A young girl picks up a drink
Her fear and pain melts away,
She found a magic cure
She found a best friend today.
She takes that friend with her
Where ever she has to be,
The friend gets her through,
But she’s no longer free.
Hiding her new friend from the rest
It’s true, somehow she always knows,
That this friend is dangerous
But caution, to the wind it goes.
Years slip by, and some begin to see
That she prefers this friend,
People criticize her drinking
And other friendships end.
The bottle becomes her center
It directs her every move,
But what once brought her relief
No longer seems to soothe.
The friend who helped her through
Now cripples, and blinds her sight,
Alone she drinks and she cries
Dreading tomorrow, hating tonight.
She gave up all her friends
To keep the brown liquid close,
Now she has lost them all
Betrayed by what she trusted most.
She reaches out to God
During a desperately lonely hour,
He sends her back His love
He fills her with His power.
She ends the deadly friendship
Stands strong and free again,
The black fog begins to lift, and
Sobriety is one fight, she does win.
Jeanne Marie, 1979
I am my own wife now and I’m finding out just how good I’m going to treat myself.
Am I going to be a good wife or a bad wife?
I didn’t start out very good. I almost starved to death.
I forgot to eat because there was no one to cook for and I didn’t have anybody asking me, what’s to eat, what’s for lunch, what’s for supper, do you want to go out to eat, do you want me to go get something?
I was in a food vacuum, food just didn’t exist.
What I noticed was my deodorant wasn’t working, so I changed brands several times and when that didn’t help, I started to do some research on Google to find out what’s strange illness I might have that was causing an odor deodorant couldn’t manage.
I found out that I wasn’t putting enough food into my body and that my body was burning muscle to survive. The odor was from being in a state of starvation. I was shocked. I knew I had to eat to live, but I didn’t know I could die from not eating enough.
I had been wasting away and I hadn’t even noticed.
I took off my clothes to take a look at my body and it wasn’t good. Skin and bones.
I couldn’t remember the last time I had been hungry. I had already lost too much weight before my husband and I separated and the scale reported that I’d dropped ten more pounds and I hadn’t even noticed.
I had been eating yogurt and an egg once or twice a week, a couple of spoonful’s of peanut butter every day, but my body was not happy and it wanted some real food.
I learned that once you are in the starvation mode, it gets dangerous. I had to start to eat slowly because starvation damages the heart and I could actually have a heart attack if I started to eat too quickly.
I went to the store and I bought more than just peanut butter, coffee, milk and dog food.
I searched for food that I used to like, so I could tempt myself to eat. I stood there crying because I could barely remember what I liked.
Just shopping for groceries was traumatic. I hadn’t shopped for groceries since my husband retired. We used to joke that he was the wife now and he said I could just write while he took care of cooking, shopping and helped with laundry.
It wasn’t really funny. I stopped shopping a few months after he retired because whatever I brought home wasn’t right, wrong brand, wrong price, wrong flavor. I stopped cooking because he would disagree with the what, the how, the why and the end result. I wasn’t even able to feed the dogs the way he wanted, and if I made my own coffee he would ask why I didn’t have him make it for me.
To some, it looked like I was a pampered princess, but I was actually removed from my kitchen. His at home-ness led to my retirement as a wife. He took over the bills, the kitchen, the shopping and the dogs and I allowed it. I gave up.
So I am my own wife now. It’s been five months, and I am treating myself much better, but it takes awareness and effort. I spoiled my husband and my kids forever, so I know how to do it, I just have to turn that love towards myself.
I started eating slowly. I started cooking for myself for the first time in years. Actual meals. My daughter and grandson come over for supper at least twice a week now and that motivates me to cook. I’ve only gained a pound, but I’m back to my favorite deodorant and it works.
The dogs are happy and well fed, so it turns out that I do know how to feed them. I haven’t cried at the grocery store lately, so I believe I am learning to be a good wife. To myself.
I’m laying our marriage down
putting it to sleep
a mercy killing that for us is best
laying till death do we part promises to rest.
I’m unplugging the life support
so maybe I can revive my heart
because there is more pain than love left.
a bed where passion died a horrible death
a living room where loyalty was beat
a kitchen you drove me out of
because I couldn’t do it right.
I wish I could cremate us
instead of dismantling us piece by piece
but I suppose that’s exactly what we’ve done
burnt our bridges until two now exist as ones.
Don’t try to guide me, change me, or direct me because you will lose me.
I have been guided, directed and advised to the point of near death to my spirit and I need to find out who I am and what I want and I need to do it my way.
I need to learn to trust my own choices and my own decisions and to follow my own instincts and I have never demanded that freedom.
I need to go to the grocery store and not stand in front of the peanut butter for thirty minutes, trying to decide which brand or size I should pick up.
I got married at sixteen, straight from my mother’s house and my father’s control.
The only freedom to think for myself that I’ve known since then was the two years when I was on my own with three kids, and even then, I had an overpowering AA sponsor giving me my should’s and should not’s.
I am quirky. I am different. I do not fit in anybody’s box. I will color outside the lines. I will dance in the puddles. I will howl at the moon. I will talk to birds and clouds and puppies. I will wear pink wigs. I will place my bare feet on the earth and ground myself and I will push away anyone who wants to think for me.
I will listen to your opinion. I will take responsibility when I’m wrong. I will not take guilt.
I am not weak, helpless or incompetent. I am not wrong because I have emotions.
I am a butterfly and if you hold me too tight, my wings will break and I will no longer be able to fly.
I am sixty-five years old and I want to fly and I want to think for myself, right or wrong.
I believe I can do it with God’s direction and His is the only direction that I can handle.
When my life is over and I answer to my Maker, I alone will be responsible for my choices.
The choice to let someone else choose for me is over. I don’t want that anymore.
I will follow my heart where it leads because God is my guide and the only one I need to please.
I am your’s God. Where do you want me now?