Delve Into Twelve - Excerpts

"The pills helped at first. They had been prescribed by her doctor and convinced her of her inability to function without either Lithium to bring her down or Xanax to quell her anxiety. She relied on the drugs, was able to work on the drugs, keep the kids fed and clean. Her husband’s drinking had progressed rapidly and she had no time for frivolity. She had to take on as much as she could, as her husband had been fired over a year before.

There was no reason for her to have to endure more evaluations on her life and inability to get it in gear. Besides, recognizing the reality of her life was what the pills were protecting her from. She was a young mother and wife, not yet 30 years old, yet her life was is shreds. Getting high on prescriptions drugs was her only solace. Her parents insisted on the counseling if they were going to be helping her this time.

She walked into the group meeting the first day, unsure of how she would be accepted, as she wasn't really any kind of addict, she just smoked a lot of pot. The pills were “medicine” yet she had become dependent on them. She was unclear on how it was suppose to feel to be lucid.

By this time, the counselor asked her to introduce herself, and explain to the group her reason for being there, she was apprehensive, and appalled by whom she was surrounded by. Drunks, junkies, crazies, all types of failures. She politely answered them, the steady flow of questions, offering information that would prove to them she just did not belong there. She felt insulted that these damaged people felt inclined to intrude in on her life.

She was helpless and pretty much put all the powerlessness in her life onto her husband. After all, he had not worked for months, and tension and rage filled him. She had struggled, stretching her meager wages taut, but now they were at the end, evicted homeless. She could not leave her boys with him, because the kids whined and cried that Daddy was no fun and yelled and frightened them. She was alone, friends have had enough of him and her parents forbid him from their home. They had seen their beautiful daughter tearstained and bruised too many times. They were terrified their grandsons would become mini versions of their father, as the 8 year old was also in counseling and now taking medication to control his outbursts. Their son in law was not the primary concern, as long as he continued drinking his choices were limited to starting treatment on his own, or sleeping in the empty apartment until the Sheriffs Marshals came to lock the doors.

When asked about him, she easily rattled off his many flaws. She recounted many episodes of abuse, her frequent accounts to police, his inability to support them, his dwindling affections for her. She pointed out his vices, his betrayals. The children were in the way, unruly and disobedient just like their father. It helped her to blame him, and she assumed everyone saw the victim she was, the limited choices she had, therefore justifying her need for meds. They would see she did not belong; they would assure her she was o.k. She was wrong.

She had never heard the term “enabler” and was insulted that the people who drugged and drank their lives away put any of the blame on her. She did not imagine she was seen with little pity. That she had forfeited her own accountability. That she had options for herself and her sons that included a healthy future provided she get sober. For her to be able to put herself first for the sake of the family.

Why not ask for some time off? How about going on state disability to insure her income would be sufficient, as well as give her time to pack, store and move into her parent’s house?

The ideas were for her, for the first time. They put her at the center, offering condolences for her pain, yet were relentless in their insistence on her being the one who needed the treatment, for herself to be effective for her family.

For what? Because you are in crisis, they told her. The group mentioned that they made commitments to each other. daily commitments that they would be required to follow through on the next meeting. Sure, she said, she would go to her superior to ask for time off. Easy for them to say, she thought. She had boys to tend to, and a husband who she loved despite his ugliness."