The Slip

 

Alex Lorien

Turns out, I’m human.

 

I know! I’m as shocked and horrified as you are! Surely I ought to be a teeny bit divine? A hint of a halo? A downy feather from my wings? No? Okay ….

 

I got drunk yesterday … and the day before that.

 

For those of you who don’t know, I battle with alcohol addiction. I used to say I battled (past tense) with alcohol addiction, but my turning to the bottle has made it well and truly clear that the war is far from won, and also that it will never BE won. I will die an alcoholic, whether I drank the previous night or not touched a drop for 20 years;

 

My name is Alex, and I’m an alcoholic.

 

I decided to write my experience because I’m not sure how else to process it. I tried crying … a lot. I really let it go (don't sing that song … which I secretly love). There were tears, hoarse throats, snot … it was not pretty. I called the Samaritans, I texted some people; but I did my best to shield as many people as I could from my mistake. Just because I fell off the wagon, doesn’t mean everyone else has to suffer. That will annoy some people who want me to turn to them, who have encouraged me to seek them out if I feel that way, but I just wanted to minimise the fallout.

 

I think I did okay.

 

The people in my life who matter, were supportive. My family (not my immediate biological family; they are most definitely not supportive about … well; anything), but the people who I surround myself with, whom I’m close to; whom I love and trust. Some of them did tell me off, but did so with love. My boyfriend reminded me that I had been strong, and that one slip doth not maketh a man; bless him for that. My older sister/cousin expressed her disappointment (not in a judgy way, more in a ‘wanting me to keep doing well’ kinda way), but she still took time to talk to me about the ‘whys and ‘hows’, and continued to love me just as I am.

 

I’m lucky.

 

I’ll keep it brief because this is what I have learned:

 

  1. It’s okay to not be okay: we all need help sometimes.

  2. Just because someone has the title of mother/father/brother/sister/etc. does not mean they have any right to judge you, or have the right to dictate to you on how you should look/act/feel/be. Fuck. That. Shit.

  3. A slip is just that; a slip. Sometimes it’s just a slip, and sometimes we fall. But like a model on a runway in ridiculous heels, we’re teetering at the best of times; a slip/trip/wobble/fall is actually more likely than everything sailing smoothly all the time. You got this.

  4. Seek out the people who TRULY matter, hold on to them, and be grateful. It may only be one or two people; but a single person who has your back no matter what, is worth a thousand people who will drop you at the slightest mistake. Like my CPN said: sometimes you gotta cut off a leg to save the body, so trim the fat. Get rid of those who are toxic to your good mental health.

  5. If the people around you do not accept you for who you are, faults/illnesses/lifestyle/choices, then:

 

THEY DO NOT DESERVE TO HAVE YOU IN THEIR LIVES.

 

Thus endeth the list.

 

Thank you for reading this. I know it doesn’t say much. I didn’t go into the gritty details about my fall from sobriety, but it’s unnecessary. All you need to know is that I fell, and (with help), I got up, and I am starting again, right from scratch.

 

Thank you to my amazing boyfriend, Rob. To my indomitable older sister/cousin Stacy; to my good friend Lara-Grace, and to the fucking awesome people that are the Samaritans.

 

And thank you to you. Arcadia is a part of my family. You are part of my family.

 

Big love.


Alex