For the last few weeks I have been getting a few requests to write a little more about my alcoholism struggles, and how I have managed 12 years sober. This is a little hard for me as I am now starting to let go of the shame I felt. I will be going off the beaten path again in this article and I can only tell you my struggles. I mean no disrespect to anyone and you must know that what worked for me might not work for the next person. I do live my life by faith and I have all my trust in God.
The first thing I will tell you is that I did not think I had a drinking problem. I grew up in a family where drinking was the normal thing. My father is an alcoholic and this is the way I grew up. I used to think that anyone who told me that they didn’t drink was weird. I would wake up to a beer just to try and keep the buzz going. I really was not the physical drunk I was more of the lazy drunk, I thought it was a waste of energy when someone who drank got beer muscle.
My wife would do her best with me. I can’t even imagine what she was going through. What most people don’t understand about alcoholics is that most of the time we drink to hide our fears, failures, and our insecurities. Most alcoholics like myself don’t realize that we have a problem, we think everyone else has the problem. You guys don’t get us. You guys don’t want to understand the pain we are going through but the reality is that we don’t want to face our own problems. I thought I had everything under control. The struggles are real. Our mind plays tricks on us and we become dependent on the alcohol.
By the time I hit rock bottom I had lost my wife and my family. They had enough of my over drinking and they just could not watch me kill myself. I was really irresponsible and I didn’t care for anyone including myself. My life was a basic routine. Wake up and drink a beer to get ready for my day. Most of the time it was two. Go to work and for lunch I would have a screw driver to ease the tension and by the time I would get home I had a six pack in my system already.
One day I woke up and I was by myself. My wife had enough and asked me to leave and I moved into my mother’s apartment. Parents are great but the reality is that at this time my mind was already telling me how wrong I was and I needed to start making changes. I cried my heart out day in and day out. My mother God rest her soul tried her best to make me feel better and she started praying with me, but all I wanted to do was drink. One day I drank a gallon of Bacardi and two six packs. I ended up in the hospital for alcohol poisoning. The only thing I could remember is that I could not imagine my daughters calling someone else dad.
On that day I decided to change my life around. I realized that I needed to change my surroundings and not be with the same people who kept my routine. That also meant some family members had to be cut out for the moment. I realized that my wife and my daughters matter more than anything in this world. My life is more precious than I ever imagined. I realized that all my insecurities and all of my problems were being caused by the alcohol in my system. I started to take things day by day. I started reading the bible on my own. I started to feel more self confidence. I started to look at life in a better way. I made it my first priority to make sure to be a part in my daughters life, even if I was still not back home with them. I asked my wife if I could pick up my daughters from school and she said yes, this was a small way to show I was being more responsible in life.
The hardest part of my beginnings was to avoid the temptations I would encounter in a daily basis. Walking home from the train station I would past 3 liquor stores and 5 bodegas (grocery stores) that all sold beer. In fact I had a tab running in all 5 of them. I paid them all off and they were all happy and sad at the same time once I told them I was not drinking anymore. Taking things day by day meant I had to start to prove to my wife and kids that I was a more responsible person. I asked for just one more chance and I made a promise to God that if I ever drank again I would accept the consequence and lose everything. 12 years later I am going strong and I learned that anything is possible. No one is ever without hope. If I could do this anyone can. If you need help, ask for it you will be surprised on how many people are willing to help. Please let me know if I should continue to write more articles on myself ? I will gladly share my struggles and my victories.
IF WE CAN HELP ONE PERSON WITH THIS ARTICLE THAT WOULD BE GREAT.
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