I’ve been reading up a lot on addiction, mainly on the commonality of familial theft among addicts. I remember feeling that feral. I remember feeling high strung, all my muscles and nerve endings alert and prepared to pounce on the next opportunity to drink or smoke weed. Only when the object of my affection was attained could my body relax. If guilt settled in, I pushed it away. Only the lecherous thoughts were allowed to linger.

We’re all pretty broken, though I don’t see my addicted self that way. I see her with a forked tail, horizontal goat pupils, tangled long hair, and breath like fire. I left a plume of smoke and destruction beneath my feet; I hurt the ones I loved the most.

Only discovery made me a pitiful, groveling thing.

Wait – that’s not true. There was more than one night, more than one party, where I shoved myself in a corner instead of in the middle of the action. If someone approached me, their eyes red but friendly, I would snarl like like a feral child. Language escaped me. I was a broken sort of monster doll with no ability to pick myself up off the floor.

I feel detached from that girl now. I felt so much as a girl, so many strong emotions that I eventually replaced with a substance. When the substance was gone it took a long time for me to get back to that girl that was so full of wonder. Some of my friends and familiar places became more poisonous than alcohol. I had to be quarantined. This is one of the reasons I am just now continuing my college education at the age of 33. Imagine someone trying to heal from addiction in the sloshed halls of a dormitory? Some might be strong enough, but I knew that I wasn’t. I’ve come back as an adult, a bit stronger and a bit more wise. But I am still broken. I hear stories told by the younger students, and I often feel pity, remorse. I feel no thirst for what they have.





4 thoughts on “

  1. Great to have a post from you, Chrissy. I can’t imagine how any young person could do recovery and live in a dorm. YOu were wise, my friend. Hope school is going well. Loved this piece.

  2. I so appreciate the raw honesty of this post. I was there, once, in my own hell. And I know it was all about dulling the excess of emotion, trying not to feel so much. I remember feeling as if I had no skin, that my nerve endings were open to electrocution. I don’t write much about this on my blog, because my children read. They are both in college and I pray so hard they don’t get as ensnared as I did. Not everyone finds their way through. For you, for me, it is essential that we keep writing. It is the only way I manage to grasp with some courage the roil of emotion, so much of it fearful. It is the only way to get the fear and sorrow outside of myself, onto the page or the screen, where I can gaze on it with love and compassion and embrace the scared little girl that is still me.

    I adore you.

  3. Angella: I adore you right back!!!

    We must keep the currents open for emotion, and sort them out in a way that is healthy.

    I hope you’re all well, and safe and warm in the city! xoxoxo

"... all my lovers were there with me, all my past and futures."

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