I scored the winning touchdown during a junior varsity football game.
It was a 58 yard touchdown.
My first touchdown.
There was only 1:16 left on the clock in the 4th quarter.
I was the hero for the next day.
Then, life went on….
I was working on a power plant as an Ironworker. I was sitting on top of the highest steel point of the structure, 340’ above the ground.
2 fighter planes from a nearby base had been using our construction site as a mock target for about a month.
This particular day, they flew by the building so low and so slow, I saw one of the pilots throw me a salute as they passed. I waved back.
Then, life went on…
My daughter was born, and we gave her a name that was on the front of a baby name book sitting beside my wife’s bed.
We called her “Copyright 1985”. No, not really. Her beautiful name is Stephanie.
She doesn’t call me daddy anymore. She doesn’t call me at all.
That doesn’t stop me loving her though.
I call her every day in my mind.
Life goes on.
Of course I remember when both my son’s were born, but not with as much clarity as the first.
I had started drinking by then.
I don’t remember how or why I started, but I can assure you that it robbed me of memories.
Maybe I shouldn’t say “robbed’.
I’ll say “I gave them away”
I have some idea why I started, but I can’t blame that on my wife or the new responsibilities of a father.
I won’t even blame the sexual abuse, my Bi-polar dad or my depressed mother with abuse in her childhood.
I will write about particular occurrences or what I can recall of them in later posts.
Something happened the other day that surprised me and made me look at myself in a different light.
It made me ashamed of myself, but also helped me to realize that this is what sober people probably thought of me….through their eyes.
I have started following a blog from Catherine Lyon, a recovering “Gambling” addict.
Catherine had read and commented on one of my ‘sad’ posts. I pulled up her site to return the courtesy and to see what she was all about.
When I saw that she was a gambling addict, I began to explore some of the details she was giving about her life and addiction.
Do you know what the first thought in my freaking mind was….?
How in the hell can someone be addicted to gambling?
That’s just stupid….throwing your money away like that!
I have no concept of someone “NEEDING” to buy a lottery ticket or “NEEDING” to play a slot machine!
I didn’t have that problem.
I can take it or leave it.
The only reason I even buy a lottery ticket or two during the year is mainly because I have a dollar or two left over from a purchase, or I’m bored.
Can you believe I actually thought that?
Me…? A freaking alcoholic, judging the merits of someone else’s weakness or addiction!
I hate hypocrites! I HATE BEING A HYPOCRITE!!!
Maybe they say…. “How in the hell can someone be addicted to getting drunk?”
“That’s just stupid….throwing your life away like that!”
It’s amazing isn’t it? I’m sitting here shaking my head as I type this and seeing myself a little better.
Of course I look handsome in the mirror, but I obviously need a little work on the inside.
I cannot believe that I was judging other addicts….or anybody come to think of it.
I think I’m gonna get tattoos on the back of my hands that say “Judge not”.
I’m such an asshole sometimes….
I cannot and never will understand why people say that they are addicted to porn, but if porn can be addictive…..I can say that it is REAL IN THEIR MIND.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a bar and looked across the counter and seen my evil twin Tray in the mirror behind the bartender, staring back at me thru rows of bottles, shaking his head….a sad look on his face.
He say’s “How in the hell did we get back in here?”
Addiction can happen AT ANY TIME!
It’s not enough to keep your distance from ‘addictive’ things. You have to actively be on the alert for anything that may ‘tempt’ you.
“I’m not an alcoholic” I said as I pulled myself from the dumpster in the alley behind the bar.
“I’m not an alcoholic” I said as I lay in that water-filled ditch outside a bar.
“I’m not an alcoholic” I said for the rest of my life…..
I have actually stood in front of a beer cooler physically shaking, and contemplating stealing beer because I just realized it is a Sunday and there are ‘No Beer Sales on Sunday’.
I have actually bribed and succeeded sometimes in getting a cashier to sell me beer after hours or on Sundays. Most times the ‘gratuity’ costs more than the beer did.
I only needed enough to get thru the day you see….
It’s been 2 years since I have had a serious binge. But, I’m going to tell you a secret….
My mouth is watering….I want a beer.
I want a beer bad.
I’m typing this, trying to recall instances of binges and my fucking mouth starts to water….
That…is how close I am to relapse.
On the edge of a razor soaked in alcohol.
I start to think about it, my body STARTS TO CRAVE……
I am actually feeling my body get that ‘anticipation’ feeling all addicts/alcoholics experience.
“He’s thinking about it! That’s a good sign” says the monster inside me.
But for now…I’m fighting it.
You see….My FEAR is greater than my need. I’ll use anything that works.
But I also know that fear subsides with time….and, I KNOW me.
My pen gently weeps…..
As I write this, I just realized that I must be living in constant fear.
I have to…The “need” is always here….my shadow.
“I can’t go back….I won’t go back…I will never touch it again”….has said every addict/alcoholic.
What a life, my life.
I am sorry that I judged Catherine’s blog and her gambling addiction.
I’m sorry that I was a hypocrite.
But, I’m glad that I was able to recognize this when it happened.
Usually an addict or alcoholictakes a lot more time to figure out that they’re being assholes or truly care about anyone else’s feelings.
You see, every true addict/alcoholic will tell you that we are a selfish lot.
The crux of it is…. Is that we DON’T WANT TO BE THIS WAY.
“Then stop doing it…Change!” say the regular people.
We try every day….every minute.
Alcoholics/addicts aren’t sinners, at least as far as our addictions go.
We’re just people….that have lost our way at some point on this narrow path called life.
Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol/addiction—that our lives had become Unmanageable.
I’m sorry fellow addicts/alcoholics that I was judgmental….
Does that mean I’m getting normal again!!?? LOL!!!
There is one thing extra I’d like to share with you dear readers.
Something that I have just realized at this moment, as I was trying to end this post.
This blog that I have created….
These stories that I tell….
These memories that I share….
Keep me humble, and aware of my feelings.
I honestly believe that writing keeps me sober.
So…thank you all for being my new addiction!
I crave you…. LOL!!
Are you available this Sunday?