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The End Of The World !

The End Of The World !
June 14
15:37 2019

Mike Rudon Jr.

It’s the end of the world as we know it
It’s the end of the world as we know it
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine
As I write this, and hopefully it is read by the seven faithful, I will be approaching three full weeks without a drink. Don’t haul out the champagne, kegs and fireworks just yet – I’ve been here a few times, emphasis on few. On those very few occasions, I screwed up something so royally, or messed up so bad, or lost something or someone so important to me, that I vowed never to touch another drink, ever. And I didn’t, for a little while. Until something happened, and my demons dropped by to say hello. Frigging demons.

I really thought I was an expert in alcohol. I thought I knew it all. After all, I’ve been drinking since I was about seventeen. That’s a long time. I thought nothing about alcohol could surprise me. I have been, I believe, just as down as it is possible to go. I have lost whole days of my life – whole chunks – which can never be regained. It’s hard to describe an alcohol-fueled fugue. You drink too much, you do stuff, then when you wake up at some point the next day, or three days after, you realize that you can’t remember a whole bunch of stuff you did. But anyway – I’ve lost time, lost material things, lost people, and lost little things like respect and confidence and trust which I may never get back, ever. That’s alcohol for you.
I started writing this column months ago, and for months before that I thought I had done what I had to do where alcohol was concerned. I had admitted that I was an alcoholic. And everybody will tell you that’s the most important thing. That is THE THING. So I admitted to anybody who’d listen that I was an alcoholic. Put my business all over Facebook. Started writing this column. And I was healed right? I’d admitted it, so I was on the path of recovery. Hell, with what I knew about alcohol, and my miraculous, glorious recovery since I had admitted I was an alcoholic, I figured I could be the next Dr. Phil, or at least a fatter, drunker version, and I could save the whole damned alcoholic world.

Except it doesn’t work that way. I was stupid. I still believed that I could do it all myself. With all the damned wreckage left in my wake, and with me struggling to get through depression and the loss of so much, something inside me refused to accept that I needed help. I knew nothing about alcohol. I knew nothing about alcoholism. I knew that I could be heading home on a Friday, and I’d reach on a Sunday. I knew that I’d stop to take one drink to relax after a stressful day, looking forward to hanging with the kids, and I wouldn’t reach because one drink was never enough. I knew that there was something almost self-destructive in me, because I would drink at the worst and most unfortunate moments. I knew that when I was drinking, and passed a certain point, I didn’t care about anything or anybody. The only thing I cared about was another drink. Mother’s Days, Father’s Days, birthdays, Christmas – no clue what those are – another drink please!

But I knew nothing about alcohol, except that it owned me, body and soul. And I knew nothing about alcoholism, other than in some corner of my screwed up mind accepting that I was an alcoholic. What a big, stupid idiot I was.

Except – EXCEPT – on that morning, almost three weeks ago, when I decided it was time to stop pretending I could do this alone. And I went looking for help. And now, only now, am I beginning to learn about alcohol. It’s like I’m in kindergarten all over again, just beginning to learn. Only now am I beginning, just beginning to understand this disease. In the past, when it was convenient, I was all too ready to point out that alcoholism was a disease. Don’t blame me. I’m sick. But I never really believed that.

Know what I know now? I don’t get drunk after the first bottle. Or after the tenth drink. Or the fifteenth beer. I get drunk when I make the decision, in my sober mind, to take that first drink. Because for me, and for those like me, the first drink will never be the last drink.

But stick with me. I figure you’ve been with me when I knew nothing. So now that I know stuff you’re not allowed to walk away.
I had to drop this in. Was discussing my eulogy with a friend who I have tasked with co-writing it. You know how everybody becomes so wonderful when they die? It is one of those mysteries that may never be solved. You can be a cold-blooded killer in life. In death, you become an amazing family man, a breadwinner, a beautiful soul gone too soon. If you’re a whoremonger in life, you become a virgin in death. Like automatically. It’ll even happen to me, just watch. In life, I loved the bottle, but we can’t say that in the eulogy. So instead, we’ll spin it cleverly. Throughout his life, we’ll say, Mike hated the bottle, but oh how that bottle loved him. See what we did there? Mike becomes a good guy, and the bottle takes the blame. Ha!
Till next week, God willing.

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