Saturday, June 24, 2006

No addicts

Nana likes to gamble. That was the way we talked in my family. Not Nana has a gambling problem, or Nana is a gambling addict. There were no addicts of any kind in my family. We didn't go off the deep end, no therapy or support groups needed, thank you very much.

Which explains why my mom was so embarrassed when I (in my forties) saw a therapist after my divorce, and then enrolled in a six week writing workshop for Adult Children of Alcoholics. It was a twofold threat: first, people might think her daughter had gone off the deep end, and worse, they might think her mother had been an alcoholic. The idea that she still might be an alcoholic wasn't even a consideration.

My mom liked to drink, (as they say in my family) and sometimes she liked it a lot. She was a binge drinker. She could go all week with a few cocktails after work, but come Saturday morning, she'd finish her morning coffee and within half an hour would mix her first drink. A fifth of Old Mr. Boston Pinch Bottle would be consumed most weekends. Her reasoning was: if she was on her feet, ready for work on Monday morning, there was no problem. And, marvel of marvels... she always was.

She rarely missed a day of work due to illness. She had a couple of bouts with colitis and was hospitalized for those, but otherwise she was one healthy woman. And strong. She was five feet three and a half inches, and she could lift furniture like a man. I inherited those heavy lifting genes. My stamina isn't what it used to be; I have to set things down more often than I once did, but I can still lift.

The other day I was perched at the top of the wire shelving units in the pantry at St. Bart's. (Did I mention I also like to climb?) I was trying to stack cases with #5 lb. cans of tuna fish twelve high. Six cans to a case = heavy. I was teetering the final box up over my head when I got tired. It started to slip and, overcompensating, I lost balance. I grabbed the steel mesh and caught both the box and myself, and thought, "I could break my neck falling from up here."

I climbed down and wondered (briefly) if I'm a riskaholic. Hmmm. Good thing we have no addicts in my family.


by the bay said...

Good to find your blog!

cgssis said...

Good thing your family has at least one honest thinker! Be more careful in the future. We don't heal as fast as we get older, another of those "great things" about age.

Lorna said...

riskaholic. I like it :)