It is date night….again. This love affair began long ago and nothing will come between us. I have been thinking about this night all day. I day dream in my car about our meeting. Granted we meet like this each night. Yet the fantasies are my playground. Bliss in my bottle.
Standing in the same spot in the kitchen I glance over at my dog. Do I detect a look of shame? Probably projection on my part. He will sit at my feet as I indulge the rest of the evening. I look around to ensure I have everything. What a stupid thought. Of course I do. I always get just enough. One bottle. A pack of cigarettes. Well I only need half and the bottle of Xanax to sweeten the mood.
Buying the bottle of wine is my definition of foreplay in this romance. I am a simple girl with no need for fancy tastes. As I am with the rest of my life there is purpose here. I want to take the edge of, escape from the routine, from myself. No need for drunkenness, just a delicious buzz. Half a Xanax will ensure that.
The foreplay continues with the opening of the wine. The sound of the cork and pouring into the glass. Blissful ejaculation. Now it is time to cuddle.
So I sip. I nurse. The warm feeling washed over me, comforts me. I light a cigarette. This is my peace. Under it is a hell I avoid. I have been there before. Lying on the floor sobbing, not knowing when the fucking pain will go away. Why wouldn’t I drink? Still the self loathing mixed with the sorrow reminds me that this is no solution.
It should come as no surprise as a survivor of incest and childhood sexual abuse I have had issues with self medicating. Sadly this is all too common with this population. Too often survivors cope with their pain by using alcohol, drugs, food, cutting, sex and other ways to avoid FEELING. It not only serves as way to escape but also provides a sense of control. Yes it may seem like our lives are out of control and indeed that is often the case. As victims we had no control our addictions serves as a complicated way to give us such.
As for my bout with alcoholism (my primary addiction) it has been an ongoing challenge. From the time I was a teenager I used alcohol to regulate my mood and escape from my feelings. I am physically sensitive to alcohol and hangovers have been terrible. I would vomit for a day after drinking only to start with another few glasses of wine. For most of my drinking life I did not drink inappropriately in public, my main problem is isolated drinking. Being alone with myself is unbearable.
I have been to 12 step programs. I certainly support this method of recovery. However, I eventually found it too uncomfortable to share in group settings. I have been sober for several years at a time. Other times I have little interest in drinking. Then I will find myself self-medicating again. It is my individual path. One I will probably always have to monitor.
The image I attached is a project I did with a very talented artist, Dr. Jerome Glickman. We did this collaboration based on my journey. Dr. Glickman has collaborated with other survivors. He recognizes the strength and courage these women have to offer and has a profound sense of compassion for them.