"[My relationships were] like I was in these movies where the script was only half-written. When I’d get to the end of this half-script, the other actors wanted me to ad lib. But I had never gotten the hang of that. That’s why these movies were always box-office failures. Six of them in the past twenty years. I always blew the lines." ~ from my horrible first novel "Learn How To Pretend." (unpublished)(obviously)

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Intentional Alcoholism

Following is something I wrote. It's an excerpt from the novel I wrote for my MFA dissertation. The narrator has just lost her husband in the 9/11 attacks and, in her grief, has discovered that she can't stand to be touched -- a common grief reaction -- not even by her children.
Nobody intentionally sets out to become an alcoholic. But on that day, the 13th of September, that’s what I did. It was a survival mechanism, sort of like when they put a patient into a medically-induced coma so her brain can recuperate. I had the presence of mind to know that I needed to be there for my kids in a huggy-lovey way. I needed to overcome the aversion to touch. I needed to deal with the fact that I realized that I did not care all that much that Tank was dead. I was having a hard time caring about the tragedy at all. This was not right, not normal. I needed to act.
I posted this here because, even as I originally wrote this part, I saw myself almost intentionally setting out to become an alcoholic in order to cope with the pain. Maybe not setting out to do it, but setting out with the full knowledge and understanding that it was a possibility. In loking at my drinking I see that it was a way for me to be passive and not have to act.

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