Where was I? I drank a lot. And I needed to get my life together.
It just took an email and a lost friendship to wake me up to the fact. To fully wake me up. To get me actually admit that I had a problem AND then start addressing that problem.
At this point the memories came flooding in thick and fast. And something about the combination of all of these memories of being drunk and awful coupled with finally being aware that I needed to get my life together. Well, it hit me. No more alcohol.
I had to quit drinking.
My relationship with alcohol was simple. There was no controlling me once I started. One drink in me was a pretty short bridge directly to black out drunk. No control. A runaway freight train on a track of Crown Royal and ginger ale.
A thought eventually popped into my head. It broke through the fog and elbowed its way in between the “you need to get your life together” track that was on repeat. I better find someone who can help. Dawson doesn’t drink. I’ll ask him for help. That phone in my hand finally came in handy.
Hey man. Happy new year. Hope all is well?
(It’s effing not with me I can tell you)
I need some help.
(The most help!!)
I know you don’t drink now and I think that you mentioned that you did drink before? And had a problem so you quit? I was wondering how you managed that.
(Cause it seems effing impossible.)
What did you do? Who helped you? What was it like? I need as much info as you can give.
Phone down. My plea for help sent I settled back into the infinite loop of staring at things that seemed to be moving but actually weren’t and thinking about those 8 words.
Then I rolled over and went back to sleep. I wasn’t going to be able to wake up from this nightmare but maybe I could sleep through parts of it?
I awoke, not at all surprisingly, on Day 2.
I didn’t drink on day 1. Mostly because I was sleeping. I was good at drinking but not yet good enough to sleep drink.
Okay, technically I did drink on day 1 because I was surely still hitting the bottle pretty hard after midnight. But I was still counting it. Since being told, and actually fully realizing, that I needed to get it together? I hadn’t had a drink. Yay for me. Less than 24 hours but still. You gotta celebrate every little win.
I spent the morning of day number 2 reacting to some messages from friends.
“What happened?” “Are you okay?” “What will you do now?” “What can I do to help?”
Those were the big 4 questions I was receiving.
“I don’t want to talk about it.” “I am hanging in there.” “I don’t know.” “I don’t know.”
Those were the big 4 answers.
And then a Facebook message from Dawson. The man who maybe doesn’t even know how much he helped until he reads this book. (shitty for him that I am changing all the names!!)
Facebook message: Dawson
Hey Feeney. It’s a huge step my man and I know what you are feeling.
(Strange cause I am not sure I really know how I am feeling.)
I’ve been there. If you are truly ready to quit there are lots of ways to go about it.
(Name one then.)
For me the 12 step program AA/find God route was what worked.
(Okay fair enough that’s one.)
If that’s what you want to do then come with me sometime to a meeting. Or to church. Or both! But that doesn’t always work for everyone so you hopefully will find the way that works for you the best. At the end of the day if it’s time then you will find a way. Let me know what I can do to help even if you just need someone to talk to.
So there it was. A route. That’s one way that I could go to get where I needed to go.
But God isn’t really for me, I thought as I rolled the idea through my head. After researching the 12 step program for a while I started to realize that I needed to find another way. “Turn myself over to God as I understand him?” Well, the closest thing I could think of to a God is Yoda but I felt, and still do, that he didn’t really count. I was probably going to need a guiding force of some kind to help me along the way but not the actual force. Turning myself over to a small green fictional alien that loves riding around in backpacks? Maybe not.
To be honest some of the steps didn’t call out to me. I wasn’t so sure about the whole fearless moral inventory for one. I think you’ve read enough so far to know that I NEEDED to take that inventory but there was a sense on my part that I wasn’t ready for it. Maybe you never are?
So no 12 steps and no turning myself over to Yoda like some rogue Sith lord seeing the light and coming to absolve himself of all his force choking.
What did people do before the internet? You needed to change your life as fast as possible and you didn’t know how…..well….what did you do? Go to the library?
Just imagine that conversation.
“Excuse me miss?” says the broken hu-being at the counter (my girlfriend and I are experimenting with doing away with gender descriptors and masculine language in our everyday conversations. Hubeing has replaced human because not all beings on this planet are men.)
“Yes?” they reply, cautiously.
“You may be able to tell from the feces, puke and mcmuffin all over my body but I have hit rock bottom,” I say. “What section should I go to in order to learn how to not be disgusting?”
“Oh yes of course. We see lots just like you. Follow me please. I know just where to go!”
Yeah. Probably not.
Lucky for me I had the internet at my disposal. Google search “how to quit drinking” and you are suddenly inundated with wonderful resources, articles, message boards, and more. All designed to help you stop. That was day 2. Deciding that 12 steps wouldn’t work for me and then researching other ways to quit.