Thursday, October 18, 2007

The choice is yours...

I met her when I was in the sixth grade. She was a beautiful young lady with many dreams. Even at a young age she could do so many things, arch eyebrows, weave and braid hair, make up faces for special occasions for so many people. She was extremely creative. While we were all out playing baseball and running around through the neighborhood she was making money making people look good. When we grew up and became teenagers, she was still in school progressing well toward her goals. She used to arch my eyebrows and I would let no other person touch them.

After we graduated from high school, I heard that she was using drugs and had been hurt real bad by drug dealers who wanted to teach her and others a lesson. They tied her up to a truck and drug her down several streets. She was skinned pretty bad, and her tongue had tripled in size from the screaming and scraping against the pavement. She was in the intensive care unit for thirty days. She survived. No longer a drug addict she is now a functional alcoholic. This is a person who can hold down a job and works very hard.

Several weeks ago she came by my moms' house. I was so happy to see her. Still a beautiful woman behind the scars on her face. She is still an alcoholic. The thing is we talked in great deal about her drinking. Get this. She was working in a place and saw a book I co-wrote, sat down on her lunch and read it, then sought me out to tell me the impact that it had on her. (A Hole in My Heart)

As we talked she said she drinks because it makes her feel good. It eases her stress and pain. She felt like she was not hurting anyone but her self. She drives but does not drink and drive from what she said. I enjoyed her company so much and hated to see her leave. As she walked to the door she asked, "what time is it?" I responded 3:00. She than pulled out a bottle of Boone's Farm and took a swig. "I almost missed taking my medicine," she said with a big smile.

I sure hated to see her leave. She was not drunk. But I did worry about her having a bottle getting in the car. As she started her car, she reminded me. "I ain't hurting nobody but me. So if I want to drink, let me be happy." I smiled, "you're hurting me and your family because we worry about you."

She smiled, "I work, pay my taxes, and don't drink on the job. After 5:00 and weekends, that's my time. I'm happy and please don't worry about me. What time is it?" She asked again as she backed out of the drive way, "{I got to take my medicine."

I smiled.
I was supposed to write this part two of a blog I did weeks ago. But didn't feel compel to write it until today. I heard on the news that Britney Spears lost visitation rights to see her children. I thought about it. If she is indeed on drugs, drinking heavy, etc., she needs intervention. Is it good to take her children totally away even from having the right to visit them with security? Sure they need to be in a safe place but still should the mother have no contact. Drugs and alcohol addiction is a sickness. It works on your physical self. I could not imagine needing a drink or crack or whatever the choice so bad that I lose my self respect, and my children.

In the last 10 years, I have only had a drink to make a yearly toast to usher the new year in. I don't drink because I have seen too many people my age crippled by it. All of us have choices, I choose not to drink. So if a person decides to drink that's their choice and I will not be judgmental in how I feel about them. Becoming sober is difficult and actually the only persons that I have seen who beat it and remained sober, did it with God.

I hated seeing my childhood friend like that. But I am happy knowing that it is her choice and she is happy with the choice she made.


Nic said...

I glad she reached out to you. I hope you all keep in contact.

Rosemarie said...

This post brings up lots of questions for me. Is her choice now a habit? Isn't the label functioning addict an excuse to justify their actions because they don't hurt anyone but themselves. She's hurt and hurting herself further doesn't seem to be a solution. I see it as a never-ending cycle. Still, your book and renewed friendship could be her pathway to be set free, finally. I pray that is her journey. Oh Lord, set the captive free!

kathi said...

Your friend sounds like she is a functioning alcoholic. My mom was one, and I'd heard her say many of the same things. If she feels comfortable enough to drink from a bottle in front of someone she's not seen in years (and then get into a car to drive) imagine how she must drink normally. I'd be very afraid for her. Perhaps God has led her to you for a reason, perhaps it's so that you could share her story with us and have a multitude of prayers go up for her. Where two or more agree...and I'm agreeing with rosemarie.

TJ said...

I prayed for your friend today. Alcoholism (even functional alcoholism) is a bad path to go down.

BostonPobble said...

You are an amazing person.

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