why you sad?

my older son asked: why you sad? I told him I wasn’t sad, just tired.

I hit a wall at the about the same time each day: 5pm. Previously I thought the Wall was low blood sugar, and while that contributes to it, I can stuff my face and still hit the Wall. My temper begins to slip. I stare into space and my three year old fights to get my attention back to him from whatever reverie I am in [yesterday day I was revising my approach to a story, which I need to record next].

I’m up most nights between 3-9 times with my younger son [7 months], and the night before, while he had slept well, my body, used to lying awake nursing, stayed awake from 1 am to 4:30am.


Even so hitting the Wall made me fear I was hitting my mother’s alcoholic Wall. Isn’t it true, after all, that after both kids are in bed, I’ll pour myself a short glass of wine? Isn’t it true that is precisely what I am waiting for?

Actually, no: what I’m waiting for is a break from being nice, from being on, from trying to say and do the right, good-mommy-appropriate thing. I’ve had tea and know, know for myself, that what I’m looking for is a little silence. Or at least adult conversation [but pretty much only with my husband, as I don’t want to have to make conversation]

But I also know, because I’ve been there, that I have had my own alcoholic wall. When I was first pregnant with my second son, this wall was the hardest to hurdle: I just wanted a drink. dear god, did I just want *something* to take the edge off.

I don’t want to go back there. Ever, if possible.

Seeing my mom’s Wall, that emotional state in which the only thing that matters is getting a drink in, didn’t just depress me. It scared the ever living shit out me.


when I was a teenager in white, suburban South Carolina of the 1990s, I thought heroin was cool. Like coke, it was one the drugs we could never afford, didn’t have access to, and so it floated on the fantastical margins of our drug life.

a friend of mine, a punk girl with downtown connections, said to me: I’m no longer going to be friends with anyone that takes H. if someone takes it, they are dead.

I thought this was awful, and conveyed my horror that she would ditch a friend over their drug usage. the implication of my words was that whatever friend started using was likely to need her help. But my underlying thought was for the glamour of it.

Because in the 90s, and in the suburbs, our exposure to heroin was movies and books about thin, young, beautiful people overdosing in agony. Oh, the suffering! We idolized few things as much as pain! depression!

[i’m not going to stop and contemplate all the media that brought gave me this picture of heroin, but suffice to say that I heard in Ani Difranco’s “Come Away From It” a tragic glory, which I’m pretty damn sure she didn’t intend]

it’s the kind of thing that’s embarrassing to remember about your teenage view of the world. But it also makes me glad to grow up.

what I couldn’t have know then was what it is like to be in a relationship with a junkie. Which is, terribly, like having a friend obsessed with another friend, and all they want you for is to go and hang out with this other friend.

You can feel their mind on fire, lighted up by a light that lets them see what they want to see. their mind gets sticky, mushy: sticky on what and how they want to think, mushy on any other reality.

anyhow. behind on work. let me get back to it.


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