A block before I reach the door...
[So, I have a lot to say about this. Alcoholism has unfortunately been a huge part of my life, since I was conceived, really. As early as five, I noticed little things, but thought nothing of them. At the age of seven, my mom was found passed out and locked up in the bathroom, while I was out playing alone in the yard. That was her first trip to an in-patient treatment center. At nine, things were so bad and so constant that I spent the majority of my time up in trees and running around alone in the forest with my imaginary friends, because going home was always the very last thing I wanted to do. But inevitably, I'd have to. Walking home from school on so many days, I'd get the sense--a very specific, very developed sense that I think only a child of an alcoholic has. My stomach would knot up, my throat would tighten, my head would spin. I *knew*. I knew a block, hell, a *mile* before I reached the front door. Tonight she's drunk. Tonight things will be bad. Tonight I have to be an extra good girl. I have to be transparent. If I feel the urge to cry, I shouldn't. Choke back the tears, as painful as it will be. Don't draw attention... Don't you *dare* break a plate. That's how it was. And how it continued. In and out of treatment centers. In-patient, out-patient, it never mattered. In the end, she'd always return to the drink. If there were ice cubes clinking in her glass, that was it. The only time she used them.
The pain this disease brought upon our family is more than I can ever put into words or even art. It shattered each of us, bit by bit by bit. We each coped in our own ways. But that's all it ever was: coping. As an adult, I like to think that I've moved past most of the hurt, but I know that in reality, it will always be a part of me, and it shaped pieces of who I am today. Due to that, I acknowledge that there are bits of me I will never truly know--parts that were lost in the fray of madness that addiction and alcoholism brings. I suppose there's no way to be sure. But what I am sure of is this: that I will never allow myself to become that. Never allow myself to get so caught up in a crutch that I am hurting both myself and those around me.
This image is both literal and figurative. The glass tears are representative of the sadness and pain brought about by alcoholism. The clutching of the bottles is the alcoholic's repeated leaning on the very source that causes their own destruction and dismay. The surroundings are what's left in their wake when they forsake their families and themselves by not staving off the incessant cravings...
So...now that all of the heaviness is poured out here, I'd like to say that this is the first of an addiction series that I am collaborating on with my awesome friend Cierra. We will explore various addictions and share our interpretations of them. Please take a moment to go check out her interpretation of alcoholism here, and afterward I highly recommend looking through her beautiful photostream. If you managed to read this entire basically diary entry, I want to say thank you. Truly. This image was difficult to create, more difficult to edit, and absolutely terrifying to write about. So I appreciate your time.
Yet again, huge props to the wonderful Austin Tott | Photography for not only allowing me to shoot this with his amazing camera, but also for taking the expansion shots and base shots for me! Oh and also for helping me glue glass to my face. Cuz that's a thing. You, sir, rock. <3]