So I was transferred to psych from medical yesterday, after nine days on the floor. I am glad to be here, in that I’m one step closer to leaving the hospital. I did get a little bit down last night and this morning. I just want to be done with this chapter (screwing up) of my life. At the same time I want to, and probably will drink again. I don’t think I’m going to start drinking daily, or all the time to blackout, but (1) it’s a slippery slope, (2) I’m so full of shit – I know it ends in disaster. I hurt the kids, I hurt my husband, I hurt my family, and indeed I hurt myself. What’s the point of going to AA if I intend to keep drinking? Is it a buffer to complete insanity? Is that just an excuse to let myself drink? Pretending I have it under control, when in fact it may well lead to death? Through bleeding after cutting, overdose (with alcohol) leading to coma and death, or accidental death – walking in front of a car?
So how do I turn this around? Yes, I want to drink, but I am an adult who needs to learn not to act out on every whim. I am no longer a teenager, lashing out at the world. Other adults have impulses, but control them because they know they are not healthy or wise. How can I learn to do the same? Is it a matter of just doing? I probably have the tools, just neither the courage nor the drive. I am weak and/or lazy. I don’t believe in myself, but I also have a severe case of the ‘poor me’s. Poor me, I deserve a break. Poor me, why should I work? Poor me, why have I heart disease? Mental illness? Bowed legs? Poor me, why am I fat? Poor me, why have I phobias? Poor me. Poor me. Poor me. I deserve to drink, to cut, to take pills, to fuck, to be miserable, to shirk responsibility. In the end, poor me, gets me nowhere. It gives me permission to not get better. To be a failure. To do what I want, and to blame my circumstances. To stay sick. And being sick gives me more permission, and so the cycle continues.
Does not having the drive and courage leave me stuck? Is this what I choose to be? Is this going to be my life forever? Who would choose that? Why would they choose that? Why would I choose that? Because it is comfortable. It is familiar. It is known. As the saying goes ‘Better the Devil You Know’. And I know the devil. I know the ins and outs of him. I know he is untrustworthy, but yet I stay – beside him as friends. Toxic friends who need to break-up, but don’t. Who keep each other down, or at least he does me. I have always stayed in relationships that are bad for me. That drain the life’s blood from me. That I know I should leave. That I always hold on to. The devil is the ultimate toxicity. The one who takes the most. The one that is hardest to leave. Who’s tail, and tongue, and claws, wrap around my body, like the tendrils of thick trees’ roots strangle other plants. And so, even as he squeezes the air out of my lungs, crushes me in a painful embrace, I refuse to fight. For now the pain is easier than pushing back. Will this ever change? Will I ever have the courage, to stand up and try to have some kind of life? Even though I’ve missed out on thirty years of living, is there a point? Of course there is! Live out the remaining twenty or thirty years of living in his clutches, or possibly, maybe, perhaps be a little more free. Enough to make those twenty or thirty years bearable. Enough to make the fight worthwhile. Because if it is not, why bother? Why make the effort? Why take the risk, of being disappointed? Again, and again, and again…
Tá an diabhal ag gáire orm. Laughing at the very idea that I think I can be rid of him.
“Fanacht liomsa,” a dhuirt sé. “Tá sé te anseo. Níl tú ag iarraidh an áit seo a fhágáil. Beidh tú sásta. Beidh tú ceart go leor.”
And so I start to doubt myself. He is speaking the language of my people, trying to confuse me, to get me to trust him. He knows I love this beautiful language. That I yearn for it. He is using it against me. I can feel it, but it so hard to resist. “Maith an cáilín. Tá fhios agat nach feidir leat mé a stopú.” He is revealing himself. Showing his burnt, red, scorched skin. His long probing tongue. Trying to kiss me and push it in my mouth. His rotten, acrid breath, repulsing me. Yet on the whole, he has me. I know this is not right. Not the way it’s supposed to be. But once again I make the choice. To stay without even a whisper of rebellion. To give up once again. Until the next time some light is let in. Until I debate with myself again, and again, and again. As I have done so many times before. And already I know the outcome. It is that which has always been. Never changing. Just giving me a glimmer of hope. For mere seconds that seem like years. The blink of an eye, yet painfully protracted.
Tá sé ag gáire – amach ós árd. Arís, agus arís, agus arís. Bastard…