Page 30 in the series Before the Pirates Came*
Lydia Ogletree told Miranda she had to stop drinking if she wanted the medication to work. Miranda felt like the lithium was working fine and that cutting back on her drinking would be good enough. Between her sessions with Lydia, Miranda gave this issue some serious thought. She set out to prove that her drinking was really not that bad, and that certain people (Brian, Lydia, Mavis, and assorted friends) were just trying to control her.
For one thing, Miranda never drank alone. She was either with Brian or at the club surrouonded by people. You’d never find her hiding out in a bar someplace, trying to keep it a secret. Also, she never drank at home. If she was in the mood to have a drink, she and Brian always went someplace nice. There were no empty glasses on coasters in her household. Miranda had more class than that.
And what about those times when she didn’t drink for three or four days in a row? That’s not the pattern of a real alcoholic. And except for some really nasty hangovers, there was little evidence that she was sick with an addiction. If Miranda really had a drinking problem, surely by now she would have some symptoms… Weight loss? Tuberculosis? Throwing up blood? How about none of the above– Miranda felt just fine.
She knew what a real alcoholic looked like. She watched a documentary on PBS about some disruptive men who lived under a bridge and took turns sleeping in a cardboard box. They were dirty and drank cheap whiskey morning till night. Miranda never drank before lunch and she was always impeccably groomed. Obviously, these were signs of a social drinker, nothing more– and it was time for people to stop pestering her about it!
She honored her commitments and responsibilities that were part of her busy life in Providence. Had she ever shown up late for a board meeting? Or a symphony concert? Or missed a deadline for the Orchid Society newsletter? Or gotten a DUI? No, no, no and no. People could count on Miranda, that much she knew.
She knew some alcoholic women, there was no mistaking it. They seemed lost and broken and looked like hell, sitting idly by the picture window overlooking the ninth green. They started drinking at noon out in the open for all to see. Miranda decided these tragic cases would be her secret measuring stick, reverse roll models.
As long as they were in worse shape, she saw no reason to quit completely. She was in absolutely no danger from having a few drinks, no danger at all.
Why couldn’t everyone just believe her?
*This story is based on some true events, however, has been fictionalized and all persons appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real people, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
© 2012, Shoes for an Imaginary Life. All rights reserved.