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Blame It On The Alcohol

Blame It On The Alcohol
July 19
17:48 2019

By: Mike Rudon Jr.

This column has blown up beyond all my expectations. I don’t want to brag, but I think I may have grown to eleven readers. If this continues, I may have to leave my job and just write this column full-time…maybe even hire staff to handle the fan mail, and security for the inevitable, lovestruck stalkers. And it gets better. I am now a celebrity after appearing on a TV show the other day. I may even have to get a celebrity name to fit my new status. I was thinking something like Magic Mike. I don’t believe that’s taken. So yeah…

The truth is that I appreciate all the positive support I’ve gotten. Frankly, it’s been unexpected and overwhelming. There are people reading my column who comment that I must be very strong to do this. They say that I am courageous to tell my story, and that my journey is an inspiration. But I don’t know that I am strong, or brave, or courageous, or an inspiration.

I know what I’ve been – a sick, stupid, pathetic drunk who wrecked everything he touched in his life. I know that I have done terrible things, and I have hurt people who loved me. I know that for many years I have been the subject of scorn, and contempt and worst of all for me, pity.

I remember so many times in my life talking to people in a professional capacity, sweating out the alcohol from a night of excess, knowing they could smell it, knowing they could tell I wasn’t functioning at full capacity. There was this way they looked at me. I can’t even explain it. I never want anyone to look at me that way again.

This period of my life is surreal, and I can’t quite wrap my mind around it. I’m 52 days sober. I’ve never gone this long without a drink. I want to believe that I am okay now. I want to believe that I will never again take a drink. I want to believe that I will never feel the kind of sadness or pain or anger or frustration that used to drive me down into the pool of despair where alcohol was the only life-preserver. And if I do experience those emotional triggers, which no doubt I will, I want to believe that I will be able to weather the storm.

I understand how hard this is for so many people, because I lived it. I was driven, time and time again to a place so dark that I didn’t think I would ever see light again. And still I didn’t stop drinking. I lost my marriage, truthfully years before the divorce became final, and that didn’t stop the drinking. I just didn’t care about anything. I damaged my relationship with my kids, and when I was drinking, I didn’t care. I mean, they’re my kids, right? They have to love me, drunk or not. Says so in the rulebook.

There is this thing I used to tell my ex-wife when I was sober, and she’d say I was a monster.

This only happened rarely, by the way, only about five million times. I would get ridiculously offended and I would point out that I was not a monster. I was a good person with a bad problem. I’ll never forget that phrase. I thought it quite clever at the time. I was blameless. I was kind and loving and gentle and I would feed the dogs now and then and I would hug the kids at night and tell them I love them. God, I was a veritable saint – a man among men. There was just this one thing. I was a drunk. I had a problem. But don’t blame me. Blame it on the alcohol. 

Anyway, too much darkness. I am now a child of light – actually, a big, grown-ass man of light. I wish there was some way I could reach you to let you understand that alcohol is evil. I see so many people around me turn to liquor for peace, as I did for so many years. And I want to let them know that it will destroy them, as it did me. You see me now, all cute and glorious and stuff, but there is a part of me which was destroyed by alcohol, a part of me I will never get back.

I want to let you know that no matter how bad it is, no matter what you’ve done, no matter how long you have lived in this hell we’ve claimed as our own – you can walk away. I can tell you this much – your problems will not go away overnight, but every day you spend sober will be a better day. I’m living it. Just yesterday I found out I have an outstanding parking ticket from January 2017. Never seen the ticket. Don’t remember ever getting it. Never received any reminder or notice or warning. But it seems that with accrued penalties, I either find around $8000 to pay for the ticket or I go to jail. See what I mean about problems not automatically going away because you stop drinking?

The old me would have dived headfirst into a bottle at such news, no thought to the consequences or the future. But the new, sober me is a different creature. I am going to figure this crap out and face it head-on. In fact, I’ve already come up with some ideas, including selling my body to pay off the ticket. See how wonderful sobriety is?

I joke because the alternative is a bottomless remorse I never want to feel again. I joke because I feel strong and confident and sober. I want that for you too. YOU can do it. If I can, anybody can. Here if you need a hand. 

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