Where to start...
I'd been worked up all week in the lead-up to going out and being social. It's like, once I've made plans to see friends or go out, I can't stop constantly stressing over it until it's done.
I had planned to fast the day before so I wouldn't look or feel too bloated/heavy, although I threw caution to the wind a couple of hours before R was due to pick me up.
One glass of wine to ease the nerves quickly turned into half a bottle, plus eating a little breast meat from the roast chicken mum had brought home. I'm still not sure whether I'm better off drinking on and empty stomach, or making sure I've got something to soak up the booze. It seems to be quite hit-and-miss.
I was so nervous about going out. Even just leaving the house, the fear is greater than it's ever been. Since I stopped smoking synthetics, I haven't even been out in the car for weeks except for the handful of regular appointments. The temptation to cancel was strong. I've only seen maybe three different friends in the past 4-5 years, and only a few times a year at most. Most of them have been seeing R. But, truth be told, I'm goddamn lonely, and needed a break from the house and the memories it holds.
R has always just been on the other side of town, but recently he moved out to the country, a little over half an hour away. Usually distance doesn't bother me. In fact, it's the opposite. I can't tell you the last time I went shopping in town, or even for a simple walk around the block. When I plan outings, they're usually out of town. The further away I am from home, the less chance I have of running into Him - a fear that was confirmed during one of the last dinners with my brother and his now-ex girlfriend.
But I'd never been to the area before, and it was a long way away. It was scary. The distance. The unfamiliarity of it all. Not having even ventured more than a kilometer away for weeks.
What if something goes wrong? What if I need to go to hospital? Or get the urge to flee back to the known?
I'm not good with unknowns at the best time, and this seemed filled with them.
But, in the end, I wasn't as stressed as I thought I'd be.
I'd spent most of the day getting ready and putting the essentials (notebooks, comfort items, sweetener, phone charger, a copy of Unbearable Lightness, hair brush, etc.) in a pile on the coffee table. Some things were already in my bag, but the ones I needed to use throughout the day were swept into my bag, and I headed out to his car.
I'd barely gotten in before I awkwardly said "I forgot my bottle of wine. I'll be back in a sec." and did a u-turn back to the front door.
He recently moved out to the country, and we spent the half hour drive catching up on everything that's been going on since we last saw each other. I let him do most of the talking, but those few glasses of red beforehand proved a major help in filling the gaps and keeping things rolling.
When we got to his, I poured a drink and stood by the fire trying to warm up while he went to grab more wood.
We ended up watching Unbreakable, which I've already seen through a couple of times, as he hadn't seen it before. We made it a decent way through the first season, before my stomach turned sour after eating a 90-cal pack of sea salt chips (evidence for drinking on an empty stomach?). After coughing up a little stomach acid, it was time to call it a night.
Amazingly enough, this early bird managed to sleep in until 8:30, instead of 4 or 5. There's a certain calmness about small country towns. The quiet. The dark. The big-wide-open-ness of it all.
He made coffee and toast, and I had half a piece of multi-grain toast with margarine. Each bite felt like a boulder in my stomach. I don't usually eat breakfast, but I didn't want to be weird, and being so late already I figured I could just call it lunch and leave it at that.
Despite my careful planning and packing the day before, I managed to leave a few key items on the table when I grabbed my bag, most notably my phone charger. I wasn't even jumping for my phone though, except to check the time. I was just enjoying time as it was.
And not needing to smoke made a huge difference. Usually, I can't sleep, and end up running home first thing in the morning just because I need that smoke, even if I don't want to leave.
He drove me home around 10:30. I realized I felt noticeably less stressed than I did going out. I was relaxed. Content. Despite the anxiety, I felt comfortable.
As always, there's been a come down after getting home and crash-landing back to reality, but there always is after I venture out.
New eyeshadow palette, with reference to my
childhood favourite Disney movie