Sondra Primeaux / The Unruffled
I see you.
I've seen you for a while. We actually have a lot in common, you and I. I first noticed you a few years ago when we were side by side, working a station at the outdoor bike rodeo at our elementary school. You turned to me to say, I don't know, something like, 'you put the tag on the string and hand them out' and that's when I smelled it. Pinot Grigio? Chardonnay, maybe? Not sure the exact varietal, but it was strong and freshly drank. A mental chastise started immediately, "Wow, chew some gum or something. That's what I would do,
wait...I wonder if anyone has ever noticed my breath?".
You see, what I know now…
Is that I totally thought I was getting away with shit too. And most of the time, I did. Just like you thought you had gotten away with it that day. You thought no one would notice, but I did. I can see now how we are the same, but not then. Then, I could only see the differences. "What, did you drink the whole bottle before you came over here to pass out badges to kids? I get a shot or two...I get it. Maybe some vodka in a coffee tumbler.
No one would have known the difference.
But if you're going to drink the whole bottle and come volunteer with your booze-breath, expect someone to notice." Turns out, it's really only the alcoholics who notice the other alcoholic behavior. And now I've noticed you. I've noticed your puffy face, your ruddy complexion. I noticed your red-stained teeth at the talent show on Friday night. And even though you tried to discreetly flash only closed-lip smiles,
You see, the thing that no one tells you…
Is that when you numb the bad, the sad, the painful parts, you numb the good ones too. The joy. The compassion. The contentment. You don't get to pick. And when I looked you up on Facebook, your picture told me that. Your eyes told me you were trying to disappear,
but I see you.
Roseanne Cash sweetly sings, 'we talk about your drinking but not about your thirst'. Well guess what? We both have Cajun names and I like to garden too. We have a lot to talk about. It seems so simple but it's where the joy is hiding. I know you thought you were too,
but I see you.
About the Author
Sondra would describe herself in one loaded word: multi-passionate. She's passionate about family, sewing, photography, writing and recovery (since July 13, 2014!). She's currently working on a website that is dedicated to just that, pursuing creativity in recovery. Follow along at The Unruffled