What's The Worst That Can Happen?
1 year and 71 days into sobriety and alcohol is still something that I think about on a daily basis. I used to enjoy drinking and I loved getting drunk. But eventually my reliance of the booze got the best of me; mentally, physically and emotionally. I have learned to be honest with myself and others about my thoughts and feelings and I accept the responsibility for my own behaviors. I may have once enjoyed drinking but I will stay sober and no one can ever take that away from me, only I can take that way from myself.
For me, being sober isn’t a matter of “not being drunk.” It means total abstinence, no alcohol whatsoever in my bloodstream. That truly is my simple answer to sobriety. Don’t put it into your own bloodstream. No, I do not actively participate in any 12-step meetings (AA). I went a handful of times and it was not rewarding for me, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be rewarding for you. I don’t claim that my thoughts or ideas on sobriety will answer all or any of your problems, but if I can inspire YOU to think about it, then we both win. In the end, we seek the same goals: to stay sober, be happy and feel contentment within our lives.
I’m not trying to get you to join my cult, I don’t have one. I don’t need you to like me or even agree with me. You might think I’m a complete idiot, but if reading this causes you to ignite your desire to follow a path to sobriety then I have achieved my purpose. I don’t receive any materialistic gain if you decide to live sober and stay sober because of something I said or wrote. I don’t receive a royalty if your life improves and I sure as hell do not get paid by writing this. I do this because it helps me and if it can help someone else along the way than that is just icing on the cake.
People still tend to tip-toe around my alcoholism like I am going to fly off the handle if they bring it up. STOP! What people need to understand is that I am the same guy I used to be, I am just better now. I still think I am funny, I still sing like an angel and we all know I can dance like nobody’s business! I want people to understand that I made a choice to quit drinking because I was not the person I was supposed to be while I was drinking. I have had people tell me they never knew I had a problem or wonder how I was an alcoholic all of a sudden? Well, it wasn’t my first drink or the first time I got drunk that made me an alcoholic. It takes time and hundreds upon hundreds of drinks which follow that first one. Some substances are known to overtake a person the first time they use it. But in my opinion, alcohol requires repeated usage for your mind, body and emotions to become dependent on them. I will have to admit that I liked the sensation the first time I got drunk (even though I threw up and remember it vividly). I was a teenager and very young at the time. But I didn’t wake up the next morning physically craving another drink, I probably told myself I would never drink again. But then I did what many teenagers do, I got drunk whenever and as often as I could. It took me years to become dependent upon alcohol and it took me even longer to figure out I had a problem.
For those of you that may be struggling yourself. I wish I could tell you that everything will work out fine. I wish I could offer you a guarantee of sober happiness. I wish I could tell you that it gets easier with time, that the temptations will go away, that the struggles disappear, that all memories fade. They don't, at least not for me they haven't, but maybe it will be easier for you. I wish I could spare you some of the pain that you will go through. We can walk together, you can lean on me and others, but you will have to walk this path in your own shoes and on your own terms.
Bad things happen in life and I have done many rotten things to people that I have loved while I was drunk which I am not using as an excuse, but I have had to live with that guilt. It doesn't matter what you've been through or what anyone has ever done to you, no one forces you to drink but YOU! There are NO excuses, no good reasons, there is no rationalization! I’m not superhuman and I'm nothing special. I am just honest with myself and with you. Try living sober for a while. What's the worst that can happen?