sink vs. swim

do you ever miss it?

i don’t know, really. yes? no? of course not. sometimes. obviously.

it fluctuates, i guess. with my mood, with the season, with my fucking outfit. sometimes i look in the mirror and i’m startled by its reflection. when did i become so tired? or when did i learn to smile again? it’s weird, i guess, to be wrapped up so tightly in a world of wretchedness and hide it so well. i don’t know how i could flee with such ease- how i could disconnect like that.

maybe i was young- it was so easy to fall and get wrapped up and just… be with someone. but things happened and i escaped myself and i may have just been a shell of a person- someone i once was. someone i’d never be again. maybe i glorified all those meaningless fucks because i wanted, more than anything, for them to be more than that. i wanted to prove (to myself) that i was capable of love again. not being in love. just… loving. i knew how, i thought. and it didn’t matter with who, i just needed to settle this bet with myself.

but his skin felt different, and his neck wasn’t comforting and i closed my eyes if he looked at me. i was sure not to touch his face, his shoulders, his chest, his hands- nothing that would connect us. i knew how to fuck without love. and i got better at it as time went on. hike your skirt and don’t look back.

men like that, right? when you drink them under the table, pound shots back while you’re dancing. when you have no fucking limits, no end. at some point, i couldn’t even tell when the night began or when the sun rose. i became so drunk off power, off lust, off getting away with all of it. i was secretive enough to keep them on their toes, yet open enough to have them back for more, if i wanted to. it became easy, i became cocky. they were afraid of me. i’d become a fucking liability because no one wanted to hurt like that. no one wanted to push those limits or feel so awful day after day. my body became my own punching bag, and i grew accustomed to the pain…

rolling out off someone (anyone)’s couch at dawn, naked and frazzled. my kidneys in so much pain i couldn’t even cough. stumbling through hallways to a bathroom so i could shit my fucking brains out, hack up a lung, and whimper in the shower. cracking a beer for breakfast. chewing gum all day to mask the taste of malt liquor. fighting the fatigue, fighting the urge to sleep forever because i knew then that if i’d give in, i’d give up forever. one more night, i’d say.

it lasted years.

how? fuck if i know.

and don’t get me wrong… some of my best memories were created during those times- during the better days, with better people. but i have this way of spiralling out of control so fast i lose my grip almost entirely. and yeah, you know, there will always be a part of me that will feed off the ecstacy of that lifestyle. and i will still have totally out of control crazy nights, sometimes.

but i think i’ve changed.

in some ways, at least. how could i not? it became a matter of life or death, job or unemployment, food or starvation, love or hate. it was either get healthy and grow up or fall off the map forever. because no one wants a broken girl like that; damaged goods. no one wants a fucking drunk for a girlfriend, for a daughter, for a friend.

and maybe dan did have a small part in helping me. he wanted so badly to be good again, to find some sort of common ground. when we were just friends, he would escape to the comforts of my living room and sleep in my bed and eat my casseroles. and without even realizing it, we were living the lifestyle i’d always wanted, deep down. the lifestyle i wasn’t comfortable sharing with anyone else.

so when i was sitting in my friend’s living room, eating the shepherds pie we’d just made from scratch, and talking about her due date… and she asked me, quite boldly do you ever miss it? , my initial instinct was to respond, without faulter, no. no fucking way.

and i guess i’d been mulling it over because, really, fuck it’s easy to let go… but i haven’t wavered. the answer is still no. this lifestyle i have, with these people in my life, and the job i work hard at, and the bills i pay (on time, no less), and the expensive furniture i finally own, and the effort i am putting into my home with dan… this is living. and i may shiver when i take my first sip of beer of the week, and i may still get a little giddy when i get afternoon drunk on a sunday, but it’s getting better. it’s definitely gotten easier. and i think that’s what’s important.

i don’t need to be black-out drunk to take my pants off in front of my boyfriend. and i don’t need to eat once a day to sustain life- i can cook and plan meals and enjoy dinners with my family and friends. and i don’t need to force myself to feel any sort of emotion, because with dan, it comes as naturally as breathing. as blinking. it just is.

and maybe that’s what scares me, sometimes. here i am, just being. and i’m okay with it. and i’m falling in love with it, even. i don’t have to worry about anyone’s intentions or the burden of fucking being alive because i actually have purpose now. and it’s a tough place to be, when i realize the last few years of my life have been some fucking bullshit ride i wanted off of- a rollercoaster i just kept riding because i had no other choice, i didn’t know any other options.

but that friend… the one who always asked me how i was doing, who always flat out questioned my sobriety any time we talked… she created a life. this perfect, tiny, healthy baby girl… and she’s changed everything. everyone around me is getting married, or having babies, moving in with their significant others, or packing up to start somewhere fresh together. it’s beautiful. here i was, thinking we were just a bunch of fuck ups, a bunch of punks having a good time. and it’s like the seasons changed and we’ve all started building our own families. my old roommate, skinhead jesse, is flying halfway across the country to make hundreds of thousands of dollars so he can buy his girlfriend a house in a year. so he can marry her and they can have babies in the city. jesse fucking germs wants to be a man. he wants to build a life and be a father… and the best part? he’d be amazing at it.

these last few days… spent renovating my new home, and spending time with my close friends who are all doing the same sort of things… i’ve just fallen completely in love with this city again. with my friends and our new lifestyles and where we’re headed.

because for the first time, man, we’re fucking headed somewhere.

and dammit, does that ever feel good.


10 thoughts on “sink vs. swim

  1. Beautiful post! You’re right, I do love it. I’m glad to know you Elle! I talk more to you on bbm than anyone (aside from Matt and Nolan) in person haha. You’re awesome and you’ve come such a long way. I’m proud of who you are and the lessons you’ve learned. You’re fucking heading somewhere beautiful, xoxo

    • hahaha, i think about that all the time- how i talk to you all day, every day. i’m super lucky to have a friend like you in my life miss. thanks for always supporting me the way you do.


  2. Pingback: thrash unreal « elle

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