Dear Sobriety…

“If heartache won’t kill you, you find something that will
And it turns out this battle is only uphill…” Pistol Annies

My family has a genetic predisposition to addiction.  I was hooked on smoking after about two days – up to 2 1/2 packs by the time I quit.  This, after I watched my dad struggle to kick his 5 pack a day, work in the steel mills habit.  I may have started smoking, and I may have college-binge-drank, but I won’t touch alcohol as a general rule these days.

Let’s put it this way – one of the reasons I saw my world imploding, was my willingness to say “can I have a rum and diet”  or “gin and tonic, double limes, please” and know that despite all the pills I take, I needed something else to lean on.  I ache to know what it would be like NOT to want to blot my world out or just soften it around the edges.

I’m also amazed at how legitimate it is for adults to try to peer pressure you into drinking.  My mom, my friends, everyone.  Sometimes they take no and it’s not a worry, other times they look at me like there’s something wrong with me.  Doesn’t EVERY woman like wine?  Aren’t there wine cozies and wine slushees and wine wine wine?

I laugh about pill o’clock and my ability to swallow a handful of pills in one gulp – it’s not something to be proud of and my shame underlies that joking and sharp openness.  I’d be very very angry if someone took my tranqs, my anti’s, my opies, my sleeps…  the row of meds that sits on my desk, all prescribed, all legitimate, all known.  But I hate myself for needing them, for the way I get anxious if the doctor jerks me around and it’s hard to get an appointment.

These days I don’t do pill addition with the bottles of alcohol that float around our house, usually.  I don’t add up how much would kill me, how much would hurt me, how much would send me uselessly to the hospital.  I want to, though.  I really do.


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