I lie to a lot of people. It’s just a common thing.
I walked into a counseling office today to begin my alcohol education classes. It is something I have to do because of my mistake. I didn’t want to go, but I also didn’t want to make the mistake. I accepted the consequences.
As I sat in the waiting room filling out paperwork I kept relenting about how stupid my mistake was, and each question just reminded me of that night. Then, because they are a counseling agency for all demons and/or mistakes, their questions went outside the realm of alcohol related issues.
These questions asked about mental health. I didn’t want to answer these questions. It seems so cold to answer them by checking off a small box saying, “I suffer from this,” or “I suffer from that,” and then having two short lines to explain your condition(s).
But I answered the questions anyways, as truthfully as I could.
A man called me back after I had finished all of the paper work, he informed me that he will be handling my sessions for the duration of this mandated course. He was nice enough. Firm handshake. Not too soft of a voice but not a booming one either. There was no reason for me to not like him. He wasn’t the one who determined I would have to take these classes or “sessions”. He was simply there to aid me in completing them. He seemed to be a good man, or as good as a man in his position could be.
He began explaining the process, I nodded my head along. I knew how things like this worked for the most part. He then told me he was going to ask me a series of questions to better understand my situation. I knew these questions would make me relive that night, but I complied because I know that’s how things like this work.
After the initial questioning, he then told me he would be asking me more questions for my file. I complied though I didn’t like where this was going.
He began asking me what felt like the same questions from the paperwork. In fact, they were the exact same questions, and he gave me about as much space to explain my answers as the papers did. I didn’t like that, but that’s how these things go I suppose.
Then he got to the mental health questions. I answered honestly for a little while, but I became increasingly uncomfortable as they went on and he just typed on his computer. He asked me about my depression. I explained in the vaguest of details when I had first shown signs of depression. He seemed more interested in these questions than the others. He asked me if I had any recent episodes of depression…. I lied. I said I hadn’t had any in over 4 years, when in reality I’d been having “episodes” every night for the last 4 months. He asked me if I was feeling alright today. I lied and said I felt great, and in my head I thought “Why shouldn’t I feel great? Outside of this, things have been going well for me. I have a job finally. I’m talking to a girl for the first time and actually have a date with her tomorrow. I have a few stressors happening but otherwise things are actually looking up.” However, in reality all I’ve been able to do is think about how unhappy with life I am.
He asked me about my home life, I told him it was great growing up. I lied. Yes my parents divorced when I was young, but things had always been good. I wasn’t abused in any way by my parents. They were and are still fantastic parents; I always tell people that the divorce never really affected me because it’s really all I’ve known, and it is all I’ve known, but it did and still does affect me. I don’t have the same relatable experiences as most of my friends, whose families have always been together through thick and thin. I’ve spent my life having to decide which parent I’d see for this holiday, and which one I’d see for that holiday. I’ve grown up only being close to one of them. I’ve tried and still try to be close to the other, but it’s difficult when that other one wasn’t there the first time I kissed a girl, or the first time I made all A’s, or the first time my heart was broken, or the first time I tried to kill myself….. It’s not their fault, it’s just how these things work……
No one ever wants to hear the story of the middle class kid whose parents divorced when he was a child. Because he was always well taken care of and never had to want for anything material growing up. I was very blessed in that regard, but I can’t remember my first 4 years of life, and that was the only time my parents were together for me. I don’t have fond memories of my mom and dad sitting together on the couch as my older sister helped my infant self open presents at Christmas. I don’t have memories of family vacations with my dad driving the car while my sister and I slept in the back seat while my mom heckled dad about his driving out of love. I’ve only recently pieced together what I get from my dad and what I get from my mom.
All of these things raced through my head as I smiled and said it was great growing up despite my parents divorcing when I was 4.
Today was not a good day.
Today I lied to a man.
#makinmywaydowntown #buylocalbg #theregoesmyhero
I seriously am in love with #SpotCash #buylocalbg #ipromiseiwillstopthiswhitegirlnonsense
I sell lots of liquor/beer to several men and women almost everyday. Some of them are happy; some of them not so much. Some want to hang around long after their purchase and chat about the newest release from “such and such” brewery. Some want to just pay for their things and get out. I can enjoy both. I like talking to people about things that interest me like special releases from breweries. I understand not wanting to talk to the clerk at the liquor store.
Some of these people are having fantastic lives with great friends and families waiting for them. Some of them are just trying to make it to the next day, or perhaps the next drink. I do not judge either way, I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum.
Some of the customers are young. Some of them are old. I always find it fascinating the differences between the two and their attitudes while they purchase their selected beverages, but that’s just my natural interest in how others perceive the exact same things so differently.
All this to say, I sell to people from all walks of life, and I enjoy what I do because at the end of the day I meet so many different people. However, my heart is very heavy for some of these people.
Today, the man I sold liquor to was something I had never experienced at this job, or any job really. It was something I never really thought I would.
This man was a combination of the types of customers I serve. He was very young (probably my age) but his face looked like that of one far beyond his years. He had come in yesterday, but in a very different light. He had been very chatty yesterday. Today, however, he didn’t want to talk any more than was necessary.
He walked in with no shoes on which I found odd, but I said nothing about it. He had an Ernest Hemingway shirt on for The Old Man and the Sea, so I made the comment that I liked his shirt, but he didn’t even notice that I was speaking. He simply came right to the counter and said, “Give me a pint of…… whatever vodka you have that cheapest.” His words were a tad slurred but not incomprehensible. I assumed he had a few in his system (again, not uncommon in this line of work). I said, “We have this,” and I pointed to the cheapest pint we had available. He just nodded his head and mumbled the equivalent of “That’ll do”. I grabbed the pint and as I brought it up to check out I noticed he was just blankly staring at the bottle. I asked him if we had been enjoying the weather just to make small talk. His reply is something I can’t forget…. He slowly looked up at me with this deep sadness (which I didn’t fully register at the time) and said “How much?…. My brother just killed himself….” and then he proceeded to pull out scraps of money from his pockets…. It didn’t register with me what he had just said at first and all I could muster was “I’m sorry man………..” I told him his total, he paid it, and then he walked out with his bottle. I quickly got the next customer taken care of just trying to process what I’d just been told.
I then told my coworker I would be right back and rushed outside to find the young man because I had just realized what I had just been told and I was terrified for him now. I wanted to catch him and sit him down and talk to him so that he wouldn’t hurt anyone else or himself. I couldn’t blame him for wanting to drown his deep, unimaginable pain. I can’t even say I wouldn’t do the same thing. But I wanted to stop him so that he could know someone cared what happened to him. I wanted to let him just cry if he wanted, or at least give him a safe place to stay for a bit…..
But when I went outside he was already gone. I couldn’t find him anywhere near the store and I knew he had walked there.
Today was not a good day.
I sold liquor to a man today.