My obsession with the show, Intervention, planted some warning flags in my line of vision. I had to fall over a ton of them before I realized they were there, but I finally did realize. Intervention showcases people who are deep in their addictions. When I started drinking in the morning, I knew it was a problem. It had been a problem long before that, but this felt very on brand for an episode of Intervention. I fell asleep--er, passed out--at night and in the morning, there was always a strong drink on my nightstand left from the previous evening. When that drink started coming with me into the shower, I knew I was hitting a point of no return.
I did some weird shit when I was drinking. That is a sentence anyone with any experience getting drunk can probably say, but as an alcoholic I raised the bar and drank it dry. I wasn’t out being ridiculous and collecting hilarious anecdotes, this isn’t one of those stories. My life wasn’t like The Hangover, even if I was hungover all the time. I was more weird in an always-anxiously-awkward-and-sad kind of way.
I had a predictable schedule at the end of my drinking. In the evening, as soon as the light faded into dusk, I would migrate to the 14th floor balcony of my Buenos Aires apartment. I would have already purchased alcohol in preparation for my nightly routine, and onto the balcony with me it would go.
My laptop, which was still functioning semi-normally at the time, was critical for my escapism. I would scour the internet for old and new episodes of the show Intervention. The newest ones I’d watch by logging into my mom’s Xfinity account and the old ones I’d stream on some shady torrent server.
I got the drinks ready while the show was buffering. I’d pull out the liquor of the night, usually vodka, and mix it with whatever juice I had on hand. If I remembered to buy something to mix it with, I would feel like I was having a classy cocktail despite the fact that I was drinking it out of a plastic bottle. I wasn’t above tossing dry juice packets and some water right into the vodka.
My excuse for going outside was always to work on some do-it-yourself project. Then I’d spend the next few hours going deep on DIY projects while binging on Intervention and alcohol. As long as it wasn’t raining, I was game. I did it in the summer and the winter. If it was cold I would dress in layers and wait for the alcohol to warm me up.
When I watched Intervention, I could tell myself contradictory conveniences. It’s amazing how easily reality can be twisted to fit immediate demands. Whatever suited me best is the message I heard.
In an emergency call 911
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12 December 2017
By Kristance Harlow