Through the eyes of bottle….
It’s absolutely mind blowing how things look different when you’re looking at them from a bottom of a bottle compared to seeing them with sober eyes. When I was drinking, I was invincible, I was social, I could conquer the world. I was also manipulative, deceiving, shady, egotistical and arrogant. Of course I didn’t see any of that, but everyone around me did. From the minute I took that first drink, my attitude would start to change, usually for the worse. It wasn’t until I got sober and drained the whiskey soaked brain that I realized how many people I hurt as a result of my drinking and for how many years it went on. I didn’t care who I hurt, as long as I get what I wanted, I was good.
I don’t remember my wedding night because I was drunk, I’ve walked over and manipulated hundreds and hundreds of people, I definitely did not earn the “Parent of the Year” award because alcohol always came first. It’s safe to say that I was a walking tornado and I destroyed anyone that crossed my path. However comma…..In my head, I was a wonderful person just the way I was. Looking at life through the bottom of a bottle definitely distorts one’s way of thinking and seeing things. I used to think my “problem” didn’t get bad till the last three years of my drinking career. Turns out, I’d been drinking like a full blown Alcoholic for at least fifteen years. Goes to show you how sneaky and progressive the disease is. It was like I was existing in life wearing blinders on. I couldn’t see beyond the bottle. I am what is known as a “Binge Drinker” which means I didn’t drink every day, but when I did, I literally couldn’t stop even if I wanted to. I was also a “Black Out” Drunk, I couldn’t remember Jack S**t the next day which was very convenient for me. My attitude was “If I didn’t remember it, then it didn’t happen.” Because of that, it became extremely easy for me to avoid consequences of any kind.
I almost ruined my reputation as an entertainer as well as my relationship with my wife. To say I was out of control would be a huge understatement. When I decided to seek help, I was under the impression that all I had to do was “not” drink and life would be peachy. Yeah…….not so much!!!! I realized I not only had to quit drinking, but I had to retrain my brain, get rid of old demons and had “clean house” so to speak. Physical sobriety wasn’t as difficult for me as I thought it would be, it was the EMOTIONAL sobriety that was rough. I never was one who dealt with feelings very well unless they it was anger. I used to be able to turn my feelings on and off like a light switch. Learning to not only feel, but how to deal with those feelings was the hardest part of sobriety. In time, it got easier. If you’re thinking that all you have to do is just stop drinking, you couldn’t be more wrong. If you think that you’re “special” and can do it in-spite of the fact that millions of alcoholics before you have tried, letme know how that works out for you, it’s only a matter of time. For some people, it may take longer for them to fall, but it only took me forty-four days. Just not drinking makes you a “Dry Drunk” Sure, you’re not drinking, but inside, you’re still miserable. You’re still carrying around all your baggage way down deep. To truly be “Sober” you have to have peace and serenity Thinking back at how bad I was and how poorly I treated all those who loved me, learning how to feel in order to maintain my sobriety was a small price to pay.
I no longer see life through the bottom of a bottle. I can appreciate the little things that most people take for granted. My life is no longer unmanageable & my brain is no longer swimming in a sea of booze. Today I am living Life on Life’s Terms. I’ve become reliable, responsible, a good partner to my wife and I’d like to think I’ve become a better person in general. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no saint…I’m far from it, but I see life so much more clearly through sober eyes and I make very different choices. I’m no longer impulsive or manipulative. I no longer bust out into sudden rages and I no longer think that the world owes me. To day I am truly happy and no matter how bad a situation may be, I don’t have to look for the answers to it in the bottom of a bottle.
AJ Menendez, Master Male Illusionist.