Bolt Cutter Therapy

I love bolt cutters. It has been a long while since I have had to use them, and I am here to tell you; Bolt Cutters are a kind of therapy.

After 9 years at the Y I finally lost the key to my lock. It is a sort of Right of Passage; everyone loses their key at some point. I was proud of my track record;  9 years is a long time. I misplaced my key while listening to the Older Women (between 80 and 96 years old) tell dirty jokes after their swim class.

The bolt cutters are kept at the front desk and usually Gary needs to head to the locker room and cut the darn thing off. The locker room was filled with the older women who take the arthritis swim class. Everyone was half-dressed and wet; and telling dirty jokes.

I was not about to ruin this fun.

I went up and asked Gary for the bolt cutters.

I said, “Just let me take those. I can do this.”

Gary looked skeptical. “You know how tough those are to cut?”

Yes I do.  I have cut a lock or two in my day; granted it was decades ago, but I felt certain I could tackle this myself.

These are some beautiful bolt cutters.  The real deal, heavy and black and red. I love them. I carried them into the locker room and the women all gathered round. No one had tried this on their own before.

I gave it my all, and it was not enough. There was a scramble of naked old women all offering advice. It was decided that we were NOT going to take those back up to Gary without also handing him a lock cut clean through.

We cut that fucker off together. Yes we did. the cheers must have been heard in the basketball court when the broken lock fell to the ground. We were old and OLD and young naked women hooting and hollering.

I tell you what, NO woman will have Gary clear out the women’s locker room again to cut off a lock. As a matter of fact, I suspect there may be a rash of “lost keys” over the next few months.

Bolt Cutters are a thing of Beauty.

Women in community are a thing of Beauty, and Bolt Cutters are like therapy.

I REALLY needed that  and isn’t that just how things happen. My God does provide.

I was wicked strung out on PTSD adrenalin last night and the ‘hangover’ was killing me.  Writing is Healing and Healing is often Hard. I arrived at the Y this morning shot clean thorough.

Writing about drunks and my life and all the garbage in between caught up with me last night.

Get this:

I was worried last night about how my blog may be affecting people who are alcoholics.  I was worried that I might be hurting their feelings.


I am worried that my cautionary tale about the devastation alcoholism leaves in its wake might make alcoholics feel bad.

Isn’t that the point? Aren’t I trying to clear the air here and be totally honest about how deadly alcoholism can be? I am writing about how much alcoholism destroys.

And I feel bad.

For hurting alcoholics feelings with the truth.

Here is more proof that the devastation lives on and on and on. I am living in the past; responding to old patterns I fought hard to destroy.

They are back with a vengeance. My PTSD is triggered again. Welcome home  OCD.

Writing about my mom explains the PTSD flare ups. I am triggered. Of course I am. That old feeling  “when will the next shoe drop” is back; so are some of my old OCD rituals.

Walking into the Y yesterday I noticed I was being very careful not to step on the cracks in the sidewalk; not ANY of the cracks in the sidewalk. When I find myself obsessing about each and every tiny little crack, that is when I know it is time to back it up.

I was at a stop light and was frantically looking for patterns in the license plates I could see ahead of me: were there words to be made? More even numbers than odd? Any duplicates in patterns?  and then the light turns green and it is time to go but I am not done and I am stuck and afraid and everything is out of control and the car behind me blows his horn….

and I am stuck. Again.

The only way ahead is to move forward.

My story is a true story. My story is not just mine but belongs to anyone who is dealing with the blow back of living with alcoholics.

We pretend that drinking is ok. It is socially acceptable and is a multi million dollar venture. We pretend that we don’t have a problem in our culture and the billboards and ads support the idea that drinking will Indeed give you the life you want; glamour, sex, elegance and more sex; really, really good sex.

I have lived in many worlds; low-income housing and the high life of the very wealthy and

This is what I have seen in both and in between:


slurring of words

stumbling and falling

dishes thrown across rooms

and yelling while bleeding

and cursing the day

you were born

and the moment

you entered my life

you cheating whore

you fucking lying bastard

I am sorry

I didn’t mean it that way

You heard me wrong

Let me make it up to you

Pass the bottle

Lets start again

Open more wine

Kiss me

Its fine



This is what I have seen:

A friend passed out face down in the street

A woman vomiting blood and wanting another shot

A cousin bleeding to death

A man I loved with a bullet in his brain

A mother with nothing  nothing  nothing



And this is what I have heard:

I can stop any time,

I don’t have a problem, its only wine,

I only drink socially; every night,

I can handle this,

I don’t know why they don’t call, those ungrateful sows.

Who needs them   I have you don’t I?

You love me,

don’t you.


Those bolt cutters and the community of sober and still raunchy women broke through my PTSD.

The lock snapped and fell and it was done. I was clear again.

I wish I had a photo of the lock. I remember it was # 15, which is not prime, nor even and has only 4 factors; 2 of which are prime  which means….

Which means, I need to Get a Grip.

If my words make anyone uncomfortable about their drinking then I will sing Hallelujah with my Sauna Club Sisters.

Awareness is the first step. If you think you drink too much, If you wonder just a bit then gnaw on this:

You don’t have to wait until you hit bottom, you can quit today.

If this blog makes you uncomfortable about the amount you booze or drug, then call this Blog the Bottom.

Bolt Cutters, Man. We need them.

~ by Step On a Crack on October 18, 2011.

15 Responses to “Bolt Cutter Therapy”

  1. You’ve got me thinking. My husband drinks, more than he should, more than I’d like him to. I’m still thinking…


    • Oh my. I will respond more later. I am sorry this is coming up AND God does work in very mysterious ways.

      I suggest you check into, think about going to an alanon meeting. They helped me figure stuff out. You don’t need to be pondering this alone.

      You are in my prayers today, sweetheart. I know this is hard. Good Stuff is often hard.

      xxxxx. Jen


  2. I say goddamn girl. That is brilliant story-telling/writing .

    I’m sorry about the PTSD, deeply. You are a wonderful writer though. I LOVE YOUR Y!!! It is therapy. And, i hope you will take care of you!!! Please! I love you,

    your IN AWE and totally devoted pal, mel


  3. Amen and amen, Jen. I’m guessing we all could use a fine set of bolt cutters and some Sauna Clubbing Sisters. Add BC to SCS to JC and I think you have an unbeatable scramble of letters.
    Your writing is wonderful, as always. Your message is spot on, If this be the bottom, then we’ll sing the Hallelujah Chorus together! Wouldn’t it be the most wonderful gift to land face down here instead of on the sidewalk?! That’s my prayer. You offer a place of both truth and safety. A fine and rare combination.


  4. Brilliant stuff. i just hope when i’m further along in my sobriety that i can express myself with a fraction of the finesse and grace you display here.


  5. WOW!!! I wish I had been in the locker room with you! Powerful writing. You go girl!!!!


  6. Bolt cutters and cutting locks. My kind of writer! Go Girl!!

    Yes it brings up your old coping stuff, but no, it won’t take you down again because you’ve got truth. Truth will prevail. Might get nasty… but it will prevail.

    As an alcoholic, let me assure you that any amount of truth you etch onto your blog will bring pain, either to you or to someone else, but it will also bring healing. Go for it! What we do with our truth from your etching pen is up to us. God willing, we will face it and look to heal. Thank you for making it real.


    • YOU too are one of my new MOMs! Thank you Heidi, so very much. I realized that I was acting crazy and only reacting. I do need to just write what comes, being aware of what I am creating BUT not take it so much to heart. Your response really helped put things into perspective. Bless You! Jen


  7. Bolt Cutter Therapy…I think you are onto something here Jen! Love your blog.


  8. Bolt cutter therapy huh? I LOVE it! And I am so glad you did not enter my life by accident! you know what I mean. Sounds like you’ve heard me many times. I’m going to start listening to you!


  9. Reblogged this on keeping this real and commented:
    thank you “Step On A Crack” for this.


  10. […] PTSD […]


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