This was originally published on March 4, 2018.
Rekindled: Friends walk in and out of our lives but the good ones always find their way back or never leave to begin with.
**Disclaimer: This is the last post of “What the Hell it Was Like” and it is long AF. The topics include nicknames and roommates (and it has a lot of asterisks!)
Excluding my husband, I have had a total of 7 roommates in adulthood. All of these roommates have experienced me at various stages of my drinking career and it’s safe to say that I still owe some of them amends. Of these 7, 3 are still in my life today. 1 is my sister and the other 2 are friends for 20+ years – I love them so much they might as well be family.
I’ve gone by numerous nicknames given by these 3 individuals. Most fizzled out and others I answer to to this day. In fact, one of the names with my sister (R2) that we both STILL answer to stemmed from a non-word an ex-boyfriend would add to the end of people’s names. 15’ish years later and we still call each other this 3 letter non-word-nickname.
My very first roommate, R1, was one of my BFFs from high school. You know WTF you are. We were connected at the hip. We did everything together – wore each other’s clothes, spent the night at each other’s houses, made embarrassing music videos, shared a couple hook-ups, went to the same college, shared a dorm and of course, discovered our fondness for alcohol together. Our high school shenanigans and silly nicknames long gone, we were embracing this new freedom of living on our own; and with that came a lot of fun for us novice party girls. Remember, we graduated from a relatively strict school – a school that parents would send their kids to if they were up to no good at their public school.* So going from our conservative backgrounds to a very large public university in another state was like an episode out of Season 1 of “Breaking Amish.”**
Sophomore year we shared an apartment with 2 other girls we met through a mutual friend. At this point, I was now in an exclusive relationship with my first long term boyfriend – the previously mentioned “loser of all losers” – and my grades were suffering. I was infatuated to the point where I just wanted to be back home closer to him. Selfishly, I ended up subleasing my room out to a total stranger and moved home. That’s when our friendship changed. While I try not to wish to change or regret the past, I do have remorse for how that made R1 feel.
Post college life, we both went on different paths in different states. She settled down earlier in life with a career and family while I just partied and cruised with no plan or direction. There was never a definitive “end” to our friendship, per se. Things just never were the same and eventually I let it go. I always loved her, thought of her often and wished her well.
Years passed and once again, God knows exactly what and who I need in my life at the right time. His perfect timing, not mine. I heard from this friend about 6 months ago, at a time when I was experiencing “valleys” in life. One online communication led to another and next thing we knew, we’re chatting daily via the Marco Polo app. We had discovered that we each had something valuable to offer the other and our friendship rapidly rekindled. Both of our lives have changed drastically since God got us back together. We’re just scratching the surface and finding out what we are capable of as re-kindred-spirits. He works in mysterious ways, I tell you. Mysterious ways.
My sister, R2, was my roommate my entire childhood up until I left for college (obviously.) We didn’t live together again until about 5 years later. Considering what little information I have just provided you, all you need to know is this: girlfriend has seen some shit. Especially when I was living with R3, my brother by choice (BBC.)
I’d known R3 since 7th grade and we ended up being in the same social circle in high school. I hooked up with his friends and he hooked up with mine but we never were like that with each other. We’ve always had a brother and sister vibe going on. I’ll never forget back in 2005, another BBC and I met up with R3 and his best friend, the same guy I lost my virginity to on high school graduation night.***I can only recall snippets of that short visit to that downtown drinking establishment (I talk about those snippets in the above asterisk,) nor do I remember going to bed. I do remember the morning after though. R3’s mom woke us up and I was in his bed….WITH him…(GASP!)…fully clothed (PHEWF!)
Unlike many a’dirtbag I unfortunately wasted my time on, he was a perfect gentleman and did not take advantage of my vulnerable state while severely under the influence. Within a couple of months, at the suggestion of R3’s best friend (and my future husband,) I was moving in with him and another guy I did not know.****I had a boyfriend at the time so this living arrangement was purely platonic.
Sidenote: Yes, I had just cheated on said boyfriend (BF) with said future husband (FH.)*****
Yes, BF suspected said indiscretion and I totally lied; shamelessly convincing him I was telling the truth so that he’d stay with me. Never mind the fact that I did not love this dude AT ALL, nor see a future with him, I simply just couldn’t be alone and just HAD to have someone. (eye roll)
Remember, I said to expect brutal honesty and when it comes to men…I mean, guys…wait no, boys…the good, bad, mean and obscene…they are a huge part of my story. So huge that they will get their own page.******
Anyway, R3 and I discovered we both enjoyed the effects of alcohol so much that it became our favorite past time. We frequented dive bars, snuck into hotel pools, took a gazillion pictures for MySpace and “bit the hair of the dog” more times than I can count. My alter ego was born and R3 gave me the name Pixie. This period of my life stands out as one of my most alcoholic times and memories from that chapter are bittersweet. I was on the path of self-destruction AND falling in love with FH at the same exact time.
R3 gave this to A1 a couple Christmas’ ago…clearly I decided it belonged to me.
The longer I lived in this home by the bay, the worse my alcoholism got and I started to suffer consequences (again.) At the end, FH was now my boyfriend exclusively and we agreed R3 and I were bad influences on each other. Telling R3 that I was moving out was hard and I think he was pretty mad at me at the time. R3, you know WTF you are. I have more to say and you can read more by going to the Letters page.
When I decided to embark on this anonymous project, it only seemed appropriate to rekindle my former alter-ego and use Pixie as my “pen name.” It’s safe to say that I now have grown attached to it and even considered using it in “the rooms.” But then B1 talked me out of that one saying people might think I was a little crazy.
Which, I am. I accept that. But she’s right. Just because I embrace the crazy doesn’t mean I need to unleash the crazy. Being in recovery has helped me practice mindfulness and self-awareness to recognize when my thinking goes sideways. It also helps having people in my life who inspire me to see past the one thing that gets in my way of living happy, joyous & free and that one thing is this: