I Got the Music In Me

I should have known I’d have a problem with alcohol.  I tend to be a tad obsessive about certain things.  As an adolescent, I was never overweight but my body developed early and I HATED it.  My boobs were huge, I was awkwardly tall and had wicked acne.  I SO wanted to disappear but couldn’t. I was too tall. I would never stand up straight because I was taller than all of my friends. And all I wanted to do was to FIT IN, FAGAWDSAKE!! Boys?  Ha! They were PUNY!!  I towered over them like Lurch from the Adams family (or was he from the other show that I can’t remember the name of at the moment?) Anyhoo, I was awkward in the truest sense of the word.  Plus, I was adopted.  Oy.

Fast forward to the summer I turned 15:  went on vacay with my one friend and her fam and decided on the way to the lake that I was FAT and I was going to NOT BE ANYMORE.  So I vowed to quit eating.  Two weeks later I lost almost 15 pounds (don’t ask me how–I just starved myself and did plenty of exercise) and by the end of the summer I was a whopping 98 pounds.  At 5’6.  Not a good look.  Although, if you asked me at the time I looked amazing.  Stopped eating and stopped menstruating all at once.  My mom was so concerned she took me to the doc.  He gave me a lollipop and said, “Start eating or you’re going to the hospital”.  I fearfully took his advice and slowly came out of my Summer of Anorexia.  I never did rid myself of that mindset, however.  In my 30’s-40’s I developed a nice case of exercise addiction.  Working out compulsively for hours at a time 7 days a week.  Running, stepping, aerobic-ing…I had no body fat but I did permanent damage to my feet.  Bunions the size of Montana. I now need surgery.

Drinking relaxed me.  Made me feel welcomed and warm and not so tall.  It also unleashed my incredible talent (cough, cough).  I remember my first drunken stupor like it was yesterday.  I was 16ish and a family friend, much older than me, was marrying a classical musician.  I had taken piano lessons from an early age but had a serious problem with stage fright so I could never play in front of people.  I remember one recital where I was to play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, I knew it forward and back.  I LOVED that piece.  It was part of me, I played it so much.  But that day, with all of those people staring at me?  My hands started shaking so terribly I couldn’t even get through three measures.  I had to stop.  I was devastatingly embarrassed.   But at this lovely wedding reception, with all of these beautiful pianos and classical musicians…and the wine pouring into my glass…I was on FIRE.  That liquid courage sat me down at a gorgeous baby grand and out came Beethoven without one page of sheet music.  Played the whole thing by memory.  In front of MUSICIANS.  REALLY GOOD MUSICIANS.  One guy came up to me and said, “That was beautiful.  Who do you study with?” Who do I study with?  HAHAHAHA…some lady down the street who gets paid like $10 an hour to teach me stuff.  I could not believe that this gorgeous music poured out of me.  It must be because of what I was pouring IN to me.  Oh, was I shitfaced.  My parents knew I was, but they too, thought is was cool that I impressed the crowd.

I tried to replicate that moment at my cousins wedding six months later.  Didn’t go so well.  I was half in the bag so naturally I thought I was an excellent pianist.  Sat down and fucked it up so badly I heard some lady behind me say, “Is there anyone here who KNOWS how to play?” Ugh…I ran upstairs to my cousin’s bedroom and cried in the corner for an hour.  And then made out with some kid who smelled bad.  So that happened.

I was 16.  I wonder what my liver looks like now?  How many brain cells have I killed?  How much permanent damage did I do?

I think I need to stop here and let these memories metabolize a bit.  I’m seeing so much all at once and it’s overwhelming.  This blogging thing is cathartic but I also want to keep it honest.  My mind needs to settle.

So, yeah.  Here’s to blogging and being sober.  Happy Friday.

Author: soberyoginow

I am a 56 year old yoga instructor who chooses not to drink alcohol any more.

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