While most of my friends are scattered along the coast lines of the beautiful southern states I have found myself spending yet another spring break land locked. Growing up in the Midwest spring break wasn’t anywhere near as much of a thing as it is in the south (likely because spending 3 days in the car to get to the nearest ocean shortens the beach days significantly and increases the cost substantially). As a result I am spending Spring break in a city that, while no longer my favorite, I am certainly relearning to love.
Nashville is great. You can be on the edge of the city and feel like you are in the suburbs. You can go downtown and see some tall buildings and interact with some sketchy cab drivers. You can go to one of several dozen parks to reach all levels of physical activity. You can eat way more food then necessary, and you can drink yourself into oblivion (assuming you can handle your alcohol).
The first few days of break held onto the family tradition of “educational bonding”. Dad took off work, we drove aimlessly around the city, tried to go to a museum (closed on Monday’s), hiked 3 miles around a lake, hunted down the new vegan Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, ate way too much southern food (the usual home for the holiday’s when you live in the south). At night however, it was time for me to do my own thing. Sunday night I finally made a jail break from my parents house and met my best friend for drinks in a small town north of the city.
I sat down at the bar to order my drink and for the first time in a few weeks I got a little cocky. I ordered a whiskey and coke and prayed for the best. A few sips in my body told me I needed to stop. It was all I could do to choke down the first few sips, no matter how much I was enjoying the taste. I was back to craving the taste of whiskey, but it still wasn’t going to sit well. Too proud of my former ability to drink grown men under the table I refused to order anything that didn’t scream “she can handle her alcohol” and switched to water. My best friend repeatedly reminded me how crazy I was being, and I repeatedly reminded him I grew up in a state where binge drinking is a sport and I refuse to order myself anything that could tarnish that reputation. At the same time I was sitting there craving the feeling of being able to finish a drink. There I was, sitting in a bar, and unable to take more then 2 sips of alcohol. I looked like a child.
Finally he decided he needed to order for me. If I could muster up the strength to get myself some alcohol I would actually be able to swallow, he would do it for me, and then attempted to mend my reputation with the outspoken couple at the end of the bar. There are some days when you just need a drink Sunday night that was me. I have no idea what ended up in front of me other then something fruity mixed with Vodka that I never would have allowed on my tongue on my own. You couldn’t taste the alcohol. You couldn’t smell the alcohol. I still had to chase every sip with a few sips of water but for the first time in almost six months I finished a drink without wanting to throw up. It was amazing (minus him having to repeat multiple times to the bartender and outspoken customers around us that I once was able to out drink him).
I will be spending this week bouncing around to various doctors appointments while he will be drinking himself into oblivion somewhere in Virginia and so us having that night at the bar was something I really needed. I’m starting to get to the point where I can talk about the thing inside my head a little more openly, but it is definitely still a challenge. There are still lots of people in my daily life who have no idea that I am sick. I still have yet to tell my parents the full extent of my health problems and having my best friend around to confide in before spending a week living at my parents house while simultaneously hiding a brain tumor from them was one of the best gifts he could have given me. I have a best friend who lets me cry on his shoulder when I need to, kicks my ass when I need to suck it up and handle my life like an adult, and who defends me when all I need is to get a little drunk, what more could I want in a best friend?