Drinking Diaries: I am a hoarder.

As in, I stash, collect, store, pack-rat and acquire more than I can use at any one time. This is apparently an effort to have “enough” when there isn’t some available. Figures, since I was raised in the Depression. As in, my mom was depressed. She was a sad women, and blamed it on being “without enough money to have all the happiness money can buy,” (she believed it). She made sure we knew there wasn’t enough to go around, we had to ration. Indeed, things were scarce, times were tough, AND “this” NOT ENOUGH was enough for full blown depression from my mother of three that had been promised wealth and success from my father of three that didn’t end up making millions, or even ends meet. So, we had to go without extras, so what? big deal. But what I am talking about is “Without” Parental Joy, contentment, attention, interest, eagerness to get involved, spending time connecting, family pride of any kind……… since we was “po” (even the word can’t afford the last two letters). We were taught to crave what others had and what they “got” to do. We were led to desire the lives of the “have’s”, popular, successful, wealthy, happy, functional, undepressed families we knew or imagined. It’s a different kind of poor. You may have things but emptiness is what you notice most.

So, I became a hoarder in an attempt to fill. “If I take more than I need today, then tomorrow I won’t be without”. Well, this didn’t work out as you can probably imagine in relation to food, love, attention, sex, and…..drum roll please……….ALCOHOL.

I worked young (age 15) at a restaurant and I took home food from the kitchen. Sometimes food we needed at home, but most the time, just because I could. I loved to take to-go grub from restaurants. Ask my friends, I still take doggie bags from not just my plate, I ain’t picky, from anyones plate at the table….! I eat doggie bag food luxuriously, not because it tastes great, but because it’s bonus. It’s bonus, as in, extra, food. No ones fridge is safe when I come to visit. (ask Narayanī M Swenning). I learned to love leftovers, nothing was ever wasted when I am around. My friends know to call me over before they leave for vacation, I will take their fridge rejects. I will feed the world with it, or me. I am a cheap hoarder. I acquire clothing from friends hand-me-downs, more than I could ever need. I have many closets full of designer clothes and shoes, ask my husband, his stuff is in the garage. The furniture and art I own is either acquired by giveaways or garage sales or trade. The make up I wear is old, some from college, I know that’s terrible, oh well. Once, I attended a baby shower for a friend having a little boy and I asked if, instead of letting all the blue wrapping paper go into the trash, I could take it home. All gifts from me for the next two years were wrapped in baby blue paper, some with little rattles (not like snakes, but those shakers babies shake) on them. Gifts from me are sometimes something I used to own(recycled) or something I got on sale maybe years ago. I hoard baby gifts even when no one is pregnant. I don’t have a house full of everything but if someone is giving away a bunch of wine glasses (even though I don’t drink) I will take them, all of them, and find a home for them. I am kinda a dealer, or agent of things/animals. I have started accounts at the Consignment store for 10 of my friends. I will take your dog if you aren’t doing the best job with it, and find another owner…. watch me. ha ha. I buy things at Estate sales that I would never use, but if it’s a good deal, I buy them all, then I figure out who to give it to.

This has kept me busy, “feeling” busy and momentarily full. Full of this or that. Abundance is what I am looking for. The endless river of plenty. Where is that? what? you’re fucking with me………no, nah, really? it’s in HERE? (I touch my heart, clouds part, light shines through, the music is like the soundtrack of City of Angels, you cry a little, I offer you a kleenex, we hug).

So, here is one realization I have in my sober clarity. When I drank I felt a feeling of relief or let’s just say “happiness”. So, therefore I may concluded that if one drink brought happiness then two drinks would bring “happinerness” and three drinks “happierthanthatness” …. you can see where this is going. But, as with most things, more isn’t the answer. More of this or that isn’t “more better.” So, hoarding alcohol in my skin turns out to be dumb idea. Cuz we all know that more alcohol is more worse… dahhh, but I tested it out many times just to make for damn sure.

Why did I think this “happiness” would carry over to tomorrow? This feeling, or relief, would last from this drinking? Testing it out, over and over seeing that more made it worse.