Coming Unhinged

“Coming Unhinged” by Guy Ricketts

“You’re selfish, you’re self-centred, all you care about is yourself.”–Audrina to Justin Bobby during the last season of ‘The Hills’, 2010

As I walked out of the addiction specialist’s office on Monday afternoon, the wise, terribly worded–but to the point–declaration of Audrina Patridge to Justin Bobby (I don’t think Justin Bobby has a last name?) rang through my head. I’ve often laughed at this quote and the expression on her face when she was reading it off the teleprompter to him in their penultimate scene on the beach boardwalk. But I think the quote rings true for many people, especially single people who don’t have a significant other, children, or pets to talk about/blog about/deflect the attention away from themselves for a bit. Do I (mememememe!) feel guilty about that describing me? No; I have too many other issues that need working on. And it helps to talk things out, or so I keep hearing. And a blog semi-counts as talking things out, as defined by BRT.

For the kicks of my readers–and in the ongoing spirit of cleansing confession–here’s a list of issues that the very New York Jew (Dr. Glovinsky’s own words) addiction specialist told me I have to tackle if I want to move forward on my journey to re-sobriety, happiness, and fulfillment:

-I’m self-destructive.

-I’m self-centred (because the British spelling makes it not look nearly as bad when I type it out).

-I’m going through the motions, both of living my life and trying to re-sober up.

-I need to change, but I have to want to change before change happens.

-I have to quit caring what other people think about me.

-I have to grow up.

-I have to go to AA. (He said in his 40 years of counselling addicts, AA is the only thing that consistently works.)

Yeah, so I left the appointment emotionally spent and physically exhausted; there might’ve been some raised voices on both our parts going on in his office. (And lots of laughter, as I laugh when I get nervous.) Might I add that he didn’t tell me I have to grow up until he was escorting me out of his office after the 50 minutes were up…I told him it wasn’t fair to tell me that and not tell me how to grow up. He was holding the door open to his firmly-stuck-in-the-early-80s office (which I fell in love with, as if I have to cop to that), and he responded, “Life is hard and you’re 32. You have to figure out for yourself how to grow up.” Ouch. I laughed, but only because I was nervous.

I picked out an AA meeting close to my house and made it there that very night. (What a grown up thing to do, right?) I won’t publicly disclose any deets of the meeting, but there was a guy in there who looked eerily like one of my uncles. He even sounded and carried himself like Uncle _____. As fate would have it, he’s the one who came up to me after the meeting and gave me the welcome packet with the sponsors’ phone list, pamphlets, FAQ sheets, etc. We made small talk for a couple of minutes and I drove home, bypassing the Little Caesars where it seems like only yesterday I was fetching my $5 pepperoni while I was buzzed outta my skull. (It was not yesterday, to be clear. Maybe like a month ago.) This made me realize I’m already making better choices overall…and also that eating better–while I’m not drinking–is helping me to drop the vodka gut so quickly. I’m genuinely taking care of myself for the first time in almost a year. It feels good to be able to type that.

So to reference the “Coming Unhinged” photo and title of the blog entry, my bedroom door has been loudly whining when I close it for the last month or so. I’m sure this has nothing to do with the over-the-door clothes hanger that I have 15 outfits hanging on…not possible! Anyway, it had gotten to the point where I couldn’t tell the difference between the sound of the door whining as it closed itself ever-so-slowly, and the kitteh–Orange Juice–whining for no reason in particular because she’s a kitteh. I found some WD-40 at work and borrowed it. Upon spraying all three of the door hinges just once, the problem was solved. History. No more whining…from the door. (The kitteh was whining as I sprayed the door hinges.) I realized that me re-sobering up was a bit like the WD-40; I knew for about a month that I had a detrimental problem, and I knew what the quick and easy solution would be: to quit drinking. But I wasn’t ready to change. I wasn’t ready to help myself and to get help. Now that I’ve done that, the pain is gone. The shame is gone. History. No more whining…from me. The kitteh is still whining. (See, I’m talking about a pet! She’s not mine, but at least I can talk about her instead of me, and how she keeps my blood pressure down once she quits whining and just wants to cuddle.)

I’m trying to volunteer and be more social; I volunteered to man the table for people to sign up to donate blood after the church service I go to this morning. I can’t give blood anymore and this seems like a good way to help out in the effort and meet people I might otherwise not meet if I were just sitting in the pew Sunday after Sunday. I’m still trying to follow the advice of my pastor and do anything good, loving, and/or courageous that I feel like God wants me to do, and that He knows I can handle–with His help–at this juncture. That’s all He expects; He’s not expecting me to morph into Mother Teresa Incarnate less than three weeks into my re-sobriety. One Day at a Time, Let Go and Let God, all that jazz. And maybe–just maybe–I can finally figure out how to grow up along the way. Keep your fingers crossed for me.


Leave a comment


  1. Shannon

     /  September 18, 2012

    I really enjoyed this one. You are such a talented writer…even when its about a hard subject. And you don’t need crossed fingers…you are strong enough without them. 🙂

    • Thanks, Mrs. Ross…this made my day. One day you’ll have to loan me your kids (only for an hour or two, mind you) so that I can write about them instead of memememe! Just put your burfday card in the mail yesterday, BTW.


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