A defintion of Sobriety

*Trigger warning*

Sobriety has many different definitions. The Webster dictionary only lists one definition, but everybody knows that a street survey, coordinated by undergrads, is more reliable than the Webster dictionary. I haven’t ever seen a street survey focused on the definition of sobriety but I have in some ways, been taking my own personal survey on sobriety since I was eight years old. 

There were times in my life when a drug test could prove my sobriety, my pee was more trustworthy than my word when it came down to the judgment of my parents. Although I knew, whether it said I passed or failed, I knew I had failed. Coke didn’t show up on tests as long as it had been a week, my extreme abuse of random prescription drugs or OTC pills wouldn’t show up on their silly little pee sticks. In some way it made me feel more justified, them trying to prove I abused drugs & me, being so good at hiding it. 

Sophomore year of high school I was becoming more & more confident, hiding inside my sobriety shadow. Nobody ever suspected I did drugs, they thought I was weird, or lazy. But not someone who was taking opiates and prescription pain pills daily. During first period one day the teacher stepped out of the class and the 12 Triple C’s I had for breakfast were starting to dissolve in my stomach acid. I had been glaring down our tiny classroom trash can for what felt like hours. I finally had the courage, or maybe the lack of self awareness, to crawl and sit at the trash can. With my legs wrapped around it I started to throw up. The classmate sitting at his desk next to me was one of the few people to notice. He helped tie up my hair & brought me some napkins along with a water bottle. I don’t know if I was conscious enough to thank him but I hope I was. When the teacher came back I had already dragged myself back to my seat and was laying my head down. Before he dismissed the class he made a point to ask me if I was okay. My eyes bloodshot, face pale as snow  and shaking, I replied with some lame excuse about having a bad breakfast. I could tell he didn’t believe me, but that teacher liked me & I knew I had gotten away with it. 

Junior year started off strong, I was determined to be sober, get good grades and prove my parents wrong. I don’t remember what happened, but one day I was home alone getting ready to take a bath, looking under my parents sink when I found my dads black bag. This bag was infamous & the whole family knew exactly what was in it. All his prescription pain medicine from when his back was broken. Including some pills that were prescribed to many other family members. Without even opening the bag I squealed with excitement, My whole week had just changed. I ditched the bath and spent the rest of my night researching every single pill I found in that bag. I planned which days I would take certain ones & lined up the perfect high for my schedule. A days I had English & history so those were the days I could take the stronger pills. B days I had Math & Science, I reserved the pills I wasn’t sure about for B days. Of course I couldn’t be high at home, because that would blow my cover & not only would I be in trouble but I would have to acknowledge I was doing the wrong thing, & that was almost worse. 

It was a B day & I took this pill that fell into a weird drug class, it was an anti anxiety pill as well as an anti nausea medicine. In my mind I thought that made it safe to take without any food. I went about four hours on an empty stomach feeling a slight effect, like I was stoned without being tired. As soon as I walked into the cafeteria I was starving, but my legs started to feel weak & the thought of standing in a lunch line was making me feel sick. I grabbed a bag of hot Cheetos from the vending machine and ate the whole bag in less than 2 minutes. For a while I felt better, renewed, like I could go to class, take a nap & before I knew it the school day would be over. I slept through about 30 minutes of my human development class when the teacher decided we would change the seating chart. She asked everybody to grab their belongings and line up against the wall. Standing there my legs started to shake beneath me, I thought I was going to fall over but before I did, I had to throw up. My eyes darted across the room, as the teacher rambled on. A specialized water bottle with somebody’s initials monogrammed on it, stared back at me. I lunged for the water bottle and threw up the perfect amount to be able to put the lid back on. Nobody saw, not even the girl whose water bottle it was. I waited till the teacher was done talking & raised my hand. “Um I threw up” I said, holding out the water bottle with red & clear chunks. I’ve blocked out the majority of what happens next. I remember crying in the nurse’s office & I didn’t know why I was crying but I couldn’t stop. My mom came to pick me up & we rode home in silence. I sat down on the couch & she asked if I was okay, if I knew why I threw up & if I needed anything. I think all her questions overwhelmed me because all I could say was “No” before bursting into sobs. She sat next to me & held my head in her lap while I sobbed until I fell asleep. When she tried to leave me to pick up my sister I cried begging her to not leave me alone. Once we arrived at the school I opened the car door to throw up one more time. When I sat back & used my sleeve to wipe off my mouth, my mother & I looked at each other & laughed. 

After that day, I thought there’s no way my mom can think I’m sober. Maybe her definition of sober is different. 

Making Room for the new

I don’t understand love at all. I was probably two the first time I was able to link the word love with the feeling produced by only close family members. Then around five years old I started making friends and understanding love in a different way, at eighteen I felt love in an even more new way than before, it was fast and felt never ending at the same time. Now that I’m twenty I feel as if I have lost all understanding of the word love. How can it be so different for everybody and in every different relationship? How do you develop the people you love in your mind? I have trouble continuing someone’s story after deciding I love them, even with family my capacity for their development is smaller once I have let them in my heart. It’s the same fear of change that I carry for myself, I don’t ever want to move on from what is now, and what will eventually become the past. I never feel ready for the future so I tend to linger in the oldest identification of everyone around me. unfortunately everyone is changing and I am feeling left behind, not because I haven’t accepted my future self but because I don’t want to leave behind what we used to be. I’m sitting on the toilet right now trying to decide how to make room, where can I fit the identity of my new mom, dad, sister and boyfriend? How can I forget everything while still taking on new information?

I’m the middle child

I’m the sister who makes the whole family walk around the neighborhood five times because it’s good for your soul, I’m the sister who drinks hot tea every night and leaves dark stains on the white counter, I’m the sister who stays up till 4am making everyone breakfast then sleeps in till 7 making everyone late to school, I’m the sister who ignores my chores so I can write three page long letters to the brother who is moving out, I’m the sister who cleans your room but misplaces your favorite shirt, the sister who always talks about all the dreams that nobody thinks will come true. I’m the sister who gets in trouble for staying out too late walking around the neighborhood six times, I’m the sister who gets in trouble for leaving dark stains on the white counter, the one who gets in trouble for making everyone late to school, for ignoring her chores, and loosing your favorite shirt, I’m the sister with all the dreams that will come true.

Bad things come in three

Mentally I’m sometime okay and I’m sometimes not and that’s okay. Physically I most always feel not okay but sometimes I’m almost sure I could be a model

Every since he’s moved in my stress level has increased. How can I possibly relate to someone who has both parents in prison. It was a mistake, I keep telling myself he’s not supposed to be here, it’s not his fault. He asks me “where are my jeans?” “I’m hungry could you make me something to eat?” “Helen, could you go on a walk with me?” and late on Sunday nights after he’s visits his parents The questions cease for a day. But around one am I can hear him in the other room crying his mothers name over and over again. I want to ignore his problems, handle mine then help him. But I can’t help it. I do his laundry, make his lunch, and go on long quiet walks with him. And Monday morning when I come to school with bags under my eyes and a slump in my walk, nobody will understand what it’s like to live with my nine year old cousin.

I’m upset that you’r gone, tired of holding in my emotions and regretting not helping you. I wish I would have said something, came up with a plan. Helped you in some way, because knowing that now you are gone locked up in rehab I feel guilty for missing you. Maybe I’m over dramatic, maybe the mother like responsibilities that my little cousin hangs over my head are finally getting to me. Maybe I’m just sad that you still don’t know how I feel. But how can I move on when you aren’t here to reassure me that my hair looks okay today and my braces are cute and not to worry because things are going to get better. 

Self loathing. My body is like a building and my soul is the tiny people running around ringing phones and burning old files. My soul can be stable and quiet, all the little people sitting at their desks filling memory’s and remind me of my responsibilities and when everything is good on this inside most everything is good on the outside. But when I’m walking the halls or called up Infront of the class and dragged to my parents party’s, my little people go wild pressing every nerve and sending signals in all different places at all different times. They call that anxiety. And when I see him, with his green eyes and soft hands, the little people inside me get happy and jittery and quiet. And when I see him my soul screams from the inside out catching fire to every memory he gave me. They call this feelings. But lately, the mirror hasn’t agreed with me, I haven’t felt like a model or a princess and beautiful is a word my ears long to hear again from the little people inside of me. They call this self loathing and for me it’s a new type of torture. 

When bad things come in threes, try to remember that good things come in fives.

stupid people

I always get caught up in relationships, caring about every detail and tripping over every little mistake blaming myself for the petty problems caused by over thinking.

If caring too much was a disease then i’m bed ridden with the infection. I throw around my mental stability as if it were a bowling ball hoping to find someone worth everything I have already put out. Yet somehow I always end up running into a dead end filled with dead beats who blow smoke in and out of their hollow souls, leaving me with nothing but anguish and burnt lungs from the left over taste of their memories and mistakes.

I’ve found that it’s not always my fault, I’m not the only reason it didn’t work out. It was’t my favorite color, and I don’t need to dye my hair, I did brush my teeth that morning and NO she’s not better than me. You’re okay, it’s his fault and her fault it’s your fault and their fault. If life was a puzzle and you were the one piece in the middle, people are going to try and fit with you and maybe it will take four months for you to figure out that they don’t fit there but their is somebody who fits in that spot. Don’t keep pushing the same puzzle piece into the wrong place.

Do not spend your whole life trying to figure out why that one person wasn’t right for you, move on. Find the puzzle pieces that do fit, don’t waste time on the ones that don’t. People are stupid and it’s not always your fault.