All my life I have wanted to “be” a writer.
Or, more accurately, I have wanted to “be” a published writer for the truth is being a writer and being a published writer are two vastly different things.
To be cliche, writers are born.
Published writers are made.
And so when I was at my therapist and she asked me what my dreams were, I said,
To be a published writer.
And so she asked why don’t I write.
I said I write all the time.
What I don’t do is write and get published.
She said in this day and age, I have no excuse for not being published.
Start a blog, she said.
Does that really count as published, I said.
She assured me it counts though for me the jury is still out on that one.
What will you write about, she asked, though I suspect like a lawyer, therapists don’t ask any question they don’t already know the answer to.
Unfortunately, I said, I suppose the obvious.
When I majored in English as an undergrad, when I went on to get my Masters in writing, when I applied (but never went) to a PhD program in Writing, never once did I imagine that my focus would be alcoholism, much less my own husband’s alcoholism. I anticipated (and for a long time wrote – or at least began) creative tomes filled with the sort of lyrical language, colorful characters and deep story lines that lets one feel justified in calling herself A Writer. I saw books piled high at the front of bookstores, while I sat signing copies and humbly accepting readers’ accolades and praise.
I didn’t see myself siting alone in front of a keyboard 2am recounting how the love of my life, a man highly (HIGHLY) respected in his field, a man who no one (NO ONE) in his professional circle would ever (EVER) guess, had spent the evening screaming about fucking dishes or fucking dogs or fucking bills or fucking noise or fucking ANYTHING for that matter. I didn’t expect to be writing about how there are years (YEARS) old memories that still haunt me – like racing out of the house with my then-babies at 10 pm to escape his verbal wrath.
As the tried and true adage goes, write what you know.
I didn’t expect what I was going to know was slowly drowning… in the sea of my husband’s alcoholism.