So now then we come to day 3. Day 3 was a hard one. First of all day 3 involved actually leaving my room and going to work. My job as an afternoon radio show host with a little talent and basically no work ethic needed me! Not just anyone can float by on no talent alone and put in no effort towards their dream job and still come across as funny and engaging. I’m not one of them but I sure did my best to not do my best. You can’t coast through a job more than I did at that time. But in my defense I was hungover a lot.
I walked into the office the morning of day 3. Monday morning. I think. Receptionist. Couple of salespeople. Couple of news people. Morning host. Sports guy. General Manager. The usual crew.
“I have an announcement to make.”
A few of them actually looked up.
“I have decided I have to stop drinking. I’m going to try and get my life together a bit.”
“Nice. Hey did you see the game last night? The Canucks looked awesome.” Sean the sports guy was the first to respond.
“Yeah they did play well.” was my very deep and well thought out response. “For once!” You’re not the only sports expert in the room Sean. Two thumbs pointing at my own chest. This guy knows his stuff.
“Good for you, Mike.” Karen chimed in.
“I actually had little to do with the win. The Canucks wouldn’t let me play” was my joke attempt. No one laughed.
That’s it? I thought as I walked to my office. I was half expecting a bit more of a reaction.
One of the owners of the station, Niles, came to visit me in my office later that day.
“I heard about your announcement.” he said as he sat down.
Really? I didn’t realize anyone was fucking listening.
“Yeah. It’s time.” I basically muttered.
“Well” he said, “I have a friend who had a drinking problem. He wasn’t able to quit on his own so we look out for him. Limit his booze. Cut him off. Buy him non-alcoholic beer. It’s not an ideal situation but it’s just the way we kind of make the best of it.”
“Interesting. Does it work though? Like, does he still have bad days?” I asked with interest in my voice. One problem I thought, I don’t have that many friends. And I am not sure I trust all of them that much.
“Most of the time it works. We help him keep a lid on it. But I just wanted you to know that we all support you and want the best for you. So if what works for you is to quit completely then that’s what we will help you do. Do you want me to remove the alcohol from the station?” Niles was doing his absolute best.
Well Niles. Yeah I do. I mean it is a business after all so why is there booze here anyway? Michael!! Don’t be a grumpy asshole just cause you haven’t had a coffee yet and you recently quit drinking and fucked up your life. This is one of the kindest men you’ve ever known and he’s trying to help.
“That means a lot Niles. Thank you.” I was sincerely appreciative. “I hope I don’t let people down. But I don’t think too much needs to change. My problems happen once I start so I am just not going to have that first one and I don’t think it’ll be a huge issue.”
We chatted a bit more after that and then he went back to his office to leave me to my work. Which helped. Throwing myself into my work. Probably my favourite part of my job was making commercials for the station. (Goofing around making my voice sound funny) And then I spent time getting ready to do my show. Which meant Facebooking.
One thing I haven’t mentioned yet is how I was actually feeling at that point. Emotionally I mean. Physically I would imagine the best way to describe how I felt would be the words “lumpy” and “plentiful”.
The first two days were lonely. I was upset, angry and disappointed. By day 3 the list of emotions that I was carrying around was pretty long. Now that I was out in the world I was feeling nervous and excited as well as the shame and regret.
But looking back on it I actually think it really helped that I had something concrete and tangible to work towards. I had a target. I mean, “get your life together” isn’t the MOST concrete goal to work towards so I needed something else that my mind could fixate on and it was simple. One day at a time.
Don’t have a drink today.
By the midpoint of Day 3 I was fixating not on, “get your life together” anymore but instead, “get to the end of today without having a drink.” There were times when I lost that thought and then the regret train would thunder out of the station.
How could I do that to my best friend? To two of my best friends because it wasn’t just Fraser it was Fraser and Martha. To all my friends really. Our group dynamic will forever be changed. I did that. “Who invites who to what event” type problems exist now. I betrayed people. I let them down.
The train is really thundering down the tracks now. Tracks named regret and pain.
Things will never be the same. I was their best man. Whenever they think about their wedding they will think about me and what I did. I tainted everything. Years of events, moments, memories, and more. Tainted. No one can trust me now. I’ve lost so much.
The only way I was ever able to get that regret train back in the station was to refocus back on my goal.
Don’t have a drink today.