When You Find a Bottle of Xanax On the floor...

As a flight attendant, I have a million stories of what goes down while you're up in the air. Shit gets real sometimes. People pop prescription pills for the first time and down them with a bottle of Cotes du Rhone. Anyway, we'll save the horror stories for a different day. Today is a day of victory. Today is a day that I beat a craving. It happened on the way to London.

A work colleague of mine walked out of the business class lavatory (bathroom) and held up a bottle of pills..of benzos. My heart dropped. She said, "are these yours?" I am an honest person. I am a rule follower. I live in a world of black and white where right is right and wrong is wrong. My love of Xanax and alcohol would sometimes lead me into the grey...

I grabbed them out of her hand just like a crazed child with candy. They did not have a name on them. (Other countries do not mark the prescription bottles like the US does.) They just had a label of what they were. I thought in my head..."these could be mine..." Yep, good ol' black and white, right and wrong me was tiptoeing into the grey. I have been sober for almost 10 months at this point. I do not have a chemical dependency. I have very little temptation with alcohol nowadays and I am around it almost daily. But, I have yet to be offered a Xanax in sobriety. My use of Xanax was always through my personal prescription by a doctor so without him prescribing it, it is not within arm's reach. This was a first, having a bottle of pills in front of me.

Cravings become a whole different monster when someone is handing you your drug of choice. She asked, "can you ask the people in business if it is one of theirs?" My response, "nope, I cannot." And...I could not. I could not be in charge of where that bottle ended up. The bottle might've gone into my pocket so I could have a good nights' rest on my layover. But, we know the end of that story. It ends in rehab. It ends in death. It ends. 

So, I said, "Nope, could you do it?" She didn't ask questions. She knew from my immediate and stern "no" that I meant "hella no." And, after working together, she knows I am a 'yes' girl. So, my 'no' was frightfully forceful and unnatural. I had already clued her in that they were benzodiazepines. She commented that I had a lot of knowledge of what the pills were without even asking why. She didn't even know they were different from aspirin. She was holding the bottle of pills in a state of ignorance. She needed to find the owner. Not me.

I went into the lav, looked in the mirror and smiled. I looked around the floor to see if anyone else had dropped a pill or two and looked at myself and smiled again. Can you imagine taking a pill off of a lavatory floor? Disgusting. I still surprise myself with my weakness. But, I still surprise myself with my strength, too. Somewhere in the last 10 months, I learned to say nope to drugs.  


10th MonthAPRIL