Most folks are pretty serious about how they take their coffee. I know I am. I prefer mine light and sweet. It's a fairly simple recipe, but one that requires effort and planning. We generally purchase enough supplies so I'm not caught short in the morning. If, by chance, I reach for my cup of joe and there's no cream or sugar, I rarely drink it black. I do not like to improvise. I need to make arrangements to get myself safely to a place where they provide these ideal components. It's that significant an experience. Until then, I am in grave danger.

I was the same way with my drugs. Sure, I loved to drink, but I also had to get high for everything to be perfect. I needed both activities occurring simultaneously in order to achieve any satisfaction. I did not like one without the other, so I never went without. If I found myself coming up short, I started looking until I got what I needed. The mere thought of not having enough made me feel like I might die. I mean it. Every single day involved extreme survival strategies.

It's easy to lose your bearings when you're strung out. Going up and coming down, always moving. I was pointed squarely in death's direction. I was just too fucked up to realize I was dying.


I didn't go to therapy hoping to get sober. I just wanted some sleep. I was hoping to snow job the doctor and score enough pills that could knock me out. I liked the idea of something other than myself telling me how to feel. It seemed easier than figuring things out of my own.

By the time I got to my late afternoon appointment, I was plenty irritable. Doing speed all day without drinking put me in a jangly state, but I knew I couldn't show up to therapy with booze on my breath. I had to demonstrate to this quack that I was an ideal candidate for prescription sedatives. God, I needed a drink in the worst way.

Dr. Korman opened the door to his office and suggested I come in. He was tall and conservative looking. Super straight, almost stiff. He asked me quite a few questions about my general condition and habits. I was reluctant to answer truthfully. I was embarrassed. I wanted to feel ambivalent about my behavior, and I wasn't ready to change. If I didn't put into words what was going on, I could convince myself that nothing was wrong.

Lying in therapy is a huge impediment. At best, it's a distraction and at worst, a manipulative pretense that will just postpone any real progress. Initially, however, it feels like self-preservation. And keep in mind, I was just in it for the drugs.

Do you smoke?
Do you drink alcohol?
How frequently do you drink in a week?
Once, maybe twice.
How many drinks do you have?
Do you use drugs?

Heh. This was going great.
I had all the answers.

Dr. Korman asked a bunch of other questions, and I tried to keep things unfocused and confusing. He wanted to know about my family and childhood. He took a few notes here and there. Mostly, he just listened while I yammered on about my mother. I told him how scary it was to be with Charlie. We talked about Dave and Kirin. Plus, lots of other things that I don't remember.

Finally, Dr. Korman inquired, "Mary, why are you here?"
It's a reasonable question, but I had no response.
I just sat there on his couch, sinking in between the two heavy leather cushions.
I felt like I was trapped inside a deep, dark well. I had no idea how I got there.

I found myself staring at the snow globe on Dr. Korman's coffee table. I think snow globes are beautiful, especially the ones that play music. I enjoy a glitter-filled melodic world. It seems so nice. But when the confetti starts to fall a little slower and the song begins to distort, I become preoccupied with the realization that it will end soon. I shake it another time and wind it some more. Again, again and again. I cannot pull myself away. I may just break it. I know this about myself.

"Mary, why are you here?" the doctor asked a second time.
"I don't know," I said. "I think I may be going crazy. At least, I hope so."

My blog is High Wire Girl.
I've always had this head and heart.
Now, they both work properly.


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