Tuesday, October 16, 2018

My favorite iPhone function? “Block this Alcoholic.”

A mantra of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Someone with a drinking problem texted me once, likely hoping first for a sympathetic ear and next some money. After sending them a quick, “You need to stop drinking, don’t throw away your potential,” I blocked their number and all future communication.

That was cool.

That may sound cold to someone not raised at the mercy of an alcoholic, but I was, and I refuse to serve in anyone else’s war of addiction. I was drafted at birth, then only mercifully discharged two decades later when my father moved to another state.
Before that, my life was a bus route with only three stops: 1. he’s not drunk now but will be soon; 2. he’s drunk so avoid him; 3. he’s gone to bed so you can clean up all the messes, then try and get some sleep before you get back on the bus the next morning.

But even if your alcoholic moves away, you are never completely free from that bus if they can still drive it, and pull up to your door at any time. 
Like the Christmas morning I was spending with my friend when her father (yes, another drunk) showed up unannounced after driving across three states with his newest hungry children. 
They didn’t ask for food, but she knew they hadn’t eaten because he never fed her on drives like that, so we all sat down to a very uncomfortable breakfast that morning, proving there will never be a “Block this Contact” function that completely works on family.
But there is one on my phone now that works on other people. And man, that’s cool. Because while I can never protect younger me from the past, she does smile knowing I at least have the power to protect her now.