IT IS JUNE 24, 2014 | When You Know Better, Do Better
It is June 24, 2014 in Las Vegas.
HERE'S WHAT I KNOW IN THIS MOMENT: I'm an hour out from starting my work day at the NHL Awards. As per usual, I'll be part of the media, standing on line with a field of reporters. All of us will be calling out the names of players + coaches as they walk by. I won't. I know better than that. They're humans, not animals.
My sister, Diana, spent the last three hours picking up my fallen pieces. I had a few drinks last night. By few, I mean two. I was "working" the next day, so the goal was NOT to feel drunk, or even tipsy, and definitely not hungover. This morning, I woke up with a sledgehammer beating against my head. The loathing sets in.
Di asks me to eat. c'mon just put something in your stomach. that's why you feel like this. you haven't eaten since we got here. It's day 3. I refuse, angrily. Accuse her for suggesting something as stupid as she did. She closes her mouth and sighs, grabbing her brushes and her makeup kit. She looks at me and smiles. Ever patiently. As she puts lotion on my face, I feel my head cooling. She's close enough yet removed. I feel comfortably safe. She must love me but I can't be sure.
I try on the many dresses I packed. None of them look okay. Fat and bloated. I'm a whale. She gives me hers. Try it. It will suck everything in. I know that she knows I have nothing to suck in but this idea calms me. Okay. I'm in. She says I look beautiful. Her friend reiterates. I look at them dumbfounded. What the fuck are you looking at? Stop lying to me. Placating me. I'd rather hear your truths.
We pose over and over. Each picture causing more harm. I see myself in all these angles. Gross. Fat. Bloated. Who would want me? No wonder I'm single. No wonder all my flings implode in front of me. Nobody wants to date a whale. Fearful of looking worse - I touch nothing - leaving my room depleted and starved. Never ravenous - I can no longer feel hunger.
I have a slew of questions I'm ready to ask all the NHL Stars attending. I have an idea to take selfies with every single one - although I'm quite aware that they will not be flattering of me. Self-deprecation. That's my style. Be one of the boys. Be one of the boys. Be one of the boys.
I will be waiting for the moment that my sister walks the carpet with our friend Alex Ovechkin. We have something funny in mind. When this moment comes, within the first 10 seconds, we're interrupted. One of the reporters a few steps away collapses. She has a seizure. People stand and stare. Someone kneels down to pull her dress over her. She is exposed and convulsing. Medics arrive. The moment sobering. But as it is with most things in life - we never keep our sobriety until we're forced to.
HERE'S WHAT I DON'T KNOW.
In April 2017, when I find myself in the hospital for what I hope to be the very last time, my doctor will say, 'you are steps away from a seizure'. I will think back to this very moment. Premonitions Alyonka. There are signs around you, always. Why is that you cannot see what is in front of you until it is inside of you. Until it happens to you? We humans take so many things for granted. Always wanting more, more, more.
There will be moments where I will sit in my Recovery and I'll get angry with myself for being so selfish. But then i'll practice compassion, kindness, forgiveness. I'll say, 'it's okay'. I'll think of Maya Angelou's quote: when you know better, do better. I will repeat it until it becomes ingrained in my head. Do better. Okay. I'll do that and I wish the same for you.