Alcohol and I: An Unfinished Autobiography

My first tryst with alcohol was way back when I was in the third year of my graduation. It was one Durga Puja night (Ashtami to be precise) and the four of us had gone to China Town. Being friends with a couple of engineering college dudes is kind of taking a shortcut to hell and ours were no exception. I, of all people, am usually more eager and spontaneous when it comes to the journey down south. We had ordered beer with greasy Chinese noodles. We couldn’t suppress our nervous giggles when the bottles were being unscrewed. Before that night I used to live in a world where alcohol had only fleeting reference as some evil object that one of my neighbours would use as a precursor to his daily noble duty of wife beating and scaring the crap out his poor kids. Back then, even beer was hardcore alcohol to me. Ah the simpler times. I remember I couldn’t hide my disappointment with the first sip. What? It’s so bitter. Why would you guys even drink this for fun? I know right?! I know the Providence has a way of fucking with me in the most ironical way. My friend and I were quite drunk on our way back while the boys were visibly happy to be able to show their ‘manly’ side by taking care of us. Fyi, I had stopped being in touch with any of those friends quite long back.

My second taste of alcohol happened soon afterwards, strictly technically speaking, with the same group of people. But it was only a tiny sip off a White Mischief bottle so it wasn’t really a case of drinking. Then two years would pass by without any incident of drunken escapade. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that I spent two years in ISI without sipping a single drop. I mean people there would chug whisky for breakfast if they could. Thank god though, for not trading my first class degree in for a few nights of temporary ride to heaven and back. Now when I look back I come to this conclusion that I must have been happy back then. Or awfully simple. Oh how I wish I could meet that girl and at least warn her to fasten her seat-belt for what was about to come.

It was some time after our convocation; it was one late autumn evening and I was feeling terribly blue over some incident, pacing to and fro on the dark rooftop of my house when I realized something. I needed a drink. I think I was a hardcore alcoholic in my previous birth. I mean where did that instinct even come from?? I called up my friend and that weekend I was in her house. Yes folks, I had my first proper drink (vodka with twist) at my friend’s house, sitting with the still slim girl who would turn out to be my best friend later, AND her father whom I would be sharing many many drinks with over the coming years. So that evening was the start of an era.

Alcohol was still an occasional visitor in my life, until 2013. It was mid-2013 and I was going through a shitstorm, (a storm that would continue to blow till the end of 2017, with only temporary pauses) and I was messed up and frustrated and angry and sad. I needed a friend. I was craving someone’s comforting presence in my life. And I started drinking. I would drink A LOT. At home, outside, with friends, alone. On some days straight off the bottle because I would be too exhausted to even fetch a bottle of water. Honestly, it didn’t turn out to be as comforting as I had hoped. People who have vomited and passed out after drinking would understand. And I used to cry a lot. Alcohol is tricky. It can either bring about euphoria or agony. And you never know what’s it gonna be when you pour yourself the first peg promising this time you won’t lose your shit.

I don’t know how or when I decided to stop my drinking binge. I think it was one evening and I looked in the mirror and saw a very haggard looking, fat girl staring back at me. I felt sorry for her. I tried to search for the simple girl in her but she was gone. I promised to her I would stop drinking and start exercising. Now you see, I have many vices but I have one quality. I bloody practice what I preach. I do what I say. I quit drinking, and started doing push-ups and ab crunches every day. It worked. Very soon I was the girl with flat stomach and shapely boobs again. However life continued to give it to me in the derriere with no orgasm followed. So I would continue to go back to my old vice like the drunken man goes back to his whore girlfriend. But it never crossed limit.

Then last year I started dating this manchild whom I fail to describe without having to use some seriously offensive words. He (with his beloved mother in the background) made my life hell in such ways that even my previous boyfriends would look like straight out of The Fault in Our Stars. There are ways you can mentally abuse a person and it wouldn’t even leave a trace except in the mind of its victim. I remember him calling me alcoholic one day, even though I would hardly drink that time. Because for a brief period of time I had trusted him and shared with him my story which I have mentioned above. And people wonder why I have trust issue. (He had once called me energy vampire too. I mean honestly, if I were a vampire I wouldn’t touch his blood. I mean nobody would want to die of diarrhoea. Not even a vampire.) I had just moved to Darjeeling that time and I was going through the biggest transitional phase of my life till date. I couldn’t take it. I fell off the wagon. And this time I was all alone so it was easier. I would drink every day. Every day I would come back from work and that one bottle hidden behind the box of cereals would lure me back in. I would drink myself into oblivion until the dull throbbing in my chest ebbed away. Not to mention you would always find some people who would help you go to hell in the quickest way possible. Vulnerability seeks comfort even if it’s merely the illusion of it. Mostly though, I just wanted to do things he had falsely accused me of doing. I know. Dumb shit. But more often than not love turns out to be the ugliest battle you have ever fought in your life.

I have swiftly kicked out all those people I had found solace in here during my initial days. I am good at chucking people without giving it a second thought; as if they are disposable Styrofoam cups. I have asked people to stop bringing over alcohol as gift. I go watch dog videos whenever I get the urge to buy a bottle and wait for the urge to pass away. Nope, I did NOT quit drinking. Nor do I ever plan to. But I mostly stick to wines these days, that too a glass or two occasionally. Actually it is more dangerous to drink out of boredom than that of sadness. There is a biggest myth about strong people. That strong people never collapse. FUCK NO. Strong people are people too. They fall too. But they know how to stand back up, and not lose that childish innocence that someday, everything will be OKAY. Until then, the fight is just not fucking over.

p.s. I know what you must be thinking. This girl is so brazen! I mean who talks about their life on a public platform in such way? There are people out there who put so much effort to paint such a pink picture of their life and here I am, freaking the crap out of everyone with my words. Honestly, I feel sorry for those whose life is so apparently rosy. That shit must be exhausting. All that acting, all that labour to sweep the filth under the expensive carpet. I have promised to talk about my battle with depression and other mental ailments on my blog. And this post is a part of that series. I know there must be someone out there who would identify with my story and find some courage to fight their own battle. So guys, this is NOT a dark story (as some people wrongly think that I am a very dark person. I am not.). This is a story to encourage hope, and healing. And healing always starts when you let your wound breathe.