Sunday, July 29, 2007

Too Much Information

Orange Poppy, 2007, Oil on Panel, 4x4

After rereading my last post about being in college in Minneapolis, I realized that my allusions to stupid behavior could be taken to sound a bit worse than it was. I never did anything to hurt other people (though I guess I did make a few hang up calls to my ex-boyfriend, which was NOT called stalking then), and there was no illegal behavior, with the exception of underage drinking. Mostly I was self-destructive, making a fool of myself with a bit of loud and obnoxious behavior, public vomiting (riding the subway can be difficult at the end of an evening of drinking) and feeling the need to drunkenly blurt out my entire life story to anyone who cared, or who just happened to be nearby. I spent many Mondays tracking down people in order to apologize for my behavior over the weekend, and unfortunately it took me a while to take that as a sign to stop drinking to excess.

I guess I could have qualified as an alcoholic, and I believe that I did meet a few of the criteria. I didn't really like the taste of alcohol though and so I drank for social reasons, to feel less self-conscious around other people (I never sat at home and drank by myself). But I also drank in college because many of us felt it was what artists did in order to be "real artists." Um, real smart.

The summer after I finished college, I really went overboard and was at the bars every night. The drinking began to affect my daily life and I also had several black outs, which were considered funny in my crowd at the time, but secretly I was horrified and ashamed of myself. I probably could have developed a more serious drinking problem but I met Doug that fall and found better things to do with my time. It was no big deal to stop drinking and while I still had the occasional drink, I never returned to getting totally smashed at the bars.

After a few years, I stopped completely when Doug and I decided to start a family. And now, perhaps I would have a glass of wine once in awhile, except that I have had a stomach ulcer and it's best to for me to simply avoid alcohol altogether. Doug drinks socially and many of our friends do as well, but I am totally fine with just drinking water. I do still manage to say really stupid things though, and sometimes even offer TMI about myself to whomever is seated next to me. Heh.

Today's image is one of the series of flower paintings I have been working on for a show at a local gallery in Cooperstown. I will put the rest up over the next few days.


indigomar said...

Hi Tracy,
I guess we all have time periods of our lives that are messy. I'm learning to see that life shapes and molds us through it all. There are certain things from college I look back on and cringe, I can relate to what you're talking about.

The Epiphany Artist said...

Don't feel like the Lone Ranger for behavior we don't want to remember esp during our college years... I am just thankful that worse things didn't happen to me ---and they did to some of my college drinking acquaintances...

Chris Rywalt said...

I didn't drink much during college, but Dawn and I did have a few fistfights.

Tracy said...

indigomar, Yes, you are right and messy is a good way to describe it! I am glad though that most of us do learn from our mistakes.

Terri, I know, I have some friends who really had worse problems than I did. And a few who didn't make it back to sobriety at all. Most straightened things out though, like me, thankfully. And some seemed perfect then and as well as now!

Chris, I hope Dawn won those fistfights:)

Lorna said...

We are listening. I think this is what blogging is about,

Melody said...

Thanks for being so open Tracy........that's why I look forward to reading your is always refreshingly honest

Tracy said...

Thanks Lorna and Melody, I was thinking it was too much info:) I am glad to find some understanding though, sometimes it seems like I don't know anyone now who did that kind of stuff when they were young. Probably I am just out of the loop;)

Daphne said...

I can relate to drinking excessively in social atmospheres. I remember reading an article about women who drank too much, but never when they were alone, just at bars/parties etc. and it rang a bell with me.Why women specifically?

Those days were back when I was single and younger as well, and I certainly don't miss any of it.

And I probably have four glasses of wine a year now. At this point it just makes me worry about the what if's? which takes away any enjoyment.And I don't love the taste enough to miss it either.

Thanks for writing about it.