I used to think that alcohol was the do all tell all answer to everything for me. It gave me courage when I needed it, it helped me to be sociable, it made me strong when I needed strength and it gave me confidence when I was feeling insecure. When I was happy…..I drank, when I was upset….I drank, if I was feeling indecisive…I drank. I drank to have a good time and felt that there was no such thing as having fun unless there was a bottle or two….or ten in the equation. I swore up and down that if I didn’t knock a few back, I was unable to have fun. Life would be boring. At no time did I ever realize the insanity of that way of thinking. My binge drinking caused me to be a reckless person, I was manipulative and conniving person. I was rude, disrespectful, egotistical, selfish and extremely self centered. Of course I saw nothing wrong with those character defects because they all benefited “me” It also affected my ability to be good parent. My drinking always took precedence over my youngest child. He was always with baby sitters so I could go out and party, when I was home with him, I slept all day because I’d gotten trashed the night before, the list goes on and on, and the older he got, the worse I got.
I’ve heard many people say that Sobriety gave them their lives back…..that is not the case for me. My sobriety gave me a “life” I’d been drinking and living a reckless life style since I was 12 or 13 and knew no other way. Today my life is full, I enjoy getting up in the morning, I appreciate the little things that I was always blinded to before. I have a new found passion for helping others without wanting or expecting anything in return. More importantly, I now realize that I do not have search in a bottle for the answers to any given situation. Is my life all peaches and cream? No, not by any stretch of the imagination. I still have difficult days when I want to have temper tantrums and get crazy…I still get angry, I can still be a difficult person IF I choose to be. Today it’s my choice, I didn’t have one when I was drinking. Today I choose not to let things get the better of me. I do my best to try to do the right thing at all times. It doesn’t always work that way, but I do try. Today, even if I’m having the most difficult of times, my life is “manageable” which is something it never was before.
I thought that “Jim, Jack & Jose” were my best friends, today I have REAL friends that love and appreciate me for who I am. I have a sense of identity today that never existed before. I say this quite often, My worst day sober is much better than my best night drunk. Falling off the wagon is something that is always possible for an alcoholic, no matter how much sobriety time they may have. I can not say that I will NEVER drink again, but I can promise that I will continue to do what I need to do in order to make sure I don’t. Not all my times of drinking / partying were bad, there were in fact some good times, however comma…….the bad times always proceeded the good. I know that if I take that first drink, I’m done for and will instantly go back to being the out of control demon that I was. There’s no doubt there, it WILL happen. As long as I don’t take that “first” drink, and continue to live the life I’m trying to live, I should be fine.
If you are reading this and anything that I’ve said makes perfect sense to you, than you may have a problem. Please don’t think that you’re alone. You’re not….
May 10, 2014