Monday, July 9, 2012

A Very Important Caveat

Well, we're back home safe and sound. But a thought occurred to me on the long drive home yesterday--in posting about learning to properly use Chelle's firearms, I really should post a caveat.

I DO NOT RECOMMEND THAT ANY USING ALCOHOLIC OR ADDICT KEEP A FIREARM.

Chelle and I have been together for almost eight years now, and of those eight, I've been sober the last three. Notice that she did not buy her .38 until now. (We've always had the shotgun, but she kept it in her closet unloaded with the rounds hidden--even though I had no idea how to load it, release the round, rack the round, or turn off the safety. I couldn't have fired it even if I'd wanted to.)

It has taken almost three years of steady sobriety for her to become comfortable with the idea of me learning how to use a firearm.

I don't blame her one bit.

Before I got sober, I cannot tell you how many times, when I was severely intoxicated and miserable, I would cry uncontrollably and threaten to shoot my brains out. Had there in fact been a loaded weapon in the house, one of those times I might have actually made good on the threat.

And this is just one of the many problems with out-of-control addiction. Even when you're using and think you should be feeling better because the booze is coursing through your veins, you hate it that you're using. Sobriety sounds like sweet mercy, yet you can't imagine life without using. Addiction feels like a deep, dark, bottomless hole there's no way out of.  You feel like a slave to a substance (and you are), and it seems like the only way out is death.

It's true: addicts who don't get help wind up either in jail, in an institution, or dead.

There are so many deaths listed as suicides and/or "accidental" that are directly related to substance abuse: car accidents, slip and falls, drownings in bathtubs or spas--my educated guess is that the statistics stating how many annual deaths are the result of alcohol or drug abuse are too low.  There are also way too many people out there who are treating (self-medicating) mental illnesses with alcohol and other drugs.

Anyway, this is just something important that I thought I should point out since part of this blog is about recovery. Firing weapons can look like fun and all of that, but I would never recommend having a loaded weapon anywhere near anyone who is using drugs or alcohol--even if they're not addicted. That's just asking for trouble x5.

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