Blanket Support Group

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a short story loosely based on the extreme addiction to my blanket. Since birth I've had my blanket by my side and now at 21 years old I'm dealing with the public scrutiny just as a drug or alcohol addict would deal with.

Submitted: December 03, 2009

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Submitted: December 03, 2009

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My name is Autumn and I have an addiction.” While this line is saved for Alcohol Anonymous meetings and support group for cocaine, I’ve always felt I should state this line as a disclaimer for anyone new I meet. My addiction is not of the standard substance abuse but it is just as serious.

My older brother had always had a blanket that he dearly loved, so when I came around four years later, my parents thought it was only natural that they pass down this blanket to me. It was just an ordinary blanket you buy at a department store, probably no more than 20 bucks. It was rectangular shape of soft thermal in a creamy shade of beige with a sewn border around the edges. There was nothing extraordinary about.

However, when I got passed down this blanket, even at my newborn age, it somehow turned into something extraordinary. As an infant, I always slept with the blanket and rubbed the edge of it for comfort. The smell alone was enough.

Naturally, the first word I muttered was “Blankie,” and I’ve never called it anything but that from that point on. It being my first word, my parents should have known that my love for my blanket had grown into more than a sweet, endearing security blanket. Blankie had quickly become an obsession, and obviously more important than my parents since their names came out of my mouth secondly.

It was the smell and soft texture of my blanket that I couldn’t seem to get enough of. I rubbed the edges raw and holes formed in the center of the blanket like a soggy peanut butter and jelly sandwich pulled too tight making a rip in the bread. I had pulled my blanket too tight in fear that it would somehow escape me.

By the age of five, it had become a problem for me to leave blankie’s side. It was no longer just a bedtime blanket but a blanket that I needed at all times of the day. Going on errands with my mom was no exception to this rule. I was forced to leave it in my backpack until naptime at pre-school but I refused to let my mom control my obsession with blankie in my free time, and she knew better than to interfere.

After pre-school one day my mom took me to the mall to check off some of her stay-at-home mom duties. As she lifted me up out of my car seat and sat me in my stroller, she laid blankie down right beside me. She strolled me inside the department store, we did some shopping, then we left the exact same way we came in. She lifted me in my car seat and it wasn’t until she was lifting me out of my car seat again at home that I realized there was one part of this routine that was drastically different- blankie wasn’t with me.

In a panic my mom, of course, rushed back to the mall to get my blanket to save her emotional sanity and her ear drums from bursting from my frantic screams echoing in the back seat. While it was a no-brainer at the time to go back and retrieve the blanket, looking back it’s one of my mom’s biggest regrets.

Now, at age 20, almost 21, that same blankie is always behind the pillow on my bed or packed with me when I make a trip home or to my friends. Although it looks drastically different than it did in mine and blankie’s younger years, I still have to sleep with it.

Blankie, almost 24 years later, fits in the palm of my hand and is no longer a creamy off-white. It’s an earthy shade of brown and the rectangular thermal fabric has now vanished and all that’s left is its edges, knotted up.

While it sounds disgusting, and is to most everyone I know, it’s an addiction that I can’t shake. I come home from a long day of classes and I instantly grab my blanket. The smell comforts me and the soft, worn fabric that’s been with me through everything calms my shaky hands down. While I’m in class I crave my blankie. It’s not an object that I simply keep around because I can’t throw it away but it’s a substance that, if someone did throw away because I never would, I would very possibly turn suicidal.

It doesn’t matter if I’m staying in my room in the sorority house with my roommate or staying with a friend of a friend’s on a road-trip, I feel no shame bringing it with me to sleep with because I know I won’t sleep otherwise. Just like a true addict, I feel no remorse.

It was my first year living in the sorority house my sophomore year of college and my roommate and I had ‘L’ bunked beds. A sore subject, I ended up having the top bunk, and every night I feared that my blanket would fall down the deep, dark hole between my bed and the wall.

While I always voiced this fear to my roommate, she insisted that there was no way that blankie would fall down the crack because I didn’t let it out of my grasp while I was sleeping anyways. Although this was true, my bad luck over came my grasp on blankie one morning when I woke up and my blanket was nowhere to be found.

It wasn’t under my pillow, underneath my sheets or even on the floor. It was nowhere visible, which meant there was only one place it could be. It had fallen in the black hole. In a state of horror, I awakened my roommate and broke the awful news to her.

Seeing as my roommate also has a comfort thing, hers being a fuzzy, stuffed animal dog named Tat that she was much less obsessed with, and knowing I would be miserable to live with if I lost my blankie she quickly switched to panic mode with me. Stressed, we both had a busy day ahead of us and knew that wouldn’t be able to recover blankie until we were done with our classes for the day. The day was one of the longest days I’ve had because while I had my usual cravings for blankie, I had no reassurance that it would be there when I got back. What if we weren’t able to get it out?

After class we instantly formulated a plan to reach behind the bunked beds and grab blankie. The first thing that came to mind was to unfold a wire hanger and launch the hook part of the hanger into the black hole. Like a fly fisherman waiting for his big catch, my roommate and I extended the hook down the 3 inch wide space until we felt some resistance from something laying in the dark.

While the first two attempts were unsuccessful, the third time was the charm. As we pulled the hook out of the darkness, one of my blanket’s knots had hooked onto the hanger and it was as if I was an alcoholic and had just drunk a handel of vodka, I was cured.

Realizing that I should have let go of my blanket when I turned five, at the maximum, I can’t turn back now and am too attached to ever find out what would happen if I tried to be freed from my addiction. It crept into my life before I ever had a chance to foresee how attached I would be 15 years later, much like a smoker and nicotine. At this point, I’d rather live like an addict than deal with the side effects of giving it up.


© Copyright 2020 AutumnHuffman. All rights reserved.

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