Addiction · Autobiography · Mental Health · Personal Development


Sitting at the lunch counter with Mase I twirled a straw wrapper between my fingertips and tried not to meet his eyes. “So, I, uh, so I… I relapsed.” He was the first I told in person. The weight of it on my shoulders was released, then quickly replaced as tears came to my eyes and shame moved in. It’d been 36 hours since I sat in an old friend’s apartment with a bottle of bourbon, but I was still having trouble believing it happened.

He didn’t ask me why. He knew why I drank after over three years of sobriety. The only reason anyone ever relapses, I couldn’t find a reason why it mattered if I stayed sober anymore. I couldn’t find it and I didn’t go looking. I didn’t make phone calls. I didn’t go to a meeting. I just gave up and I drank. Another split-second decision that I’d have to pay for.

I didn’t keep drinking. I went to a meeting as soon as I could. I earned my 24 hour chip and then sat in my car sobbing. Not for the things I’d lost, but for the things I am. For the places I keep coming back to. For the selfish, self-serving, and stupid things I find myself doing over and over again. For my carelessness. For my apathy. For my lack of patience. For my passion and stubbornness. For my hurtfulness. For how pointless and hopeless this all feels. For all the things sorrys and sobbing won’t change.

Yet I continue forward. Despite my current inability to see why. Though I feel I don’t deserve it and it doesn’t matter anyway. I climb back up and I put one foot in front of the other and I go looking.

Go looking for something–for anything–that makes this feel a little more manageable. That reminds me I am someone worthy of love and compassion and forgiveness. Which proves I can change and grow. Something that will tell me it doesn’t always come back to this. That I can keep looking. That I will find the reasons and learn to keep them close.

Autobiography · Mental Health


Today I don’t want to write. I want bury myself behind a pile of beads and craft earrings. To cuddle my partner. There are some days when the most important thing you can do for yourself is rest. I’m getting better at recognizing those.

Autobiography · Mental Health

Mile Markers

I try hard to find events I need to attend. Milestones I want to see. Thanksgiving, the birth of my best friend’s baby, a trip to Minneapolis. I search for anything that is too important to miss. My three-year sober anniversary, teaching winter term, moving in with Andrew. There is always beauty to anticipate. I just have to find it. And like Sage Francis said, “If you snoop around long enough for something in particular you’re guaranteed to find it.”

So I keep looking. And I keep hushing down the part of me who says I’ll never find them.

Photo courtesy of Tim Mossholder.