After I was kicked when I was down, I stopped drinking altogether for a while. (I was also under a probationary period in which I wasn’t allowed – a huge catalyst.) A few months into 2006, pretty much everything was over and done with the DUI issue. Even though I was found not guilty, I still technically lost my license for a year, because I’d refused sobriety tests (you have the right to refuse in Florida), which automatically cancels your driving privies for a year – even if you’re found not guilty. I lived in the city close enough to take a cab or ride a bicycle, which was common there anyway.
I was settled into my new place with another new job I hated. My main focus was to work on myself and find a more enjoyable and stable job before bringing anyone else into my life, because I didn’t want my child exposed to anything that I’d just gone through. Some people were extremely helpful during that time – giving me rides, taking me to get groceries, etc. It was a pretty tight-knit community of functioning alcoholics, but we’d just managed three major hurricanes and survived. Everyone helped everyone in any way they could; it’s really amazing how people that are strangers come together during a crisis.
Even though about nine months had passed since the Sweathog fiasco, I was always looking behind me if I went out, because it was a small place, and you just never know. One of the women I worked with suddenly began treating me like total shit at work, a complete attitude change one day. She was a total mean bitch, and I couldn’t understand why, because she seemed really cool and carefree before. This was during the MySpace era, so a quick look at her account told me why she was being a sudden bitch; she was friends with Sweathog. I felt it was so unfair of her to judge me over a lying asshole that harassed, stalked, and threatened me, especially since her and I got along perfectly fine before!
She was rude to me, spoke to me like I was garbage, did things at work to fuck me over, talked shit about me. It was overall uncomfortable working with her, because she was so volatile. I felt like mean bitch was doing everything in her power to get me to quit, and I think she was pissed, because she knew I’d been faxing resumes for other jobs (with the drunk manager’s permission). We both tried getting our schedules so that we were not working together. I couldn’t understand why she couldn’t be mature about things.
The manager was a complete irresponsible alcoholic that did nothing at all to help anything including himself, and the assistant was a useless, alcoholic, lying prick. It’s not even a job I’d put on a resume, because it was so bad. I’d given my two-week notice to take another job (after all of that, I shouldn’t have given them anything, but as usual, I felt obligated to be the nicer person and not leave people hanging, even though they’ve treated me poorly). However, I ended up walking out before it was up, because I had reached my limit and was so fed up with all of their attitudes, laziness, and bad energy. I walked out right in the middle of a shift, because I’d taken a shift for mean bitch but then got invited on a motorcycle ride, and she refused to go to work. As usual, the manager’s phone went to his always-full voicemail, so I told mean bitch the keys to the building are with the business next door. I never looked back and never regretted it. Some places deserve to be walked out on, and that was one of them. Bad, bad vibes.
At some point, I began getting a social life again – going out to places, having some drinks a couple days a week, but I was no longer drinking vodka and Red Bull, since that made me think I could fly in my car. I never drove after even drinking a sip, because the stress of sitting in jail for another minute wasn’t worth it. I never wanted to go through that again. Eventually, I started drinking more and more the way I used to. Still in my 30s, I could manage the hangovers much more so than I could ever today. Even then, my hangovers were really bad to the point that at times I’d puke all day long, holding nothing down, not even water, and could only lie in bed all day recovering.
(Today, those hangovers generally take about four days to recover. NO thanks! I cringe thinking of all of the days I’ve wasted being hungover. That in itself is a sickening feeling, because I always had the intentions of not being hungover or not drinking.)
Back then, I was super skinny and didn’t eat much, so drinking alcohol on an empty stomach didn’t mix well with my brain or my appetite. I’d get drunker faster, the alcohol would suppress my appetite so that I didn’t eat, and since it was hot all the time and I was thirsty, I’d drink more. I wouldn’t bother counting how many drinks I was having, but how I felt at the time, and didn’t account for the alcohol to “kick in.”
Still, I felt other than being hungover from drinking sometimes, I was making better decisions for myself in other ways. I was still determined not to bring anyone into my life romantically until I was ready. And then it just happened unexpectedly.
During the time between moving from the house after the hurricane to the house that I was waiting on, I had to stay somewhere else for three weeks. One person allowed me to use her garage to store my items, and I stayed at another friend’s place within the same apartment complex. When I stayed at the other friend’s place, initially, I slept in his roommate’s room while he was gone for the military. Then the roommate suddenly came back, so I slept in the movie room.
I’d met the roommate one night around 3 a.m. after going out. He was cooking something in the kitchen, we introduced ourselves, and that was that. I met him briefly a few other times coming and going. Judging by the photos in his room, I thought he was married. Fast forward five months later, I ran into the roommate at a fundraising event.
Five months after that, he became my husband.