This week I visited home, and it was rough. Literally nothing bad happened to me, and I had a wonderful time visiting family and friends, but I did not keep up with any of my program of sobriety, or even any physical upkeep. It was like I was in a time warp. I went to the dentist an hour after landing in Virginia Beach, got a teeth cleaning, then proceeded to not brush my teeth or wash my hair for 3 days in a row. I brought several changes of clothes, and only changed clothes twice.

I was talking to a friend this week and she was telling me about all the guys she had hooked up with. My first thought was, WHY CAN’T THAT BE ME? I immediately redownloaded Tinder, found someone that night to make out with, drove to meet him, made out (but nothing more since I’m still classy) and then drove back to where I was staying. Making out wasn’t even as fun as I thought it would be. It felt like I was back at the dentist. Thank God that was a day I had brushed my teeth and changed clothes, though. When I was leaving, he pulled a can of pepper spray from his pocket and said, “I had it in case you were crazy.” Surprisingly, this did not comfort me. I drove home and thought, “Better not do that again!”

Why did I do all that? It was like I wasn’t me, I was my alter ego, Dirty Helen. At least this is a humbling reminder that if I don’t keep up with my program, Dirty Helen will come and wreak havoc on me, even in sobriety. I must be really messed up. On the flight home, I read a bunch of stuff about recovery, while the gentleman sitting next to me ordered three jack and cokes. It was ironic, but luckily I wasn’t tempted. Mostly I just felt kind of stupid for letting Dirty Helen take me down the Tinder rabbit hole.

-Theodore Dandy


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