I was thinking…maybe…

Oglala Sioux Tribe sues Whiteclay stores, beer makers, distributors

(click sentence above to read full article)

Everything I am about to say is all me and only me. I speak for no one.

I was thinking about this all day.

And I was thinking this is where I come from.

And I was thinking I’m in recovery.

And I was thinking, one of the reasons I won’t go back is because I am in recovery (and on paper.) I like to believe that my will is strong enough to move home and be sober. But I am not sure. I have seen others attempt to finish their paper at home only to get sent back after not being able to find a job, hard life leads them back to drinking or whatever. And although I like to think I am that strong to not drink, you never know.

In moving back to the reservation after 16 years of being away I found the easiest thing for me to do was drink. There was always someone willing to drink and a scheme to do so. Now keep in mind this is only me, the crowd I rolled with, and a bunch of people looking for the next fix.

I hit jail many times for blowing hot on the PBT. I wasn’t me anymore. I was lost. In denial when sober and the minute I was drunk, knowing I would die from this someday if I didn’t get help. In a way, when I knew there was a chance I would go to prison, I was at the point of “bring it on” because although I knew I would suffer from being away from my family, I knew if I didn’t go to prison, I would die.

That is how sick I was.

And this lawsuit, back in the day I would have been mad as everyone else.
I would have been “Why don’t they just legalize it.” and going with that whole argument of how the prohibition did nothing for America and didn’t work. But would that really work?
I would have also been saying “Why are they doing this? People are just going to go elsewhere?” And yes, people can go elsewhere but they don’t and the same 4 motherfuckers that been getting rich still will.
I would have been saying, “Why sue the beer companies, they don’t MAKE people drink.” But I remember when JOOSE came out and trying it for the first time. I remember it tasted like kool-aid and was like an energy drink with 12% alcohol and guarana, caffeine, taurine, and ginseng. I remember my cousin saying, after taking a drink “Well this time they went for it, they’re going to kill us young.” I remember laughing about it and drinking JOOSE until I had a such bad reaction from it and thought my heart was going to explode as I didn’t sleep for 2 days, just pacing. And I remember hearing how the beer companies sent it to Whiteclay as a test product. It was only available in Whiteclay, Nebraska and somewhere in Kentucky first. They tested it like we were guinea pigs, and now it is available everywhere. And I remember the young boy who was in a single cell in jail, crying, and screaming all night, trying to climb walls because he drank a whole case of Joose to himself. He cried and screamed for 2 days and he was 18.
And I would have been saying the first thing I said when I saw the headline today “Why now, after all this time, why now?”
And then I thought about how every time there is a new administration in office nothing ever happens. How as a people, we always say “Nothing ever gets done.”
And now that they are attempting to do something, everyone is putting them down.
Maybe no one ever put gun to my head and told me to drink.
And maybe this will not make anyone ever quit drinking.
But maybe the people that have been capitalizing on our illness that was so easily caused throughout the generations by historical trauma can pay for the treatment and healthcare, rather than the government funded programs, which are in turn funded by tax payers.

And maybe the tribe didn’t do anything about Whiteclay before, but they are trying now.

My name is Dana, these are my opinions and I am in recovery from alcohol and society…

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3 thoughts on “I was thinking…maybe…

  1. Wow. You are an amazing person. Don’t ever forget that.
    This kind of stuff is awful, and although I might get to go to an Ojibwe (my friend is Ojibwe) reservation in a few years, I really don’t know much about Indian reservations. I hate what little I’ve seen, and I wish more people knew about it. Our country is really messed up, and there’s always some group of people who are suffering and whom no one pays attention to.
    It may be presumptuous for me to say this, but if I ever get a name for myself, and if my name alone can draw in readers, then I know – I promise – to get this information out. I would be honored someday to write about these problems. Maybe, hopefully, it would help.

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