UPDATE: Vicky wrote me a follow-up e-mail. I was having some technical trouble when I published it as a separate post, so I stuck it at the end of this one. Take a look at the bottom.
It was the socks.
I saw Vicky at my train stop, took one look at those socks and knew she’d be a good candidate for my journal. She was waiting for a ride so she agreed to write in it and based on my snap-judgment of her appearance I was guessing I was going to read a somewhat light-hearted, perhaps funny entry. It turned out to be quite the opposite.
After I got the picture of Vicky she asked if she could use my phone to call her ride. I handed her my phone and, noticing that she forgot to put the bookmark back in place, opened the journal to mark her entry. Now, normally I don’t read people’s entries until I’m home, but the first word of her entry caught my eye: alcohol.
When she was done with the phone I asked how long her ride was going to be and if she’d be OK. She said she’d be fine so I walked to my car. My curiosity/concern got the better of me and I read her entry while sitting in the parking lot.
It broke my heart.
I drove my car around the parking lot a bit so I could keep an eye on her. I just wanted to make sure her ride really showed up. Not that I know what I would have done if it hadn’t, but I wanted to try to do something for this girl who was obviously struggling. I lost sight of her occasionally and finally after about 10 minutes I made a loop around the parking lot and didn’t see her. I suppose her ride showed up after all.
(In case you were wondering, the black mark you see on her chest was a big “x” drawn with what looked like a marker.)
I’ve been down this road many a time. And I’ve always loved it and known my way around it before. But now on this road again. And I am lost. Confused. And finally…hopeless.
My name is Vicky and I’m an alcoholic. For the past year and a half of my life I’ve been in and out of institutions. Lost many friends. And ended up on the streets – HOMELESS. No place to go. All due to this disease. What next? I don’t know.
Do I continue down this road, or choose a different path?
Alcoholism is deadly.
The day after I had Vicky write in my journal I got the following e-mail from her. I wrote her back but haven’t heard a response yet.
hello there. this is vicky from trax the other day [thursday]. you asked me if i would mind writing in your journal for your website. i was just wondering, if it is okay that is, if i might be able to post something else. i have a lot to say. and i wanted to share my life experience, well for the past year and a half that is. so here is my entry, and if you wouldn’t mind, i’d like it if you’d put it up on your website.
July 6, 2008
“My name is Vicky, and I am an alcoholic/addict”
“Welcome Vicky” (hands clap)
January 11, 2007 I got an unexpected visit from my father and step mother while at school. I went down to the principals office to find them sitting there with concerned looks on their faces. I sat in that office for probably a good five minutes before anything was said. Finally the principal looked at me and said, “Vicky, your parents here are concerned about you and your habits, they only want what’s best for you.” I don’t remember much of what she said after that. But the next thing I knew I was sitting in the car heading up to the University Neuropsyciatric Institute [UNI]. I was there from January 11, 2007 until February 22, 2007, when they decided I needed more help than they could give me, and sent me to “rehab” also known as Wasatch Canyons.
I was admitted into Wasatch Canyons on February 22, 2007 for drug and alcohol abuse, suicidal thoughts, cutting, and early signs of an eating disorder. I did well. Stayed sober the whole time. And only broke a few rules. I got out on July 11, 2007. The next day was my birthday. And the day after that, I relapsed. On alcohol.
About a week after I turned sixteen, I was kicked out of my fathers house. I couched surfed for about a week before moving to Tooele with my sister and my boyfriend Peter. In Tooele, things got worse. I started drinking alot more and smoking marijuana basically everyday.
In September, we got an eviction notice, saying we had to be out in a week. So my boyfriend Peter and I moved in with his family in Sandy at the end of September. There we drank everyday. I had become really suicidal, but I swore to myself that I would never attempt suicide, because I never wanted to hurt Peter in such a way.
On October 4, 2007, I suppose my thoughts got the best of me. I overdosed on celexia and seraquil. Peter called the ambulance, and I ran. It wasn’t long before they caught me and took me to the hospital.
On October 5, 2007 at 3:26 am, I was admitted into Wasatch Canyons impatient. After spending a week there I was put back into residential at Wasatch Canyons once more. I did pretty well for the first month. Stayed sober and stayed out of trouble.
November 11, 2007 my boyfriend Peter took his life. He hung himself from a tree in his back yard. Hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through.
Shortly after that, I lost it. I stopped caring. I went on day treatment in February, living at my friend Austins house until a bed opened up at the VOA transition home. Immediately I started braking the rules, smoking cigarettes, and relapsing on a weekly basis.
In March, I had basically decided there was no more Wasatch Canyons could do for me. I left. The Monday after, I relasped again. That same day, I moved into the VOA. I was there for five days before leaving. Friday I came home drunk, so drunk I couldn’t walk right. They told me I wasn’t allowed to leave for the weekend and if I did, I was not allowed back. But that interferred with my drinking habits. Saturday morning came, and I left. I left the VOA for alcohol.
A week later, I dropped out of highschool, for alcohol. I didn’t plan on getting a job, because it’d make it so I couldn’t drink as often, if at all.
I’ve been 100% homeless since March. Living on the streets. Sleeping in parks, and under bridges, and behind old abandoned buildings. Going days at a time with no food, and when I did eat, it was usually out of the dumpster behind Pizza Hut. I spent alot of my time spanging [*asking people for spare change*] for food so I could get something to eat, but all that money ever went to was alcohol.
Alcohol used to be my best friend, I used to love the stuff, I used to have fun with the stuff. But I think that’s the keyword here, is “used to”. Because basically, I don’t. I don’t love the stuff anymore. And I don’t have fun with it anymore. It seems I only drink now just to feel the slightest bit “normal”. Because now, all I seem to do is drink, and drink, and drink. And I drink to the point that I can’t stand up right. I drink to the point that if I’m not leaning on someone, I fall right down to the ground. And it’s gotten the where when I am already at that point that I cannot even hold myself up right, I still want more, and I keep wanting more. And it never stops.
Why? Because I am an alcoholic. Because I am powerless to alcohol. Isn’t that sad, when you think about it? That me, a 16 year old girl cannot control her alcohol, that her alcohol controls her. Because it’s true. I don’t tell myself when to stop drinking, the alcohol tells me. And the alcohol only tells me that I’ve had enough when all the liquor is gone and I’m passed out on the floor.
I’m tired of this. I really, really am. And it’s about time that I get sober.”My name is Vicky, and I am an alcoholic/addict”
“Welcome Vicky” (hands clap)
This is my story.
Please subscribe to Write In My Journal by clicking here.