WHILE YOU WERE AWAY – A play by the Fall 2015 Documentary Theatre Class (RCHUM 334)
Scene #21: “Things I’ve Been Told” written by Grace Barron
“What the fuck is wrong with you?”
I quite honestly don’t know. 7 words. 7 syllables. One question that is on constant repeat in my mind,
every second of every day. I can only explain it by saying that I am a worthless piece of trash that
doesn’t deserve all the second chances she’s been given.
“Why did you have to take another drink?”
The onset of my addiction is one of the most infuriating and hardest things to explain. I cannot tell
someone why I cannot stop drinking, but can only describe it the way a child needs their mother, a
fish needs water, the earth needs sunlight. My every action and rationalization is motivated by
alcohol and if you don’t think that my every thought is consumed by it, then you are wrong.
“You were doing so well, why did you ruin all of that?
All I can say is that what goes up must come down again. I was doing so well, attending AA
meetings, working everyday, doing community service, and then one day I cracked. All it takes is
one day. One day to lose yourself. One day to break everything you’ve worked so hard to build up.
One horrible fucking day.
“You are a fuck up”
You don’t think I fucking know that? My perfect sister is a successful lawyer, who’s been married for
over 25 years with 3 beautiful children. I’m sitting here in a fucking cell. God, I know that I fucked up.
Don’t you think that anything you say to me I haven’t already said to myself 50 times before?
“You are selfish”
I wish it was as easy as that. I wish I could say that I drink for myself. I wish I could say that I chose
this. That I want to drink. God, I wish it was that simple.
“You’re going to kill your mother.”
Thinking about the stress that I’m causing my mom infuses this enormous sense of guilt that
constantly haunts me. If I could go back to that day and do it all over again, I would do it in a second.
Thinking about everything that I’ve done to her, done to my entire family, it keeps me up at night.
“Why did you get behind the wheel of the car’
I’m human. I make mistakes? Is one person’s life defined by one horribly stupid action? I believe,
inherently, that I’m a good person. My life may be a complete fucking mess right now, but
somewhere inside me, I am good.