One is one too many; one more is never enough


The first few times I heard this song, I laughed.  It reminded me of how I felt about my husband. Oh, he could drive me crazy when I drank. The next few times, I was overcome with Grace Potter’s voice. Her ability to croon and hit the high notes fascinated me. Later, I became lost in the lyrics sure that when I was belting this out, I sounded fabulous. RCA records would be at my house when I arrived ready to sign me. (Incidentally, I cannot and should not sing- in public venues anyway.)

Now, being 9 days sober, this song seems to mask a hidden agenda for me. If you’re not familiar with the song, the chorus is “You and tequila make me crazy, run like poison in my blood. One more night could kill me baby…One is one too many; one more is never enough.”

Not much of a tequila drinker (that was SO college- Oh, hell no! I classed it up and moved on to rum!), I look more at the “you” in this song. I know what tequila does to me (Makes my clothes fall off- but that’s a different song), but I was more intrigued by the “you.”

Who is You as applied to me? What is defined as the “poison in my blood?” What brings me down? If I could personify my demons and speak to them directly, I would have several “Yous.”

Namely, the negative self talk that pervades my mind, my thoughts, and if I let it, my soul is the “poison in my blood.”  I can bring myself to fault  and to uselessness quicker than a Mercedes can hit 0-60. So, I ask why? When did this start? Why do I repeat this deprecating  pattern? Is it because I am the youngest of nine? Catholic? A daughter of an alcoholic?

I don’t know exactly. Likely, it’s a combination of these issues and more I suspect will be unearthed as I stay sober and open up my bag o’wounds.

What I do know is the history of negative self talk began before I ever went to kindergarten. The earliest memory I have of “being bad” is when I was four and accidentally broke my sister’s leg. We were playing cops and robbers (Yep, you guessed it: I was the bad guy.) My job was to make the snow mobile trailer hitch fall on her leg so she got stuck. Apparently, I did something right that day. A compound fracture and a week’s stay in the hospital (On Father’s Day nonetheless) were the results for my then 5 yo sister.

But the results for me are far-reaching. I went to my room and sobbed as they loaded her into the red station wagon ambulance; I watched from the window and could literally feel my chest closing in on me. I was panicked that the police were going to come for me because I caused her harm. I had hurt my sister; it was an accident, but my 4 yo mind did not understand that. I stayed under my bed the whole night, wetting my pants as I was sure the police would find me and take me away forever. No one told me it was all right . No one said I was not to blame. No one hugged me and asked if I was okay. In fact, no one came at all.

The next morning, I don’t know who found me wet, shivering, and scared under my bed. Likely, I dealt with myself as was often the case. As I reflect on this, I think, “My GOD,  I would NEVER treat myself that poorly.”

Or would I? Thirty years of drinking seems to falsify that thought.

But today, I am sober. I can rethink , relearn, redevelop the self-care and love I clearly did not have as a child. Do I have my work cut out for myself? Damn right I do. But the power lies within me now; I don’t have to wait for someone to pull me out from under my bed and hug me. God did when He helped yank the bottle out of my hand nine days ago.

One negative thought is one too many; one God, one sobriety will, in time, be enough.

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