now is a good time to panic

culinary wonder part VII

…continued from culinary wonder part I, part II, part III, part IV, part V and part VI

(At this point in the narrative, Theresa wants to make it clear that she should have taken time to unwind after work, or found more productive ways to deal with the stress and the triggers other than drinking. She confessed that she was taking things too personally at work and at home, and was letting things that she had no control over get to her. Now she’s learned to let things go more easily and to not obsess over problems that she couldn’t fix. She maintains that if she had learned this skill growing up, then she thinks that a huge number of her problems would have been avoided. Not all of them, but things would have been very different. She wasn’t happy cooking anymore, and she’d already been taken off of her anti-depressents, and then things began to escalate again)


She tried her hardest for a long time to hide the fact that she had started drinking again, but the resort community is a small one, and soon people started to figure it out. She would attempt to drink one or two beers out at the bar where people could see her, and then go home and pound a 12 pack. She’d pass out in different places, or make it home and pass out in the hallway with her front door wide open. She was spending huge amounts of money and things were going downhill again.


One day she came in reeking of liquor and one of the higher ups sent her home for the day. They asked what she was doing, and why she’s doing this again… and Theresa says that she didn’t have an answer; there is no reason. She was just depressed and dealing with it poorly. One morning soon after she woke up as normal, and went to get her paycheck, then find a liquor store. She bought a half pint of whiskey and a six pack of pints of beer. She thought ‘This’ll be good for a buzz before work’. She gets home and cleans the house, drinking the entire time. Along with the whiskey and the beer, she drinks some vodka that she found in her kitchen. She gets dressed and then blacks out. She was supposed to be at work at 1400, but instead wakes up on her kitchen floor wearing her chef’s whites while a human resource director is leaning over her. The HR director tells her that the maintenance guy comes to fix the a/c and thinks Theresa is dead, and runs to the nearest office. The HR woman talks to Theresa, and they conclude that Theresa  has a rough past, her uncle is dying, she’s severely overworked, and she hasn’t been home or seen her family in years. They agree that Theresa should go home for a few months and pull herself together. She bought a plane ticket, packed up her chef’s knives and some clothes, and gave away the rest of her belongings. 12 hours later, she was passed out on the floor again, and is woken up (again) by the HR director for her ride to the airport. She gets on the plane at 0600 the next morning.


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