A Race Against Addiction
Is a Race Against Time
Under the dust and between the cracks, all of my misfortunes are settled into these polished floors. Drenched in passion, held in pursuit, I tell my story with a booze free grin—
Seven months ago, rock bottom hit. A gray area rock bottom, the kind where I got to the bottom of a wine bottle and cried because it was empty. Not the bottle, but my spirit. “I think it’s time we break up." I found myself saying in my head. I pushed the glass off the table and smiled with the sound of scattered shards. Abuse wasn’t the answer, but destruction of the substance I was abusing seemed to be metaphorical in my drunken rage. Making my way to the bathroom, I looked in the mirror only to see black, red, smudge. There stood a foggy, bloodshot impression; two drooping eyes staring at a woman I used to know. With dilated pupils and a dislocated presence, I washed my hands and shivered at the reflection of my past.
The next morning I woke up with a pounding head and the taste of stale wine on my lips. With shaky hands, I reached up and slammed the window shut. Something inside of me was always mad at those little birds, or jealous of them, really. My day would be spent in bed, with an orange Gatorade and judgmental cat by my side. It was time to live in a new light and to be fearless in my decision. Struggling to rise, I finally got up, made some tea, and settled into a new form of woven reality.
Afternoon set in and my energy grew grim. With wobbly wrists and tear swelled eyes, I picked up a pen and let the fear fall free—
Why is silence so damn loud? It must be five o’clock again. Anxious at best and angry at dawn, I was living in sin and feeling in blue. A cycle of ease became a cycle of temptation; the days became heavy and my soul shrieked, still. Some nights I sipped slow and some I gulped mountains. The day stood quiet and my hand stood steady, the time has come to write my world true.
The first month was by far my biggest hurdle. My brain swarmed with questions I needed answered. When did a few glasses of wine become so isolating? Am I an alcoholic or just a woman who's had enough? Am I steady in pursuit of sophistication or blindly stumbling into the web of addiction? Who am I without cabernet? What if I get married? What if I get a promotion?
What if I just take a breather and let the rest follow suit!
As the days roll on, I’m beginning to lose count and I’m beginning not to care. You see, I was washed up for so long, drowning, really. There was wine to get me through panic attacks and there was wine to get me in beds I didn’t belong. There was wine for when I was feeling too much and there was wine for creating feelings, too. There was always wine— and there was no me.
Alcohol completely stripped a woman from her root. A woman with roots so deep the weeds sang her name. A woman miles from home but always close to the bottle. A woman far from perfect but perfect for pain. That woman, being me.
Another day passing, the curse long broken. There has been more grace than confusion and more devotion than shame. A life without booze is a life that is new. I am settled but stirring, carrying knowledge by the handful and calm by the dozen.
Stranded in a dream, heavy in relief. Counting days by the seasons and hours by the shadows; I carry this feeling into the night.
It’s been seven months since I last sipped poison and it’s been seven months since I last woke at noon. Today started out with a fresh face and different disposition. Making my way to the coffee pot, I grabbed my favorite mug, and sat down with a pen. Sunrise will soon tell all of my secrets. So, I wrote—
Some mornings sobriety seems easy but today this doesn’t ring true. Calm at heart but restless in time, I’m on cloud nine in the first week of June. Today I am more rain than shine and more woman than not. I am strong in my decision but weak in my mind.
The questions are back, and they will nearly cover this page. When did wine turn to prayer? Am I like my father or far from home? Am I dwelling in doubt or drifting in distinction? What if these questions never lose sight? What if I spiral for days at a time?
What if there was a program to help people sort through the flood of fury recovery tends to bring?
If granted access, I will use a website known as Memberful to create a month-long agenda for those who may be struggling in their decision. This will include journal prompts and entries from my own, along with insight and resources for the sober community. With writing comes clarity, and with clarity comes peace. I can only speak from the heart and from experience, turning passion into fruition, and fruition into love.
The light in my room seemed a little brighter, I closed my notebook and held my mug to my chest. All of the uncertainty lifted as quickly as the creeping sun. I sat there for a while, feeling warm and not forgotten, pouring sugar by the spoonfuls, tasting freedom by the drop.
Sobriety comes with a newfound love of self and spirit. The road to addiction led me to a road of endless exploration. The questions are constant, but the calm is too. No need for labels, or wine, or judgment or strain. No need for him or you, or the bottle of June. I’m on the run again, returning only to myself, ever-present and never scared.
I'm running barefoot and in my mind I don't remember. I'm running barefoot and in my body I am new. Miles and miles, and so much more than sober.