I was talking to a close friend about his aunt who is in court-mandated recovery. She went to treatment, has been clean for 80 days, and has been asking for weed, just to get by.
I figured that would be the route I went, too: no alcohol and sometimes weed. I have not entertained that thought since I got sober. I know what it would mean for me: I would smoke and it would feel nice. I would watch TV and eat ice cream and I would feel like my old self. And nothing bad would happen. I would not wake up on the street or with a massive headache or with a stranger. But, inevitably, I would distance myself from recovery, because recovery wouldn’t approve of this harmless thing. I would send myself the message each time I smoked that ingesting something to change my mood was ok for me, an addict. I would write less, I would take care of myself less. I would eventually start to feel bad about myself, and I would drink.
My friend’s aunt is not thinking about all that because right now she sleeps alone and her kids are gone. She goes to meetings and gets checkmarks on her paper for the court and goes home and doesn’t talk to anyone about it. She fixates on getting her kids back because that would put her back on the planet, would make it ok, would be a triumph. She’s not thinking about what it takes to get there. She’s not thinking that passing on the weed is one more step towards her goal. That it involves staying sober and getting a job and stabilizing her life. She’s thinking about the goal and about not having it and what that means about her and about having a little something to get by.