Over the Fence
This is how I relapse. That’s all I could think as I wandered around my parents’ property in the Hollywood Hills looking for our dog, Bronte.
Illustration by Elliot Kruszynski
This is how I relapse. That’s all I could think as I wandered around my parents’ property in the Hollywood Hills looking for our dog, Bronte. It was a familiar scene. The despair that filled my chest as I called out her name was the same I’d felt the last time she’d gone missing eight months earlier, while I was groping my way through the darkness of my alcoholism.
Those autumn days were spent in hopeless delirium, hungover at my retail job or clinging to a bottle of vodka while hiding in the bathroom of my parents’ house. Though my issues with addiction were no secret to my family (whose efforts to help me were met with screams of denial) the extent of my drinking was something I shielded from the world — except for Bronte, our two-year-old German Shepard mix. She stood witness to my rock bottom, lying on the ground beside me so I wouldn’t be alone.
Bronte was young, but wise, with deep brown eyes that, when fixed on you, made you feel important. She wa…