Sometimes in Al-Anon someone will say something like, “X is my drink.” X might be “worry” or “obsessive thinking.” Most of us in Al-Anon have lived with an alcoholic–most likely grew up with one or fell in love with one, very often both. So while we might not be compulsively drinking ourselves, many of us have something we feel like we can’t stop doing. Maybe we can’t stop worrying about what might happen to the alcoholic or to ourselves. Or about whether we left the stove on or the garage door open. Fun stuff.
So that’s where the title of this blog comes from. Writing is my drink. Writing is my “go to” thing, the think I can’t stop doing, and it’s not unrelated to the drinking I grew up with. Like many kids who grew up in the blue cloud of the early ’60s, I felt like I had to be “good.” And often good meant not talking about what was really happening–the argument that erupted downstairs after you were supposed to be asleep, the inviolability of the 5pm Happy Hour. And if you don’t talk or think about the stuff that’s real for long enough, you’ll probably find you actually have no idea what you think. At least, that’s what happened to me.
Writing has been part of my recovery from being good, silent, and in denial. All of those are so much a part of who I am that I keep coming back to the page to remind myself that I have a point of view, at take on the world. Not the take. A take. Mine.
Writing is also my drink because it’s my high. Sometimes, that’s great. I got so excited about starting this blog yesterday that my thoughts were consumed with what would I write next, how I would say it. Even trying to fall asleep, my mind will pull up a sentence, parse through it, searching for how it might be better, how it might be tweaked just a little, and then finally become the perfect articulation of an experience. Finally, I will have reached that place of expression, free at last from the isolation of unnamed life.