Pea went away for the weekend on Friday and, knowing this holiday was coming up, I had gone off Antabuse and was basically looking forward to a weekend of alcohol and junk food binging. I know that sounds bad, but it is what it is.
Before he even left however, the cracks started to show. I tried to control his packing process from his sleeping arrangements to the food he was taking. He went to a dirt bike event where around seven hundred dirt bike riders would bring their bikes to a camp site near Kowen in the ACT for two days of riding and camping. A week before I was calling my parents to see if they had any suitable camping gear, urging Pea, who was rather laid back about the whole thing, to start packing.
Luckily there was a camping gear sale at Aldi so he got most of what he needed there. After borrowing an eski from my parents, he was set. He didn’t want to take any food – just wanted to fill that huge eski with beer – because he said there would be a food truck there. At my insistence he took some sausages and bread because with one food truck for seven hundred people you don’t know if a) the food is any good and b) they might run out of food.
On Friday, I woke feeling off and called in sick to work. I went with Pea to do his food shopping and nagged him unsuccessfully to buy more food. Back home, I hovered around while he did his last minute packing, stressing that he was going to forget something.
He left around eleven, and my feelings of uneasiness continued. I distracted myself by watching some youtube, until midday when I went to the pub for lunch as I do every Friday. I surprised the lady in the restaurant by ordering “the usual, but only for me this week.”
I watched more tv that afternoon and was plagued by the overwhelming desire the have a drink. The voice in my head kept saying “just have one” but I knew I wouldn’t be able to stop at one, and then I wouldn’t be able to drive to roller derby training. And even if I did manage to get there somehow, skating drunk is not advisable.
I got to roller derby early, and texted Pea to call me, knowing he’d be at Kowen by then. He did, but the signal kept dropping out and eventually we gave up. I accepted that I wouldn’t be able to talk to him until he came back.
Once training started I felt shaky, and it occurred to me with a pang of anxiety that if I got hurt there was no-one to come and get me. I didn’t know who I would call. Pea’s sister lives down the street but I don’t have her number. My parents live nearly an hour away. I held onto the wall for nearly fifteen minutes until I could be persuaded to join in. Later another freshie broke her tailbone which did nothing to ease my feeling of discomfort.
After training we went to the pub and I told the girls that my partner had gone away. They all started talking about how much they enjoyed their partners going away which left me wondering if I’m just tragic, or if we just haven’t been together long enough (I asked my mum this later and she told me in no uncertain terms that no, we haven’t.)
Finally I drove back home and the part of the weekend I had been apparently looking forward to could begin. I started pouring drinks and watching funny shows. But rather than relax me, the alcohol seemed to have the opposite effect. Then at around midnight, my heart dropped into my stomach with a realisation.
What am I doing? I don’t want to be doing this.
I was only doing this because I was alone. And I was terrified to be alone. I hate sleeping alone yet that is what I would have to do because I had drunk too much to drive anywhere. I turned off the television, poured the rest of my drink down the sink and took my gabapentin.
The next day, I woke determined to do better. I went to the supermarket and bought ingredients to make a healthy lunch. Then I called my Mum so at least I would be talking to someone that day.
Over the phone Mum picked up that I sounded stressed. She invited me to stay over for the weekend so, after a bit of thought, I decided that would be best. At least that way I wouldn’t sleep in an empty house. I took the ingredients for my healthy lunch and no alcohol.
It’s now Sunday and I’m sitting in my room at Mum and Dad’s typing this. My messages to Pea don’t seem to be getting through so the first he’s going to know about this will probably be when he arrives home late tonight and finds me gone, though he will probably be able to figure out what happened.
Now that I know how Pea going away affects me I am better able to deal with it in the future, i.e with no drinking, healthy food and not isolating myself. Once you know better, you do better.
I still miss him though. I guess I’m just tragic.