The Diary of Bridgette M., Part 11

by Trey Nosrac

Series introduction is here.

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

Part 3 is here.

Part 4 is here.

Part 5 ishere.

Part 6 is here.

Part 7 is here.

Part 8 ishere.

Part 9 is here.

Part 10 is here.


My name is Bridgette, and I am 10 days sober. Yeah, I relapsed. The NA group replied, “Hello, Bridgette.”

Sh – -. After a sleepless night when my brain raced, and my skin crawled, the following morning, I was irritable and did not feel like going to my shift at Burger King. Taking a couple of OxyContin from my stash (yes, we always have a stash) to take the edge off my uneasiness seemed like a good idea. After over two months sober, the pills hit me with a jolt and brought back the feeling of slipping into a warm bath of milk. I fell back into the familiar embrace of Morpheus and the first step on the well-worn path back into hell.

A few hours later, very high, I was working the drive-thru pay window, running credit cards and taking cash. My shift supervisor was keeping an eye on my less-than-stellar performance. To get out of this mess, I did what most junkies do, slipped into the bathroom, and took two more pills. The supervisor asked me to go home, but I did not have a car, so after a ridiculous scene protesting my innocence, I called my mom. My mom finally got me home despite the usual tears, yelling, lies, and excuses flying out of my mouth. At six that evening, my mom had to go to work waiting tables at Leonardo’s Spaghetti Palace. I had calmed down and promised to stay in my room and sleep it off.

Five minutes after Mom left, I walked three blocks to Rocky’s Bar and ordered a double shot of Dewars. Of course, I know dam well that mixing oxy with booze always makes me nauseous and sluggish. After several drinks, who’s counting, I made it to the surprisingly clean restroom and began to vomit. I am proud to admit that my aim was true and I left the facility tidy. Two drunks helped me to a table, where I fell asleep until my mom woke me, and a few patrons poured me into her Honda.

The following five days, I was sick, sicker than usual. At some point, my mother took me to Urgicare, where a stout woman with a European accent suggested that I wasn’t only dope sick but that I had a nasty virus that was going around. She gave me a Z-Pac (note to readers: withdrawal is like a bad case of the flu). So, it has been 10 days without writing in this journal, without working (the Burger King job is toast), without NA meetings, and with a lot of bad, boring television for anesthesia, just lying on the couch feeling like shit. Back where I started. For the second time, I screwed my chance at working with horses.

I found myself standing at the NA meeting and saying I messed up, but I am here tonight, and the room joined me in saying, I will keep coming back.

The thing about NA is nobody was surprised at my screw-up. I did not need any explanations, excuses, or justifications. Everyone in the room had been there and back many, many times. Each person had a trunk full of stories and heartbreak. The getting sober part is terrible but doable because there is an endpoint. The problem is staying clean, or as somebody said in a meeting, when we’re clean, we can mess up every minute of every day of every week of every decade. The opportunities to get high are endless.

I know Paul called my mother at least once during my lovely 10-day excursion. I had not seen anyone since the relapse. At the meeting, we split into smaller groups, and he was not in mine, so he slipped a note into my hand during the chaos of people dragging chairs and shifting rooms. I read the note when I got settled in the basement session.

I will pick you up at noon tomorrow; dress for barn work.


I was waiting on my mom’s front steps when Paul’s dark blue pick-up truck pulled into her driveway at 11:55. I hopped in. He did not ask any questions, and finally, I broke the ice and asked if he fired me from my imaginary horse job. He smiled and shook his head. That was a relief because I never lost a real job and a pretend job on the same day.

We drove in comfortable silence to his grandmother’s farm. He steered toward the first barn, stopped the truck, and I followed him into the barn. In the first stall was a young bay horse, beautiful, with bug eyes and a white dot on the forehead. The horse cautiously dangled its massive head over the stall gate.

Paul said I was looking at a yearling filly. Her name was Stagger LeAnn, but we could change her name. He asked if I was ready, and I nodded.


Paul picked me up today at 10 in the morning. I told him my mother would bring me to his farm every morning. He nodded and said that was fine, but he hadn’t worked out a schedule, and things would be flexible until the other horses arrived and we got into a routine.

I asked him why and how Annie ended up in the stall (it took me 10 seconds to nickname her) before the yearling sales. He explained.

He noticed a yearling was going for sale at an online auction. The owner’s comments included pictures of a battered front leg, a swollen rear leg, and a sentence saying that this yearling got into mischief in the field and tangled with a fence. The advertisement said they were selling before the upcoming sales, and anyone interested should check out her pedigree. Paul said he drove two hours to inspect her before the auction, and she was okay, but her legs were a mess. Paul offered the owner $10,000 for the horse. The owner said he thought she would bring more in the online sale scheduled for three days.

Using his mother’s last name, Paul was ready when the bidding began at noon. The opening bid was $5,000. His winning bid was $7,400. Paul drove out to get her and pay the owner that day.


My mom had a group of three from her church over to play Pinochle, but one lady got sick at the last minute, so they recruited me to play. It was fun. We played until midnight, so I am not writing much tonight. When the ladies gathered their things, I stretched and said I had to get up early tomorrow and take care of my new horse. I do not know why I said such a random thing, but somehow, saying those words felt awesome.