What a year. And it’s only day two. This year I danced and sang, I’ve been hospitalized, lost/had my wallet stolen- purse was cut so I’m assuming the latter- and I have zero memory of how any of it happened. Oh and I cried a lot. Did I have too much to drink? Maybe. Doubtful, but maybe. Did my body just react horribly to alcohol since I was sick for a week? Possible. Did a cute guy hand me a drink with something in it? Also possible. The thing is, I don’t remember. That’s the terrifying truth. One minute, I was dancing with a group of friends and I met a guy. The next, I awoke in a hospital bed- only 5 hrs later. It was night and day. I get images of a man’s face- he reminded me of this Broadway actor I had spent hours watching YouTube videos of earlier that day. He probably looked nothing like him. I hear him calling my name as if trying to wake me up. That’s it. Blank. That’s how I rang in the new year. Alone, in a hospital bed, with no wallet and no memory. When I asked how I got there, the ER nurse said paramedics brought me in. And with that realization of being utterly alone, I bolted out the hospital doors.
I’m obviously super thankful that nothing worse happened because it could have been exponentially worse. I get sick to my stomach thinking about what could have happened. It’s pretty shitty and not so fun but there’s some good take-away here, especially looking forward and going into this new year.
Lessons to be learned:
Your body and your health come first, above all else. Even if you spent $100 on an NYE event months ago, don’t go. That’s it. No excuse is good enough to compromise your well-being.
If you DO go to said event and are sick, don’t drink, even a little. Because even if you haven’t taken any medicine in the past 24 hrs, that shit’s still in your system and it will affect you. And it will inhibit you from actually getting better.
DO NOT take drinks from strangers. This is a gimme. Something we learn in every coming of age TV Show and movie. I’m a chatty Kathy and I trust[ed] people way too easily.
CHECK IN on your friends. If any one of the people that I went to this event with had texted me or called me, I likely would not have ended up where I did. Now, it’s not your responsibility to be a babysitter but being a friend means going “Oh hey, so-and-so had been missing for about an hour. Maybe I should check in on them, make sure everything is alright!”
ONE night does not determine who you are. So many things can be said about me for not knowing what happened that night. What I KNOW is that it wasn’t a night where I just blacked out because I got too wasted. I’ve been there, done that. This, this was different. I know my body and I know how different it felt. It felt chemical. Whether that be my own body’s rejection to the gin because of my nasty cold or because of the drink the nice, handsome man gave me. I’ll never know. Regardless, it doesn’t diminish my worth.
Take care of your mental health. This whole thing has taken a bit of a toll on me, and brought to light some underlying issues- hey, maybe my mental health isn’t as great as I thought it was because of how I’m reacting. And that’s okay. I have a really amazing support system in my family and close friends but going back to profesh help is important too.
MOVE ON, but carry the lessons with you. You can’t change the past. But you can be a better version of yourself.
I’ve already thrown out the broken purse. Laundered the outfit worn in the hospital bed. In two weeks, I’ll have my license and bank cards replaced. It’ll probably take a while for me to venture out on my own or even be alone when I go out with friends. I’m gonna have to learn how to trust people. I need to be kinder to myself and not blame every single action that night on me but I also need to take responsibility for going out when I shouldn’t have and for trusting a stranger when I shouldn’t have.
This year, I hope to be a better, stronger, kinder, more bad-ass version of myself. The kind of woman that would see me that NYE and intervene to try to get me to my friends or in a cab home. The kind of woman that would make the first move instead of having the guy grab her a drink. The kind of woman who is open and honest and is particular about the people she allows in her life. The kind of woman who refuses to settle. The kind of woman who doesn’t just appear strong but is actually tough as nails. The kind of woman that says kind things to herself. And means them. I began my self-discovery tour in the latter part of 2017 and while this night was a bit of a setback, 2018 can only get better. Like my girl Alanis says, “you live, you learn.”