Get healed. Go heal.
We’ve all seen her, stumbled, staggered, stepped, tripped right over her. She’s had one too many. Poor thing. She’s going to be hurting in the morning. She’s going to be hurting. She’s hurting. She’s hurt. There’s a saying I’ve heard thrown around, “Hurt people hurt people.” But I really never hear the opposite. Healed people heal people.
I was that girl. So many many times I was that girl who had one too many, stayed one song too long, drank past the buzz to a full on blackout, tripped, stumble-stepped, half fell laughing out of a bathroom stall onto a hard, sticky barroom floor. I was handed another drink. I was offered a cigarette. You poured your beer out over me. But you didn’t offer to help. Not a hand, not a moment, not even a thought. And why should you? Not your business. It’s my own damned fault, over-served, serves me right. Right?
But what if?
What if one person had stopped? What if one person had looked at me, really looked at me, not looked through me or laughed at me or pointed or made a joke or snuck a pic to post on Snapchat because “at least I’m not that bad?” What if someone had taken a moment to really see me? To get on my level, to offer a hand, to offer help? Might it have made a difference? I don’t know.
There’s a saying in recovery “It takes what it takes.” Sounds simple, flippant, trite. But it’s the truth. It takes what it takes to see that you need help, that you’re out of control, that your life has become unmanageable.
I’m not saying I didn’t have loved ones point out that my drinking had become a problem or a cause for concern. I did. My sweet sister sent me a message in private offering to help me find treatment for my alcohol abuse if I wanted it. I blew her off. But it stuck with me. She saw me. She reached out. She spoke up. She didn’t go along pretending with everyone else that my “one too many” every single day of every single week for months and months and years had not gotten out of control. I didn’t take her up on the offer for help in that moment because my mind was so diluted with alcohol that I couldn’t see it for what it was, an offer of help. It didn’t feel like help in the moment. But it was. Thank you, Holly, for offering to help me when I didn’t want, need, see that I needed it. Your words may have very well saved my life.
Because although I didn’t take her up on her offer that day, I did start researching treatment centers...for alcohol, for depression.
I didn’t know what all these terms meant when I started filling out anonymous questionnaires online to see if maybe I had a problem with alcohol. I didn’t know they were options for me when I silently mouthed the words “I.NEED.HELP.” To my own reflection in the bathroom mirror one morning after the nagging hangover started to wear off. I didn’t think it was possible. I didn’t think I could do it. I was so hopeless.
That’s how many times I tried and failed to get sober on my own.
I started and restarted an app that would help me calculate, tally, total the days and hours I managed to go without pouring poison down my throat. But I always failed. Always reached that point where I couldn’t say no any longer. Always gave in, always gave up, always ended the day with a glass in my hand and a fog in my brain and a pain in my head and a hole in my heart. And I couldn’t remember. The next morning I could not remember to save my life what I had said, done, did or didn’t do the night before.
And that was the very worst of it. That is the very worst of it. All of those days, all of those moments, hours, missing, gone, never to be recovered. I cannot take them back. I cannot get them back. I cannot undo them. I will wrestle with those missing pieces for the rest of my days.
If I could turn back time, unfold, unbreak, undo the hurt, the damage that I caused, I just might. But then I would not be here today. I wouldn’t be here writing a blog that I hope might help some other drunk, “one too many” passed out girl who needs to be seen. Who needs help. And that’s what this project is really all about. Helping one girl at a time to see that there is hope, there can be help, you are not alone and I really do love you so very much. Girl, the bravest thing I ever said was help. Let me help you too?
Triage bags packed and ready to hand out should we have an opportunity as we take our vacation this week.
Excedrin, 2 for tonight, 2 for tomorrow morning. You never have to have that hangover headache ever again.
A little note to offer hope. You don’t have to keep going like this. There’s another way. Check out my website www.thebravestthing.org
Call Transformations Treatment Center (561) 735-1136
You are not alone.
“Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” —Luke 7:47