First, I felt the need to change the look of the blog. It was too minimalist and stark for my eyes. so I’m trying something different. I’m being the anti-Robert, as Linda (the art therapist) suggested. Anyway, as you were….
These commercials, along with the general “Just Say No” movement of the 1980s and my dad’s threat to beat the hell out of me if I even thought of doing drugs, had a huge effect on me. When I was in graduate school, I tried pot once and enjoyed it for the first few minutes, but the rest of the night was terrible and I ended up with me hiding in a tree, convinced I was about to be arrested. Good lord, even this episode of Diff’rent Strokes stuck with me helped convinced me drugs were bad.
Anyway, no one really talked to me about alcohol and my potential for falling victim to addiction, even though drinking killed one of my grandmothers and my mother’s first cousin, Jimmy (and certainly affected his father, James, who racked up four three divorces and four marriages before he died and was described as “always having a drink in his hand”). Who knows how many other people in my family tree fell prey to the disease? Not that it matters, I suppose, but the end result is that I evolved into what Linda referred to as “perfect storm of addiction”: I have a genetic predisposition, experienced early family trauma, and had a deeply trouble family of origin. Of course, there are men and women who have all these factors and never become addicts, but I’m not one of them.
I write all this to say that, on day 20, I think I’m moving closer to my Higher Power, and I’m learning to accept that my brain’s going to be bat-shit crazy for a while and my emotions will continue fluctuating. I can say that now and be okay because I’m clear; I’m always clear in the morning. As the day wears on, though, I’ll probably start the downward spiral. If tonight is like last night, I’ll end up sitting a chair and staring at the wall, on the verge of tears and thinking, There’s no point to this. I might as well drink. This will never get better, and I’ll spend the rest of my days with this cavernous hole inside of me that will never, ever be filled.
I have to ride this out, but ride it out with help. If I feel myself withdrawing from people, which is every day, I need to draw closer. I need to read the Big Book. I need to take naps, exercise, and be kind to myself. Again, this is easy to type at 9:15 AM and will be much harder to pull off at later.
But I’ll keep trying. That’s all I can do.