I have absolutely no business out at 3 am, but apparently this is what out of control is. This is how famous musicians smoked whatever they smoked or shot up whatever they shot up and made ground breaking music. An artist gives in to the oblivion. My oblivion is drunkenness from a morning of pain with no where to put it. No    where   to     put    it.  No   one   to   care.

I think this is the point of addiction. I think this is the point of destruction. No where to put the pain. No one with whom to share the despair.  No guidance. No unconditional love. No one there.

 No one.

 I sit at “America Runs on Dunkin” at 3 am. Alone. No one really cares. Oh, I have the best co-workers on the planet. I have a wonderful son. I have had opportunities… many of them. Sorrow runs liquid down my face. I look into the window at myself and cannot believe I have come to this. How old I am and this is where I am. Really? It cannot be. I checked myself in my bathroom mirror before I left my studio and could almost not believe my eyes. I am not young. I am in my forties and this is my life? Again, really?

Shame fills my heart. Self recrimination, blame, attacking myself for my weaknesses, blindness, and stupidity. I think, “I should hide in shame, I should just die, what a waste.” Luckily the small quiet voice inside me reminds me I am just drunk and I had an exceptionally bad day. It reminds me of how far I have come despite how little of myself I had to build on. How daring I have been despite my culture’s criticisms. How much I have learned because I do look at the bright side, I do take advantage of opportunities. I have grown. It just might not look like it to others looking in. My Work is deep and soulful. It is gritty and unapologetic. It is most of the time not drowned in alcohol or other substances. It is not denied by sex, risky behavior, or too much time at a job. In my mother’s words it is “gutted out”. My screaming pain is born alone through tears in alone in my bed, in the car as I drive, in Dunkin Donuts at 3 am. I have no one. I have no where to go. I have almost nothing at all.

 What I have is that I am pretty. I am smart. I am soulful. And I am loved by one person. I exist. I am an American. I am employed. I have health insurance. As I sit here and begin to feel better, rise out of my despair, maybe sober up; I curse cortisol. I curse my adrenal glands and their release of chemicals that rev me up only to lead to a crash. Yet the rev up is what got me through my demanding day and gave me coherent thoughts.  All day I marveled at my productivity, my memory, my speed. Today I functioned like I used to. Sadly, I am smart enough to put it together. The rush of chemicals driven by fear into my body made me keener. Made me more aware, sped up my reflexes, improved my resolve. But at what cost? I am far enough out of this being my norm, that I am aware of the difference. While it feels good, it feels to some degree normal, and it had it’s rewards; the actual mechanism that drives this super functioning, and what it took to get it, does not escape me. And I don’t like it at all. This is new and different. This is not at all how I want to operate now. This is not healthy and I know it.

So I have to experience excruciating pain to function well. Without the pain, I have little motivation or feel nothing at all. Yet, human nature is to avoid pain. I see why people just get drunk, or do drugs, or have random sex, or any number of risky self denying behaviors. My point in giving into my desire for wine tonight was exactly this: to experience a degree what others must feel. I bombed around my studio still out of control until I chose to go with it and headed out to Dunkin. Alone at 3 am on the streets of a major city is not the safest thing. Eating high calorie, high fat foods in the middle of the night is not healthy. Risking looking like a lunatic typing and crying over one, then two, coffee cake muffins is a knock to my normal self respect. But then I remember where I am. It’s not New York City, but it is a city. Again, as I looked at myself in my bathroom mirror before leaving my studio, I never would have imagined this present life in my past life as a small town Wisconsin girl. I sat on my toilet for just a moment and actually tried to remember my marriage. Maybe it was the booze, I don’t know, but I couldn’t even remember it. I tried to see my ex-husband’s face, feel his touch, smell his smell. Gone. I can’t remember. Maybe that is a good thing. Maybe it means I am finally really over him, the marriage, the dream for my life I had then. But it is disturbing as well. What does it say about that time spent? What does it say about the things I felt so certain about? What does it say about someone there to love me, however dysfunctional? Or even worse, what if it wasn’t love, or me, at all, after all? Again, this is why there is addiction. Reality stinks and no one wants to face it if it is painful. My reality is closing in. It is pushing 5 am. I am full from fattening coffee cake muffins, freezing, and sobering up. I have a cold wet walk home from Dunkin and I am pretty sure in the morning light I am going to say to myself, “What in the world was I thinking?”