I want to wake up feeling restless and uncomfortable. It’ll be neat to drag myself out of bed to open that first bottle of wine. I’ll drink all of it within an hour. Then I’ll go to the liquor store. The guy behind the counter will know that, everyday, I will buy a pint of vodka from him. He will look at me with stony eyes, which will make me feel even more restless and uncomfortable. What he doesn’t know is that I will also get two more bottles of wine and a case of beer from the grocery store before I return home. As an adult, I want my sole coping skill to consist of getting drunk.
When I grow up, I want to get fired from all of my jobs because I am frequently drunk. I can’t wait for my boss to call me into his office because my coworkers smell alcohol on my breath. It’ll be fun to make an a$$ of myself while working because I just can’t stop myself from drinking that bottle of wine in the morning.
When I grow up, I want strangers to see me doubled over a tree planter with vomit on my shirt. I look forward to police officers shouting at me to get the f-ck up and move along. I am eager to see the disdain and disgust of the firemen and ambulance drivers when they realize that the 911 call was, yet again, for me. I can’t wait to hear the doctors and nurses in the emergency rooms say things like, “Oh, not him again. I’m so tired of seeing him. He’s taking up a bed that could be used for someone who is really having an emergency.”
When I grow up, I want to ruin all of my relationships because I am a drunk. I look forward to destroying property and scaring my girlfriends. I can’t wait for my wife to request a restraining order against me because I’ve threatened to kill her one too many times. It’ll be great when my parents and siblings never invite me over to their houses because they think my behavior is out of control. I can’t wait to achieve that level of isolation and notoriety.
When I grow up, I want to spend a lot of time in jail. I look forward to receiving charges of public intoxication, disorderly conduct, assault, and battery. I can’t wait to collect warrants because I was too drunk to show up for my court dates. It’ll be fun to bounce in and out of jail and frequently apologize to of all of my probation officers. It’ll be neat to lose my housing because I couldn’t pay my rent while I was in jail. Homelessness will be a delight!
When I grow up, I want people to judge me because of my alcohol problem. I look forward to people hating me because they believe that I choose to drink alcohol to the point that I can’t function. It’ll be exciting to realize that people believe I am useless and a waste of a human being.
When I grow up, I want to hate myself because I am a drunk. It’ll be fun to feel constant shame and complete lack of control over myself or anything else. I can’t wait to experience unending self-loathing and disappointment. And how thrilled I will feel when I realize that the only thing that makes me feel better in the moment is drinking more alcohol.
Maria Yang is a psychiatrist who blogs at In White Ink.
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