I am so proud of all of you who take drink a cocktail, if you choose to do so, and go on about your business. I am not one who is so fortunate.
Ten years ago today, I put alcohol in my body, for the last time, I hope. ALthough I will always be an alcoholic, with the help of my Higher Power God, my family, friends, co-workers, a lot of prayer, a good base to learn about alcoholism while in rehab, a great leader in Rehab Kay Canady, AA and a great sponsor I choose not to feed my disease, alcoholism.
Many studies have shown alcoholism is a disease. I am at least a 3rd generation alcoholic. The gene of having a addictive trait is in my DNA and I am so glad I have learned it. Most of my relatives are not alcoholics. They have not succumbed to the addictive gene, but I did their part while I was drinking.
I had to get as low as whale crap to seek help. I was a working drunk. I never missed a day of work from being a drunk until 10 years ago today. On January 26th I took off of work and told myself I would not during on this particular day. That lasted until about 4pm. I had to have my vodka. I had to have few drinks with my favorite mixer, spit, and I knew I had to do something because I had not wanted to drink on this particular day. I was doing a favorite pastime, watching music videos. Kenny Rogers sang a song, “Water and Bridges” on a DVD. It got me to thinking about what I had done to my family with my alcoholism and the effects it had on my wife and son. I began crying and knew I needed help. I called Dr Hemberg, my Physician. The next day I was in Detox. I could have been in Detox the same day, but I wanted to go in sober. The 27th of January, 2010 was the first day I was had not had a drink in a long time and I was in detox.
My jobs since I was 20 years old had been in law enforcement and working wrongful deaths and personal injuries for the Morris Haynes Law Firm. Having worked part time at a funeral home, while I was a police officer had gotten me, I guess hard hearted to death so I wasn’t bothered to much with my death cases, except children. Injury cases, I found was a different case.
While in rehab, you literally learned to be truthful and work on your issues. Besides finding out I had the addictive gene in my DNA, I was brought back to a time when I was policing and a child I knew had been hit by a car. She was holding onto me and begging me to help her, when she died. I have never gotten over this.
In November, 2009 I was getting close to the end of a case where a 3 year old was involved in a crash on her 3rd Birthday that left her being a quadriplegic. It was November, 2009. I was with her and her dog licked her arm and she teared up and said, “you know I can’t pet you.” She said this through her voice mechanism and it tore my heart out. From that day in November, 2009 until January 26th of 2010 I drank no less than 1/5th of vodka every day. I was a total wreck. I remember watching Alabama playing Texas for the National Championship and telling my dog, while crying, this would the last Alabama game I would ever see. I thought I would be dead before the Tide started their next season. Had I not decided to go to rehab, there is no doubt I would have died that year.
I pray none of you have the issues I have. If you do, I promise there is hope. Not only can you be sober, but you can have fun doing it (look at my “Uncle Racky” pic.) I put on this wig and act crazy SOBER!
I have a Bugle meeting tomorrow so I won’t be able to get my 10 year chip until Tuesday, but that is the only thing on my schedule for that day.
I always keep 2 sobriety chips in my pocket. I keep the one for the year I am celebrating and I keep my 24 hour chip. My 24 hour chip is the chip I got when I had been sober 24 hours. It is the most important chip I have received. Being sober is to be worked on for 24 hours (1 day at a time.) Also, I can never forget the 1st day I was sober, and how I felt. I was a broken man!
One last thing, it is not all an easy road. I have had 7 times I have wanted a drink over the past 10 years. Thank God I was able to pray and seek help from my God, family, AA and sponsor. The feeling did not last long, but I found out during these times, it can be 1 minute at at time instead of one day at a time. I have learned some of the situations that can cause me issues and I avoid them. Heck, if you need a cocktail, I will fix it for you. That has never been a problem for me. STRESS IS A BOOGER BEAR. I just have to keep God on my side as well as my support group.
I guess I need to ease in here and hope I don’t take a drink today.
Thanks to all of you for following the Bugle. It has really helped me in this journey, too.