Tuesday, March 1, 2016


I have a complicated relationship with drugs and alcohol. I myself have not been an addict, though I've done my share of experimentation and have drank heavily at times. I can be really comfortable around substances because it's familiar. Or, if the conditions are just so, just the presence of it can give me a panic attack.

My parents are both alcoholics and cigarette smokers who smoke in their home. I remember hearing tale of the debauchery of dad's youth; it was glamorized, even though it was punctuated by warnings not to do any of that myself. As a small child I was trained to retrieve beers. Once when I was in junior high, a friend's dad asked me if I smoked, he said because I smelled like it. Before I could drive myself places I knew I couldn't get a ride somewhere from my mom. In fact, they welcomed the idea of my friends picking me up to go hang out. I considered it lenient at the time, but in hindsight it just seems like a convenience for them. Wouldn't want to cut into the drinking hours with pesky extracurriculars. I cheered at football games to friends' parents and strangers.

I married an alcoholic. Instead of leaving when I saw how he drank, I tried to control it. I'd pour bottles of booze down the sink so he couldn't keep drinking. I rationalized it by saying better the devil you know. I understand what it's like to live with an alcoholic, I know how to deal with it. Better to have a problem that you're familiar with than something unknown. Or so I told myself, and whoever was listening.

I tolerated heavy cocaine use in a partner for a while. I tried to maintain the stance that it wasn't my place to tell anyone how to live their life. Over time though, it got to me, until eventually, just the mention of it sends my heart racing and makes my hands sweat, and I get angry.

Fuck coming second to anyone's drug abuse. I am worth more than a high. My needs as a daughter were more important than making sure there was at least 8 chilled beers within reach of the computer. Fuck allowing myself to tolerate bullshit that I am above. I grew up learning that my needs came second to vice, but I'll be damned if I ever let that happen again. I love myself too much.

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