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Lip Gallagher And I Have The Same Struggles


So I watched the latest Shameless episode. Titled Black-Haired Ginger, the 5th episode from the current 9th season of Shameless, brought a lot of new stuff. Frank’s new medications, Carl’s new girl, Ian’s court date battle and Lip’s ongoing struggles with addiction (but with a twist).

Lip’s addiction has been an ongoing arch for several seasons not but so has been his sobriety struggles. He’s in AA meetings, he’s become a sponsor to a struggling addicts and he’s been a poster boy for everyone with sobriety struggles.

And trust me, for someone who’s been battling her fair share of sobriety problems, I know what I’m talking about. He’s a good fictitious poster boy. But let’s start off by one particular Lip Gallagher scene that struck a chord in me.

His post jogging- cigarette buying scene in the very same episode. After a god run he stops buy to buy a pack of cigarettes. He actually buys a whole lot of different cigarette packs, much to the surprise of the store clerk but it was not what he said in the scene that mattered to me. It was what he didn’t say. It was his look that said volumes.

While he was looking at the cashier he took a sad look at the all the liquor bottles that was lined up behind him and knew that only one glass of any of them would have him spiraling down the abyss again. He and I have shared that same look in fact.

I’ve had that look just last week, while I was buying a pack of chewing gums on my way to work. It was 8.45 in my local convenience store and it was basically that same scene but in real life. I was looking at the bottles of vodka behind the cashier’s back with the same mix of lust and sadness. Only a true addict will recognize that look. The look of something so bad for you but oh so good at the same time. The look of something that you know you can’t have but want sooooo much.

I’m glad that the writers chose to show that particular scene. I’m glad that the writers chose to show transferring of one addiction to another. In Lip’s case is finding a new high through different cigarettes. It’s yet another scene that many of us have had at least once in our lifetime.

It’s a scene that shows the real struggles of alcoholics, and it’s a struggle that we all share. Even Lip and me.


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