A few days ago I blogged a letter to a friend of Matt’s and mine who recently entered rehab, voluntarily, for alcoholism and drug dependency.
It was pretty off-topic for my blog, as my stated intentions were to write of textile, ASL, and bellydance adventures. It’s been a few months though, and I suppose I wanted to stretch things a bit. I’ve been reading A LOT of Unconfirmed Bachelorette, plus receiving letter after hand-written letter from Asher, out on the farm. So, naturally I have alcoholism on my mind.
Matt and I correspond with Asher, and send him bits of our lives when we do so. I send him bits of handspun yarn, or fluff I’m spinning, and Asher jokes that he’s almost got enough to knit a sock. Matt sends him drawings and funny leaves, and usually makes him a card. Asher sends us back mazes he’s drawn of the inside of his own head, and terrible, joyful, heart-wrenching descriptions of the difficulties of newly found sobriety.
In my last letter to him, the one before “There Isn’t An Easier Way Off This Ride,” I asked if there was anything I could do for him. In his reply (the one that came with the maze of his head—amazing!) he asked me to tell him about my sobriety—my approach to it, acceptance of it, and experience when new.
I am finding it a most daunting task, not because it’s painful and I don’t want to talk about it. It’s old, so well-processed, and I came to terms with it years ago*. But because there’s so much of it. To describe what took place to the extent that a complete paradigm shift and personality change occurred, to evoke the emotions I experienced and the choices I made, and to build a logical base from which he can understand my choice to get sober, is taking a lot of words and a lot of careful description.
Admittedly, too, dude’s on a farm with not a lot to do once he knocks off work for the night, and I figure the longer the letters, the better.
So you’ll see more letters to Asher in the coming weeks, as I work my way through my story for him. There are knitting and spinning and weaving and ASL and bellydance going on in the background, for sure. Matt and I are going to a performance at my dance studio soon, and I hope to come back with some of my first pictures and tell you all about it.
*Which doesn’t mean it can’t still make me grieve. But it’s an entirely normal grief, like still missing your dad when he’s been dead twenty years.
(For the rest of my Letters to Asher series, click here.)