we alcoholics have this funny little way about us. we’ve been in and out of psych wards. in and out of jails. seen sights and been through things no human or animal should ever have to witness or experience. some of us have been beaten. raped. some of us have murdered and have lost loved ones in violent death. we’ve been in car crashes to shame hollywood’s feigned glorifications. there are those of us who have done time and gotten down and dirty in the most unspeakable ways. james frey ain’t got nothin’ on some of the likes of us.
but there’s this weird little funny spot that a lot of drunks have. we’ll get all cleaned up, saved from the living hell of alcoholism, brought to life with a brand new ‘design for living.’ we’ll see the futility of our old lives, set to go about cleaning up the wreckage of our pasts, and see to it that we keep our new lives on a broad highway to a new road to freedom. we yearn to be happy, joyous and free. free to look people in the eye, free to go where we please, free to know we are not the people we once were.
we’ll get free of the old behaviors that blocked us from a higher power — free of debt, free of resentment and judgment, free of self-pity and judgment of others, free of the idea that we have to be right, free of the idea that we must tell you what to do, free of self-centered fear. but we’ll be damned if we’ll be free to go to the doctor.
this is spurred by my sitting at a friend’s house. she’s new in sobriety, so i should cut her some slack. but, i’ve seen it over and over again. i’ve done it once or twice myself in sobriety. people WITH insurance, clearly ill, clearly needing more attention than just a little ‘sleep/rest’ or ‘home remedy’ stuff who are clearly suffering and possibly doing themselves some damage by not seeing a doctor.
i don’t know if it’s backlash against not wanting to seem eager to see a doctor/get drugs. i don’t know if it’s ‘poor me’ syndrome. i don’t know if it’s because we love to get attention. i don’t know if it’s because we truly don’t know how to take very good care of ourselves. i don’t know if it’s because our pain tolerance gets pretty high when we’re “out there.” i don’t know what our problem is, frankly, but i know that it’s often like pulling teeth(1) to get people to a doctor when they really truly need one. god only knows how many times i’ve done the most painful, gruesome surgery on ingrown toenails both with and without insurance, but always WITHOUT anesthesia. fuck you, saw, again!
so, whatever. it’s weird, and i’m sure i DO worry too much. but i do hate the stories when someone dies of something fucking RIDICULOUS because they wouldn’t go to the doc. blah and blah.
(1) i have a friend who jokes that the extra steps (2) are
13 — (widely known/joked about) relationship
rest are in no particular order that i can remember
14 — getting teeth fixed
15 — going back to school
16 — getting license back
17 — getting out of debt
(2) there are NO extra steps. it’s a joke. it’s a 12 step program, and there are NO extra steps. period. this joke is NOT endorsed by AA.