Friday, October 17, 2008
I'm pretty sure I was siting in a chair, but I might as well have been the man on the bed.
So, 16 years ago last night I had my last drink. I didn't even wake up with a hangover 16 years ago today. I was too depressed to get drunk. In fact, I poured out half of my last drink while thinking, "Oh what's the use?" and went to bed.
I sure am grateful for alcohol. I'm certain it kept me glued together for many years. When alcohol stopped working I sure did come unglued.
There was a little violence, my girlfriend hit me and I hit her back. There's a couple of days there that I don't really remember. The next clear moment comes when I found myself locked in the bedroom, sitting on the bed reading a book. I looked next to me and noticed that I had a rifle, a shotgun and a couple of hundred rounds of ammunition laid out on the bed. I'd been thinking about killing myself for weeks. I guess I was worried that I'd miss.
Somehow, my girlfriend talked me into taking a ride over to the county psych ward. The next thing I knew, I was locked up. 51-50ed as we say in California. It was not a pleasant place to be. There were bars on the windows and a couple of stout psych techs at the door. My roommate was real quiet, but he sure did fart a lot.
My first thought was, "I've gotta start talking some shit and get myself out of here."
And then I heard a voice, it might have been my voice, but it wasn't something I'd ever heard myself say before: "You've been lying your whole life. You lied your way in here and nothing but the truth is going to get you out."
A couple of days later I was introduced to the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. I was "twelfth stepped" by one of the psych techs. He was a two tour Viet Nam vet and nine years sober. I've never been able to find him and thank him, so I have to show my gratitude by helping other drunks. He loaned me a copy of the AA Big Book and arranged an interview with one of the nurses, who happened to be in Alanon.
I was full of three things, bullshit, doubt and fear. I had a feeling they weren't going to get me very far in life. Even though it flew in the face of everything I thought I knew about self sufficiency, I let my new friends talk me into going to an AA meeting.
LIfe started to get interesting for a change.
Posted by Your driver at 10:05 AM