(For the beginning of the story, check out my previous blog post!)
Having had only a few months to help my mother with the estate sale, fill up the storage unit, and pack up my apartment, planning my life out once I got to California was like trying to button up my summer shorts in the dead of winter. It wasn’t going to happen. The best I could do was buy a ticket to a festival where I could camp out, in the hopes that the universe would orchestrate the perfect encounter to guide me to the place I was suppose to be. However, what was orchestrated there was no symphony, it was more like a catastrophe.
If Coachella and Burning Man had a baby, it would be the festival I went to. I found myself surrounded by people dressed up like they were about to go trick or treating, with pupils the size of gum balls. Every time I would meet someone, I would wonder if they were the one who would help me get out of this mess some way or somehow. I would check out a good looking guy in the hopes that he’d be my knight in shining armor, or knight dressed like Tarzan on acid. It didn’t take me long to start completely losing it and questioning my choices.
Terrified of my own state of mind, consumed by my thoughts of food, fear of relapsing, and desperation to figure life out, I chose to not experiment with anything that might enhance my state of being. Sober, I meandered around the wide dirt paths alongside the extravagant and colorful tents and booths, full of psychedelic t-shirts, onesies, and leather outfits. I started to cry as I walked across a wooden bridge that brought me to more tents with people laughing and enjoying their lives. A part of me resented them for rubbing salt in my large opened wound, and resented myself for not being like them.
As the sun set, I stared out onto the horizon and felt like I was looking at a real life version of the sunset from The Lion King minus the hundreds of tents. I turned around and saw half naked people drinking and doing drugs, so they could continue their momentum into the night. Having been a sober mess the past few days, I figured I’d join the party and have a beer or two. Nothing crazy, but just enough to give me a buzz and take the edge off. It still doesn’t seem like a horrible idea, so long as something horrible didn’t happen as a result.
Dancing like I had Spanish in my blood, or so I thought, I began to enjoy my time and buzz. Shortly after, I started not to feel so well from the alcohol, and decided to step away for some fresh air. As I made my way around the bend towards my campsite, I began to worry far worse than my mother does trying to make thanksgiving dinner. I felt so sick that I could tell I was about to throw up, but my ego assured me that everything would be okay if I did. Deep down, I knew this could easily be a floodgate for my old addictive behaviors to resurface.
I came out from behind the bushes, relieved that I physically felt a million times better, but that was the only thing I was relieved about. The flood gate was officially open, and my thoughts after that consisted of “uh oh uh oh uh oh” and “There, there, it’s okay. Eat this and you’ll feel better.” … to be continued