It’s no longer about the drink or the drugs. People obsess me.
I’ve been clean and sober for twelve years. I don’t think about getting high anymore. I think about killing people. Especially today. My wasband is driving me insane. How many emails in four hours are too many? Does eighteen qualify?
Historically, I would’ve gotten lost in a haze of reefer and crawled under the covers with the remote and a bag of Cheetos. Now, I wanna read him the fucking riot act, take his fucking inventory and break his fucking neck.
How many “fucks” does it take to make a point? I don’t know. I do know it takes three programs, two sponsors, a therapist, and a whole lot of fellows to stop me from sabotaging myself and wreaking havoc on those around me.
I force myself to use restraint of pen and tongue as I’ve been taught to do. Outwardly I do the right thing. Inside, my gizzards are flaming. For those four hours I torture myself even more than is being done unto me. I don’t eat, drink or move. I sit there reading, rereading and seething. Finally I get up and put a Lean Cuisine in the microwave. Not a morsel has crossed my lips this day. I go back to the computer and compose the response email I will not send, that I must write to release the venom that’s about to consume me. I smell something burning. I can’t stop. All the pent up fury I’ve been suppressing whilst working my program is spilling out of my fingertips. Smoke. Do I see smoke? In the midst of my focused insanity, instead of three minutes I must have hit thirty on the keypad. At about thirteen I catch it. Pre-fire. I spend the next two hours scrubbing the damn microwave and trying every remedy I can Google to get rid of the smell… while still not taking a sip of water or a bite of food. I’m such a friggin’ addict.
Due to a schedule change, it’s therapy time. Thank you, God. I can’t wait the fifteen minutes it’ll take me to get there, and call my sponsor en route. He (Yes he’s a he, but he’s gay so it’s okay. Really.) talks me off the roof with his divine combo of long-term 12 step recovery and A Course in Miracles.I’ve come to embrace and need that, too. There aren’t enough tools in the universe when my train pulls into Crazytown.
My wise and patient therapist explains that, when I’m in that zip code the part of my brain that’s being employed is single-minded of purpose in its insanity. Pausing to sip some water, count the colors in a painting, recite a nursery rhyme—anything to break the rhythm—will spark a kinder part of my brain that will enable me to release the charge and return to normal. Normal? I know.
After just five minutes of distraction I can even return to the object of my objection and face it with a semblance of calm rationality. No shit! New tool! I wanna share it.
As luck would have it, it’s Wednesday. My Al-Anon home group awaits. Because I’m a control freak, people-pleasing enabler, being an addict in recovery isn’t enough.
Through the years my obsession to use has miraculously lifted, whilst my insatiable need to control people, places and things has continuously amped up. Tenfold.
I get to have two, two, two programs at once. Two sponsors, two basic texts, and with the same, yet opposing focus to consider. As an addict, I’m instructed to be of service and put others first, no matter what. Say “Yes,” whenever asked. Al-Anon advises me to not be a doormat. Create safe boundaries. Remember that “No” is a complete sentence. “Yes” “No.” Hey, wait a minute! How the hell am I supposed to do both? At the same time? Fuck it, I’ll go A Course in Miracles, and just “come from love.”
In Al-Anon, I need to be respectful of the rules. They sure don’t feel much like suggestions ‘round there. I’ve seen people nearly crucified for mentioning a book that’s not Al-Anon approved literature or, God forbid, mentioning they’re in the “other” program. Eyes roll. Heads shake. Not in a good way… especially at me.
Marijuana Anonymous is my primary program. I don’t need to go to Narcotics Anonymous to get laughed out of the room for that. Even alcoholics chide, “Come back when you have a real problem.” Walk 32 years in my bong hits, then let’s talk.
I smoked pot from dawn till… dawn. It was all right when I was young and stupid and single. I was highly functional. When I needed to be. I could even control it. When I had to.
I quit each time I got pregnant, not picking it back up till I finished nursing a year or so later. But, without further cause, I was off to the races… sunglasses all the time, never making eye contact with anyone, leaving the playground every hour to refresh my buzz… towel under the bedroom door, standing on the radiator, head out the window…Visine, Listerine and Lysol… oh my. The self-loathing was palpable. I was a Mommy, dammit! Read More “the fix”…