It’s not like every year I make a new resolution and stick to it, yet starting 2012 among all the drama that had been going on in my life felt like it would be a real wasted opportunity if I didn’t set one. Yet as far as I remember I let the opportunity sail right on by. My primary focus come New Years Eve was getting drunk, and I excelled at it.
All I knew about the plans for the New Year were that I would be crashing at my brothers house with friends. We’d all go from theirs to Bath for the night out and it was a long time since I’d been on a night out with everyone. I couldn’t really tell if I was looking forward to it or not, all I knew was I seemed to be over the worst of everything after my incredible hulk moment. Yet, the worst had been so bad I knew I still had to claw my way back up to ‘normal’ and that was still going to take time.
So I got ready for the night out as best as I could, I scrubbed up well enough to wear something from the slightly more girly side of my wardrobe (only slightly) and opted to footwear other than trainers. That was about as good as it was going to get for a while. Of course at work there was a dress-code so I relished the moments when I could change into my jeans and hoody combo and relax. Though I’d been doing that too much lately.
I still had bruises on my hands and they were painful, yet whenever I notice a bruise I will continue to poke it until I the pain fades into nothing whether self-inflicted or a mystery bump. I don’t remember going to many bars in Bath, I only remember where we ended up. When I look back at my timeline on Facebook this looks like the moment when my life started again. For one thing, there are actually photos, permanent fixtures that have stood the test of time and are still there to this day, so that’s a good sign.
I decided I was glad to have literally wiped the slate clean. My aim to was forget it all. The alcohol I consumed that NYE would certainly help with that desire. I’m blessed with an ability to drink considerable volumes of alcohol and reach a state of drunkeness that just plateaus and doesn’t get worse. I’m very rarely sick or on the point of passing out, even after a whole bottle of vodka… because vodka’s my friend and it wouldn’t do that to me.
Speaking of friends, it was getting clearer to me who I should have relied on in the recent years by who was actually there for me now. My brother Ryan and his, soon to be wife Gemma could always be counted on. As could my cousin Stewart, the perpetual bachelor so it was clear I could count on family when I needed to. Yet even more than just family there were others, Michael of course could never be faulted I’m beginning to realise we’ll always be friends whether we’re in each others lives often or not. Then there was Brad and Emma, they’ll always be in my life, happy to join me for a night out if we’re all free for the evening and each of us have sufficient funds to drink our body-weight in alcohol. Over time I’d make stronger connections with some more surprising people of my acquaintance. In that moment, I was happy just to have plans at all.
I was actually quite private about the whole break-up when I look back at the things I opened up about and shared with everyone. After I’d removed Lara, Heidi and Daryl from all of my contacts and social networks I could have been spiteful, I wasn’t. I subtly removed the link between mine and Lara’s pages that had long declared us as in a relationship with each other. I opted to make several details of my life private rather than make a unnecessary bid for attention. Even so, in a small town news travels fast and people were attempting to talk with me about what had happened.
I wasn’t really interested in that, I was too eager to move forwards. I started with celebrating in Bath the dawn of a New Year. We ended up at Vodka Rev’s and I bought myself a serious number of shots, thinking that my friends would help me out with them. I’d bought so many that I couldn’t even take them from the bar to the table in one trip, that’s right and they serve up 6 shots in a tray and I have two hands. You can do the maths. When I got back to the table and the guys saw what I had bought they challenged me to drink them all, it took a while but I did it.
Even though I was on the other side of the destruction and ready to rebuild my life and start living all over again there was still something left of the zombie in me which prevented the alcohol from truly affecting me. I was still really confused about what the future might hold for me, I knew where I wanted to be and that was among the few friends and family that I had and that meant I wanted to be in Somerset all the time. The moment I realised the next day that I would have to pack up and head off to London again was agony. I felt like I was planning to exile myself.
I was still surprisingly optimistic, all things considered I’d had a pretty good New Years with an amazing group of people who have always and will always be there for me. I’d been reunited with my good friend vodka who I had missed very much, and lived to tell the tale. I was going to try and make London work for me, I had a plan to find a rugby team and to make an effort to meet people in the area. I’d been talking with one or two people online and I would see what would come of that. Things were already beginning to look brighter each day shade by shade.
I guess what I’ve learned from this and other similar experiences is that I can’t be beaten easily, maybe even ever. I’m just too stubborn, the moment I realise the toll it’s taking on my life and affecting those around me I’m perfectly able to snap out of it, cut off the people that don’t deserve my notice anymore and get on with my life. It had worked well for me in the past and I was determined that it would work well for me now, the only thing that had never changed was that I had given too many chances before I reached that epiphany moment. I was still young enough to be making mistakes like that so I didn’t dwell on it too much.
Getting back to London, making arrangements about our ‘gay family’ holiday and general confusion however would make this optimism very shaky for a while. At a time when what I had planned for my future had been shattered it was time to reassess and take a new direction or reaffirm the path I was on. I had some major decisions ahead.