partner on stage for being a musician, I was mad at myself for not being, and instead of dealing with that I projected my insecurities onto someone else. It is an embarrassing moment of my life, and one that I wish that I could take back, but that cannot happen.
It has been a long time since I made the sort of mistakes that I made on the eve of my birthday, and I am fortunate that I have people who love me. I cannot say that I understand what provoked my behavior directly, but I can say it was abhorrent behavior for which I am deeply sorry. I guess this is my way of owning my faults, in the hopes that I can grow from them. At any rate, this has been an eye-opening birthday. I hope that I have the wherewithal to grow from it…