I watch from this bedroom window as my neighbor goes to get breakfast every morning like clockwork at 5:30 AM. She will soon arrive home with a McDonald's or Krystal's bag in hand as she escapes back into her house to eat. It reminds me of routines and how integral they are to my life. Breakfast around here is usually served around 7:00 AM. Rosa will sleepily awake to walk into the kitchen finding me scrambling eggs or frying sausage as Maggie lies on the floor hungrily awaiting table scraps. We will sit and eat and then go crawl back into the bed for a few more hours. This morning was the same. I cooked and then Rosa washed up to then find us curled up in the bed holding each other.
"You feeling better?" she asked me amid plush covers.
"I feel scary," I said, lying on my back. "I worry the panic attack is going to come back."
"I can't imagine what you go through. You don't talk about it much."
"Last night I was desperate. I thought I was going to die."
"Next time, let's go to the hospital to have you checked out. That is not normal."
My family tries to assure me it is just a simple panic attack. There is nothing simple about my mental illness though. It is a complex series of events that will leave me exhausted and mentally bereft. I am scared to bother others and will not call 911 -- afraid I will just be seen as attention seeking. I could have used a shot of something strong to alleviate the symptoms last night though.
Soon, Rosa was snoring again. I have never heard a woman snore so much. It doesn't bother me. It is actually rather comforting as it is soft and not loud. Kind of like heavy breathing. I looked over and brushed the hair out of her face and pulled the covers tightly around her.
"Sleep well, my cherub," I told her quietly.
I lay there thinking and realized I would always drink beer when I got to feeling this way -- mentally unfit. The alcohol would calm me and the time would fly by. I would end up drunk and depressed for yet another day. Usually, to drink and drive to buy more. I long for a drink right now. My escape. They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I realized my pattern of drinking was insane as well, but when my prescribed medications don't work, I seek out other avenues of help to alleviate my pain. Oh, to be curled up on the couch with a case of beer and a Saturday filled with football. That malty goodness sliding down my throat and chasing away what ails me. The rush of inebriation as I escape my reality and the dourness that can be my life. Soothing. Calming. Drunken bliss. I want to forget my days ever happened and a case of beer will allow this.
I can't drink normally though. I drank only to get drunk -- one beer after another like some madman spurred on by an insatiable desire. My whole life will fall apart around me and the castle of beer cans sitting on my couch side table -- a monument to my sickness and the desire to wallow in self pity. One day at a time as they say in AA. I don't always have to abstain, but I choose to abstain today. Just one day. I can handle that. I can't imagine going the rest of my life without drinking, though.