It’s up to you..
I didn’t just wake up one day and BAM! I was an alcoholic. Hell, I started drinking and using at the age of 12. In fact, this is definitely the longest I’ve gone without a drink or a drug since that age. I didn’t get “sober” till I was FORTY so I basically spent ¾ of my life either drunk or high. In the beginning it was all fun and experimentation. I can’t tell you exactly when I crossed that imaginary line between excessive partying and being a bogotified alcoholic. Of course, I never put any thought into it either until AFTER I finally got sober. I thought I had only become an out of control alcoholic over the last three or four years of my drinking…..Yeah, NO….not so much. That will teach me to “think” When I realized exactly how long I had been out of control, it knocked me on my ass….Opps…sorry…can I say “ass?” LOL
Even when people were telling me I was out of control, I couldn’t see it. I was not an everyday drinker, I didn’t get the shakes when I didn’t have alcohol in my system, I didn’t get sick therefore I didn’t see it as a problem. What I didn’t see was the fact that from the very second I took that first shot, I was off and running. I could not have just one or two and then stop. Therefore I was out of control. I didn’t take the constant blackouts as a warning nor did I see that drinking a gallon of rum, vodka, Jack Daniels, Jose Cuervo or whatever by myself was a problem. I was AJ friggin Menendez and had everything under control. I didn’t have a problem, people didn’t know what the hell they were talking about. Yes ladies and gentlemen, that’s EXACTLY where my stinkin’ thinkin’ took me. Looking back, the signs back then that were totally oblivious to me, are so very clear to me now. The damage I was causing others is clear as day to me now, but I was totally blind to it back then. The ONLY thing that mattered to me was that damn bottle. Lying, manipulating and using people became second nature to me.
If you’re reading this, and you are unsure if you have a problem, here would be your first clue….If any of what I said sounds familiar to you, if you can relate to even some of what I have said so far, chances are you definitely have a problem. Of course in your own mind, you WILL justify your actions, but the truth is the problem IS there. The million dollar question is what (if anything) are you willing to do about it??? You have two options, you can either completely ignore what you’ve just read and keep going which will eventually kill you, or you can take my words for the truth that it is and get the help you need in order to live. The choice is yours. Everyone’s journey into sobriety is different. It works sometimes quickly, other times slowly. We always think we got it under control, we’re not like the others, we don’t have a problem. Some of us are hit with reality fast and hard, some of us have to wallow in that dark hell for a bit longer before we actually hit that proverbial bottom. Then there are those of us who die before that happens. That’s fact. I write from my own experience, my words are not something I make up, and I write them here in the hopes to help others into their journey into recovery but the truth is, all I can do is open the door, you have to be the one to walk through it. You are the only one who can diagnose yourself as an alcoholic or addict and it has to be YOU that’s willing to do what needs to be done in order for you to stop. It’s entirely UP TO YOU!
I’m not special or any different than any other alcoholic / addict. I may be in the “public eye” so to speak, but that doesn’t mean I’m exempt from relapse or any of the struggles that come with recovery. I speak from the heart because I KNOW what it feels like to be unsure, I know what it feels like to be controlled by a substance and I know what it feels like to be so desperate and broken that I couldn’t live another second being the person that I was. I didn’t become an alcoholic /addict overnight and I’m not going to be “fixed” over night. My journey in sobriety isn’t over by any stretch of the imagination. I’m not going to wake up one morning and be cured. Addiction of any kind is definitely a “Life sentence” but it doesn’t have to be a “death sentence”. It is very possible to live a happy and full life without being under the thumb of addiction. All you have to do is be willing to take that first step….
AJ Menendez, Master Male Illusionist
June 11, 2014