Cough Syrup

I sat in a hotel room last night, more alone in every single sense I can think of, more than I’ve been in a long time, if ever.

I had a very early flight back to Alabama this morning, so I stayed close-ish to the airport since I had to be awake at 4 a.m.

At first, it was hell.  I don’t particularly like being alone with myself, truly alone, lately because that’s when No Bullshit Steph decides to give me all sorts of hell and it’s pretty hard to argue with No Bullshit Steph.  I try but she kicks my ass every single time.

No Bullshit Steph harasses me over my weight gain, tries to bully me into going to those stupid Mom Boot Camps at the gym.  I laugh at those Boot Camps and the Moms huffing and puffing to exercise 1st graders do without breaking a sweat.  Plus I’ve become violently allergic to any group gathering with “Mom” in the title.  I shut No Bullshit Steph down pretty quickly on this point by turning the NFL Draft on the television up even louder, opening another Shiner Bock and sticking a Butterfinger in my big, gaping maw.

No Bullshit Steph retreated to reload and was back again somewhere near the 21st pick of the first round.  I was three Shiners deep by then and we’ll just leave the Butterfinger count out of it.  This time, No Bullshit Steph wanted to talk about the fact that I’ve neglected my blog since December of last year.  I reminded her that E’s Dad had died, my Dad had two serious surgeries, our son is having more seizure activity, my good friend Freddie died.  I was about to go on but her snoring stopped me.  What a bitch.

I pelted No Bullshit Steph with the rest of my snack size Butterfingers until she woke up.  Big mistake.  Because then she wanted to know if Fred was such a good friend, why hadn’t I written the touching, hilarious blog dedicated to his memory that I’d promised to write when he died.  I gave her my “because after I write it, he’ll really be gone then” reason.  You really don’t want to know what she did with those Butterfingers then but we’ll say they were no longer edible.

Wisely knowing when to retreat, No Bullshit Steph left me with five simple words:  “Get your shit together, fucker”.

The NFL draft long forgotten, I sat on the couch and cried like a baby for about an hour, over a lot of things.  Mistakes, missed opportunities, failures, and the lies I’ve been telling myself and buying into these last few months.

My blog is me, the essence of me, in the form of words.  I usually like those words.  I usually like myself.  I haven’t been writing because I don’t want THAT Steph, the Steph of the last few months, given a voice.  THAT Steph has lost her fire, her spirit, her confidence, her faith, her joy, her trust, her essence and spark.  Those words and THAT Steph don’t deserve to be immortalized in writing.

I made myself get off the couch and I gave myself a facial (oh, shut UP, you disgusting perverts).  Then I took an incredibly hot shower with the scent of lavender surrounding me.  And then I went to bed and slept like the dead for the next four hours.  I didn’t dream, I don’t think I even moved or changed positions.  I didn’t put my headphones on to listen to music like I usually do.  It’s like my mind turned off and there was just me, just existing and breathing, no judging myself, no finger pointing, no excuses or cop outs.

I think everyone, especially women, should do this.  Go to a hotel alone for one night or however long it takes to get your shit together.  I didn’t leave that hotel room this morning totally new, with everything sorted out.  I did leave with a fresh slate, to fill however I choose.  The old, faded, sloppy writing is gone.  I wouldn’t say I’m totally at peace but the Steph that entered that hotel room feeling more alone than she’s ever felt, is grateful for that time now.  I’m ready to start filling in my clean slate with absolutely breathtaking things now because that’s what I deserve.  That’s what I’m worth.

This song has been given a workout the last few days on my Spotify account.  It feels like cough syrup has been forcibly fed to me, drop by drop, for the past few months.  But no more.  I drained that fucking cough syrup bottle last night, in a hotel room alone with the most memorable, kind, good, beautiful, brilliant, smart, hilarious, sincere, passionate, and irreplaceable person I know.  That’s me, dummy.  That person was me.  And she’s back.


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