The Bottle Psychologist

I never understood how some people could become to wrapped up in grief that they could leave the world behind and simply self-destruct.  Yet, after my grandmother’s death, I found myself doing the same thing.  I was partying like a madwoman and drinking like a fish (well, that was happening way before my grandmother’s passing), yet there was this feeling of emptiness inside me that was not fulfilled.  I was not truly grieving.  Holding it all in like I always did.  Its the practical, rational scientist in me.  All those years of studying to attend medical school and I threw it all away to become a writer, yet those tendencies stayed with me and from time to time, I find myself analyzing and rationalizing my behavior and those around me. 

I knew that the funeral was going to be an experience.  Mainly because my family is nuts and because…well…really only because my family is nuts.  True to form, my uncles ALL showed up drunk.  Actually, no they didn’t.  They were quite sober until they had to view my grandmother’s body.  Then it all went to hell.  They were outside the church at the bar, drinking and carousing…all in all, simply being obnoxious asses.  And I was livid.  How dare they defile the memory of my grandmother in that way?  The God-fearing woman who attended church like clockwork and who never had a drink in her life.  How could those fuck-tards not understand that this was the one time they should behave and act like adults.  Instead they were all shit-faced.  And if you know island folk, that means it took a lot of rum to get them that way.

I was never so troubled and pissed off in my life.  I was happy to return to the US; to get away from those low-class, backwards island people.  To get back to civilization.  I hopped on the first flight home, relieved to leave.  And as I partied…and drank…and partied some more, it hit me.  During one of my more lucid and sober moments, it hit me.  I was doing the exact same thing my uncles had done.  Instead of tackling my grief head on, I had waited, but I was dealing with it in the same way.  I am by no means an alcoholic, but I was using wine as a coping mechanism.  But at least I knew and understood.  Alcohol was the coping mechanism that my family used.  They weren’t disrespecting my grandmother; they were dealing with her death in the only manner they knew.  And I respected that.  Because even though I chose to grieve differently on that day, they were not afraid to put their emotions on display and talk about the life my grandmother gave them.  They were not afraid. 

~ by Adrianna Morgan on March 6, 2014.

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