Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thelma and Louise

Thelma: Hey Louise, better slow down, I'll just die if we get caught over a speeding ticket. Are you sure we should be driving like this, I mean in broad daylight and everything?
Louise Sawyer: No we shouldn't, but I want to put some distance between us and the SCENE OF OUR LAST GOD DAMNED CRIME!
[Thelma laughs and screams]
Thelma: Oh man! You wouldn'ta believed it, it was like I was doing it all my life, nobody woulda believed it.
Louise Sawyer: Think you found your calling?
Thelma: May-be... may-be.
[gets up in her seat]
Thelma: The call of the wild!

Days of Sobriety: 338

I have been trying to talk myself out of writing this blog all evening and now it's time to go to bed and I could be curled up reading Fifty Shades Of Gray (to my commenter, grateful:  Of course, I'm reading that book, and we'll compare book reports later), but this damn thing just won't be put to rest.  Mainly because I'm worried about my best friend, Sherry, who just got evicted from her apartment.

I was out for a walk this evening and I passed a neat little older home, two story with a wrap around porch and a stained glass transom light over the front door, and I thought to myself, "If I won the lottery, I would buy that house for Sherry."  And then, of course, I started making stipulations.  The list kept growing.  She couldn't move her dogs in, especially the one that poops on the floor every time it barks which is every 37 seconds.  She couldn't move her kids in, especially the one that steals her money so she has to put it in her robe pocket and sleep in her robe every night.  She couldn't resale the house for cash.  She couldn't drink.

Well, there goes that deal out the window, we all know that last one's a deal breaker.

I think I've told you about my best friend.  We're so alike in so many ways.  We were both born in this same little dusty cow town.  We grew up in middle class neighborhoods with parents that stayed married and older brothers and sisters.  In high school we both existed on the fringe of the popular crowd, we weren't friends then but we knew of each other.  Later on we both worked at the hospital but in different departments, then Sherry transferred to the OR and we found out we had one more thing in common, we both loved to drink, and our friendship was forged.

We lived in the same neighborhood, we both had three boys and unhappy marriages.  By day we were dedicated scrub nurses, by night we were two boozy bosom buddies trying to escape our humdrum lives.  Thick as thieves we were, lying and cheating and covering each others tracks no matter where they led.

But there were always differences.  I won't go into them but I think if Sherry and I were Thelma and Louise, I would be Louise and Sherry would be Thelma.  It was as if, like Thelma and Louise, we were both on the same road trip but there were different views out our windows.  My side had pastoral meadows, gently rolling hills, babbling brooks and all kinds of bucolic shit while hers was all craggy cliffs, sharp drop offs and beware of falling rocks signs.

I don't know about you, but when that movie ended, I always liked to imagine that Louise jumped out of that car before it went flying over that cliff.  At the last minute, she saw there was no way in hell they were going to make it, she looked over at Thelma and said, "Sorry babe, you're on your own.'' and then threw herself from the car, did a couple of somersaults and then stood up, dusted herself off and walked back to the Harvey Keitel character and rode off into the sunset in an RV.

As for Thelma, I always thought even if she jumped from the car and saved herself that time, she was going to end up back at the edge of that cliff over and over again, and someday she was going to wait too long to save herself.

And I know, that no matter how good the view was on my side of the road, that if I hadn't quit drinking 338 days ago someday I would have ended up at the bottom of that cliff with Thelma.

I'm glad I jumped out of that damn car.

As for my friend, Sherry?  I need your help.  I don't know how to keep her from plunging off that cliff.


  1. The people who get sober aren't necessarily the ones who should get sober, they're the ones who want to get sober.

    Unfortunately you can't make her change, all you can do is continue to be an example of happiness in sobriety and be there as a resource if she asks for help.

    I know what it's like--a good friend of mine also drinks too much, and before I quit we used to talk to each other about how much we needed to cut down etc... I even told her I was doing that moderation management program when we were both doing a "30". She just said I'll check that out if I need any support, did her 30 days sober and went right back to drinking. Her drinking isn't at the point where your friend's is, but when we go out and she's drinking and I"m not, there's this weird thing between us. I know she regrets ever telling me that she wants to drink less, because now she thinks I'm judging her (which maybe I am, but not in a "judgy" way more in a worried way). But there's nothing I can do. If she wants to quit she's going to have to make the decision.

  2. What Lulu said. Apparently she and I have the same good friend.

    Just make sure you have some boundaries firmly in place (which it sounds like you do) and then be her friend...and wait.

    It's hard but there's nothing else you can do.


  3. Yeah just keep loving her and being supportive but don't bust your balls trying to fix her life because only she can do that. And definitely be that shining example of a lovely together sober woman that you are xxx

  4. You can help Sherry by staying sober and being an example of someone who is living life on life's terms, while being happy, joyous and most of all free. You may be the only Big Book she ever gets to see. And when she gets sick and tired of being sick and tired, maybe she will ASK you for your help. In the meantime, you get to learn lessons in boundries and unconditional love.

  5. "I don't know how to keep her from plunging off that cliff."

    ya, you know. You know that you can't keep her from diving off a cliff. If you could, we'd have this damn thing figured out and thousands of lives would not be lost to this disease...

    We can't "save" the alcoholic. In our old alcoholic ways of thinking, we SURE want to. We WANT to grab the reigns and take charge, orchestrate all the actors on stage,, as a director would,, like the BB reads. Only when Sherry has had enough will you be able to rescue her from a near fatal choice. Until then, only thing you can control is you, maintaining your own healthy sobriety, so that if, when, God-willing, she CHOOSES life, she'll know exactly where to turn, and you'll be on solid footing to help her.

    Darn it, it always comes back to the Serenity prayer. Accept the things I cannot change,.

    You may really appreciate the wisdom and support at anb Alanon meeting,.
    Keep the faith!