Written on Day 36 of Sobriety
Never underestimate the power of addiction, no matter what you are addicted to. As I write this it’s pouring rain (red zone on the radar) and my 70+-year-old neighbor is sitting outside in the rain to smoke, literally risking pneumonia. That’s not joy, that’s addiction. While I am disgusted by smoking I cannot judge her because I understand addiction is physical.
If you’ve read my blog long (or scroll back) You’ll see that I’ve had some domestic violence issues in my past. Addiction fueled them. He’s in a live-in treatment facility, and I am working on my program. I go to family violence court with him. It’s been enlightening for so many reasons.
Yesterday for the first time in my six months of attending, there was a female defendant. She carried herself like a competent professional woman, well dressed, well spoken. She did not look like an addict or an abuser. When her time to speak came up, I learned that after her initial release from jail she missed court and was remanded. As part of the remand, they tested her and she was positive for Meth, she made bail and was tested two additional times (once there’s a dirty test, “random” testing is super frequent) both of which were dirty. She’s been trying to get a bed at a treatment facility and can’t due to overcrowding. She was crying and begging for treatment. So sadly, she ended up back in jail, which given the destructiveness of her addiction is the safest place for her to be for herself and her family.
Only after fighting alcohol, telling myself I can use like normal more than once only to be reminded I am not normal, can I empathize with her. I don’t know her full story, I may not even like her, but I do know that the appeal of that drug is so strong that knowing it could send her to prison, knowing she could lose the ability to see her children, knowing she was going to be tested, she could not keep herself from using.
Alcohol isn’t meth, in my mind, it’s worse because you can’t buy meth at the grocery store and (presumably) it’s not served at dinner parties, but it kills 89,000 people a year and steals 2.5 million hours of life each year. Meth isn’t candy, it killed 70,000 people in 2017 but still less than AL.
We are so very lucky to be here, to have each other and to work the program. But for the Grace of God I found this sobriety, a sponsor and support. I am blessed that I realized the danger I was in before my bottom included having to be incarcerated to protect me from my addiction. I cried as I watched her testify and I’m not a mushy person. It was physically and emotionally painful. She will forever be in my toolbox because one more drink could be the one that puts me on a relapse that ends my ability to live life on my terms as a free woman.
I love chocolate, I keep a bowl of dove milk chocolates at all times for the safety of others. It soothes me when I’m moody (this is science y’all), but if I knew that one of those chocolates in this bowl or a future bowl would kill me or someone I love, I’d have no problem throwing them away and learning a new way to cope. That’s exactly what a drink is – the first one will be fine — then what? Not worth it.