“Valentine’s Day” | #EatADick

By Andersen Richards

February 15th, 2016

So, I will admit maybe sometimes I get something out of my DUI classes when I don’t want to.

I’m not an alcoholic. Yes, I got a DUI and I’d be happy to discuss that at length sometime.

Mostly, I’m trying to be better about sharing this stuff.

My dad told me I should start planning for the future, specifically that I should plan to have a future.

If I do, I’ll probably want to be able to remember what it was really like with the world out to get me. If I don’t… I hope someone reads this after the fact and realize I didn’t deserve this.

Anyway, so I have to go in to work shortly but I want to write so I know I’ve at least accomplished that.

Last night in my group classes, we were talking about taking responsibility. Our group leader wanted to know if the legal process, or rather being prosecuted, made it harder to be honest about our relationship with alcohol.

What became very clear to me was the fact that, first, we all know drinking and driving is bad. It’s dangerous and reprehensible. So we vilify people for doing it even though we know they are medically incapable of using good judgment. Since we vilify them so much, people who drink and drive can’t admit to it because they would have to admit to all the negative things people say you are if you drive drunk.

Again, that’s not to defend driving drunk. No one should drive drunk. But if people have to self-deprecate to admit they have a problem, they’re not going to admit they have a problem.

So when it becomes a matter for the police, or when you’re standing in front of a judge, you have zero control of anything… accept how you feel about yourself. So you have to tell yourself that everyone else is wrong, that you don’t have a problem. After all, you can’t stop the city from jailing you, putting you on probation, taking your money. All you can do is tell yourself you’re right.

And work your way into a corner so that you can’t listen to anyone impeaching your decisions.

No matter how much those decisions endanger other people or how it affects those around you.

I’m sorry, I’m beginning to feel like I’m talking about something else.

I do like my group very much. In fact, I eagerly look forward to it. Aside from work, it’s the only time I know I’m going to be around people and no one at work really speaks too much English. It’s just nice to be able to talk to people, other people who know what it’s like to feel… judged, I guess.

It will be over in a month. I don’t want it to be.

While no one there seems to have recognized me (I have done my best to change my appearance), sooner or later it’s bound to dawn on someone.

I guess that risk is worth it, though. It’s worth it not to be alone.

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