There are times when she breaks down. There are moments in which she falls apart. These are the moments in time where her smile becomes an expression of strength but you'll never know her battles because she goes to war in silence.
My family is full of addicts. I was so naive to think because of the influences I have had I would never become one. Boy was I wrong... I don't have a singular habit that I am addicted to. I have multiple bad habits to fill the need of my addiction. I'm addicted to a feeling. My name is Brittany and I am addicted to feeling happy. I have had a taste of true happiness. You know the kind where the sun is shining, there is a good song on the radio, and all you can do is smile. Everything is just right in the world, in that moment. All the bad that weighed you down before is a forgotten memory. However, that feeling is only temporary for me. I don't quite understand though, why the feeling is only temporary for me. The more I try to keep it the feeling around the more reckless I get with my behaviors.
One of my most recent developed reckless behaviors is drinking. Drinking to fit in and seem fun. Drinking to mask the pain. With the first sip of alcohol, the weight of the world flies off of my shoulders. I feel like dancing and singing. It started off drinking more frequently with friends, and then slowly I found myself drinking alone more often than not. When I would drink alone, it wasn't just to feel happy. It was also so I could sleep. So that meant instead of a glass of wine, I drank a large 1.5 liter bottle. Instead of 2-3 beers, I would drink a case. I didn't have a limit. I drank until it was gone.
That same trend continued when I would go out to the bar. I didn't know how to, or didn't want to, stop at one or two drinks. And more often than I am willing to admit... I drove home drunk. In this search of happiness at the bottom of a bottle, because for a brief moment it gave me a glimpse of what I was searching for, I have made many poor choices. I have made a complete ass of myself too many times to count, and I am mortified but my actions when intoxicated. I often make jokes about "drunk Brittany" but deep down inside I hate her and she isn't funny. Just like I hate fat Brittany. You know the big girl who eats whatever she wants when she wants, but has all the fake self confidence in the world.... I think any addiction persona I take on is a sad and pathetic version of me.
I never had a life altering experience from drinking that made me hit rock bottom. I didn't get arrested. I didn't lose my license. I didn't kill anyone. I am currently thanking God for that because I could have easily done all of the above.
I recently took inventory on my life and came to realize that I base a lot of my choices around drinking, hoping for that moment of happiness to come back. I make plans for the weekend based on how hungover I will be the next day. I budget money for booze and every time I go grocery shopping there is at least a bottle of wine in my cart. They truly meant it when you have bariatric surgery not to drink. Do not drink because you will substitute one addiction for another. That is exactly what I did. I used to eat to feel happiness. Honestly, I think everyone can relate to food giving them the feeling of pure joy. However, for me it was killing me. So I changed that. Or so I thought....
I'm getting fatter and my memory is turning to shit. In my early years of drinking I have never experienced black out moments. Now they happen frequently. It's like I know what is happening in the moment itself, but it doesn't convert to long term memory. There have been many times that my memory stops very early and I have no clue how I even got home. I keep wondering how I have gained so much weight when I have pretty much ate the same, and even when I diet. Then I put down a case a of beer or liter of wine.... there was part of the answer there.
I said before I drank to help with my insomnia as well. After awhile it got later and later I was staying up to drink. A few drinks later, or one too many, the "happy" feeling would stop and the pain would wash over me. Recent suicide attempts or self harming have all been when I was intoxicated.
All of these moments have added up in my head recently. The reason behind why I do things, and how they have effected my life. I decided that drinking hasn't given me that "happy" feeling I am looking for in a really long time. I don't believe it truly ever did. It is possible that it heightened whatever feelings I had. Whether they were good or bad. I have decided to live the sober life of a little while. Currently I am 8 days sober and riding the struggle bus all the way to funky town. Nights like tonight I would have a glass of wine and a bad chick flick on the TV. Instead, I have a diet coke and pouring my heart out to anyone willing to read this.
Happiness is a feeling I desperately want to remain in my life more consistently. I need to learn to develop more healthy habits in order to achieve that feeling. Working on feeling accomplished, and work on my self confidence. Moments, feelings and character building that will allow happiness to stay around longer than a brief moment. Slowly I will find my way back there. When I do, I don't ever want to let it go.
I used to feel too much and I used to not feel at all,
Down on my knees I would pray, "someone please catch me if I fall",
Fall to pieces; completely shattered apart,
All fitting together like a mosaic work of art,
My soul I sold for a small temporary piece of mind,
Sex, booze, or pill any swift relief I could find,
At the bottom of the bottles, or in yet another mans touch,
Even in the endless amount of searching it all became too much,
Each continuous moment was a hurricane of emotions,
High and Lows with to many should I stay or should I go's,
Stopping to take a breath, looking deep inside myself to find the answer to my question,
Only to learn life's most valuable lesson...
The feelings I feel so deep are valid and I am enough,
The chaotic life is undeniably worth living even when it's rough .
- Brittany Sergent
Sometimes all you need to do is give your heart a break. Just for a moment. A break so you can collect all your deep thoughts and repair your heart.
I turned 30 this year. This is a big number for me. Not in the same way its big for most woman. Most woman dread turning 30. It's that one birthday that woman feel as if they are getting old, and it's only down hill from there. Some unmarried with no children, such as myself, feel as if they are past their prime. At this point in their life they collect cats (DONE) and settle on become the best aunt (DONE). I'm not going to settle, and I'm not focusing on any of that typical shit. I'm no different at 30 than what I was at 25. I still have the love of life and dream big dreams. I want to take on the world and make a difference. One day I will. This year I made a promise to myself that I would love myself more. Do more of what I wanted, not what is expected of me or what other think I should do. I have a tendency to make goals and never see them through. For one reason or another I always have an excuse. Not this year... This year I'm going to better by my self.
For my 30th birthday I decided to take myself on vacation. Originally the plan was to spend some time down in Miami with my Cousin/Best Friend/Partner in Crime. But life always seem to get in the way of big plans, and it doesnt normally happen. Then, I wanted to take myself to California and knock something special off of my bucket list. However, that idea came to late and the money for the trip wasn't in the cards. So... there I was wanting to do something and limited funds to do so. I decided on South Carolina. A place I had been so many times, and fallen in love with more and more with each visit. It was the place I learned about a version of myself that I loved. The woman I always want to be. Life is simpler down there, and easy going. All my anxiety and worry go out the window.
There it was, the plan for my 30th birthday. All the decisions were made by me. Making decisions about when, where and how. What means to get down there, and the money to be down there. best decision EVER. It was much needed time away from my crazy life and it brought a lot of clarity.
For someone like myself, I normally have every aspect of anything I do planned. Right down to the things that could possibly go wrong and see a solution out. Except for this time... I was so excited and so hopeful I never saw it coming. I had landed in Savannah Georgia. You could feel just landing the sweet humidity in the air. I was almost home; or the place my heart had claimed as home a decade ago. I was in line to pick up the rental car, ready to hit the road. I had called the company I reserved the car through as I wanted to ensure I could use my debit card to get the car, and that a deposit was not needed. They assured me over the phone that I could use my debit card, and since I called there was no deposit needed. Well... it was too good to be true. I got denied the car rental with my debit card because I did not have full coverage insurance. Apparently unless you have a major credit card in your name, you need full coverage insurance. After venting my frustrations to a group of friends, apparently this is common knowledge that I did not possess. Life lesson learned. Here I was, ready for vacation and stuck at the Savannah Airport. I immediately got to beating myself up for taking the easy way out and not driving like I originally planned. If I had just sucked it up and drove I would have a car. A character defect of mine is immediately going to a dark place in my mind and think about all the bad things to list them off. List them over and over again until I am in a terrible mood and begin to cry. Crying in the middle of the airport or throwing a temper tantrum was not an option. I had to put on my big girl pants and make a choice... I needed to figure out a way to get to my destination and then from there I will figure it all out. It was clear that captain "I dont know/I dont care" wasn't going to help with any decision making. Which in turn left me feeling more frustrated and now alone. I decided to get a Lyft. It was that or be stuck at the airport and that wasn't about to happen. This was my first every Lyft ride and it cost me $80.... 80 fucking dollars. I was still going to be there for a week with no transportation... that was a problem I would need to figure out at a later date.
After a near mental breakdown and a long almost mile walk in the South Carolina humidity, I had finally made it. Sometimes, with a little bit of faith, things work themselves out. Where we were staying on the island had a trolley. It took us to a bunch of different places. Including many of the places I wanted to see and go. I had to make a few sacrifices of plans that I had, but in the grand scheme of things, it was all very small. My vacation consisted of days drinking by the pool getting a tan or catching a sunburn. My night were drinking some more, and falling asleep early because of either too much booze or too much sun. I ate some of the best food of my life and got to spend some much needed time with some family.
The condo was right on the Sea Pines Plantation on beautiful Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. This condo was much like the others you could see around the area and they were all connected in a way. However, there was something about the one I stayed in that was special and unique in my eyes. It could be because it was where I would live for the weekend, or that I was actually finally there. The condo was two stories. The first floor had a full bathroom, bedroom with two twin beds, kitchen, dining room and living room. The second floor had a sitting room, and a HUGE master bedroom with a full bathroom. The bathroom had a walk in shower that would make anyone's dreams come true. On the first floor there was a deck on the rear, and from the deck you could see a pond. Not only was it absolutely beautiful and serene but I provided me with some of the most exciting and memorable experience. A sight that is very common in South Carolina but very rare in Michigan is an Alligator. I was lucky to see one two or three times.
5 out of 7 of my days were spent by the pool, and if we are being honest... I didn't make it to the beach. I'm not even mad that I didn't make time or plans for that. The beach is so messy and can be uncomfortable. I did make the time to visit the ocean though. Close by the condo was a place called Harbor Town. As you can guess by its name, there was a Harbor. It's fun, beautiful and magical. Groupon had a great deal on a dolphin cruise departing from Harbor Town. I have previously visit South Carolina during the summer. First, during my summer vacation while in middle school. Then, with family. Never during those experiences had I seen a dolphin. My first sighting during the cruise I smiled so big, and honestly I don't think I stopped smiling. I was so excited for the experience that I forgot to put on sunscreen! It was over cast, and we were on the ocean for an hour and a half. Needless to say I was pretty sunburn.
I would love to go on and on about the food that I ate while I was down there. However, I don't know if I have enough knowledge of adjectives to describe the tastes and smells. My best experience with food has always been with my Uncle and Aunt. Whether it be at their restaurant or at their home. My Aunt's motto is "just try it". That motto has made me try and learn to love so many different types of foods and textures that I never thought were possible. The way they make and prepare food is something poetic. The taste and textures will make you smile, dance in your seat, moan with a mouth full of food and eat until you feel like you can't eat any more. If you decide to go down to South Carolina and happen to be in or near Beaufort or Hilton Head Island you HAVE to go to Wren and Jane. The BEST food you will ever eat, and I'm not just saying that because they are family.
I'm home now, and it has been difficult to get back into a normal routine. If I were to be honest with myself, I feel kind of down. Its not the same feeling, smell, sights or vibes here. However, I am incredibly grateful to be back with all my pets.
This was a vacation I will remember for a very long time. ♥ Here's to hoping I have many more adventures to include with this one in the near future.