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Hello Darkness – My Old Friend

Hello Darkness – My Old Friend
September 21
15:12 2019

By: Mike Rudon Jr.

In what seemed literally to be two seconds, the blink of an eye, my ex-wife went from sending all God’s blessings my way to calling me a monster and other vile things. In that same time, the relationship I had so carefully rebuilt with my kids wobbled. My circle of support, to which I held so tightly, got perceptibly smaller. And in that blink of an eye, my confidence shattered, and I was back to a position of weakness, just like that. I was apologizing. I was ashamed. All those bad things. You think alcohol is a joke? Please understand, when I make light of these things at times it is the same way Police Officers make jokes at the scenes of the most gruesome death. It is a defence. Alcohol is no joke.

And that was just a slip.

When I first started writing about this, I didn’t know what the hell I was getting myself into. It got complicated quickly. I let people into my life – strangers even. And when I got sober, I was so damned cocky and arrogant about it. I invited everybody along for my triumphant journey. Let’s walk together to the promised-land of no alcohol, brothers and sisters. I got this. I got you. And I started letting go of everything which grounded me, because I was like Leonidas with his 300 – except who needed the 300? I stopped going to AA, because who needs to hear about alcohol 24/7? I stopped making the effort to get to Belmopan for my men’s group – a bunch of brothers I love and respect dearly. And without realizing it, I started to withdraw. It’s the strangest thing. I was spouting all this sexy stuff about being strong and sober, and I was taking myself away from everything which made me strong and sober.

And so when I fell, and fell again, it probably should have come as no surprise. Alcohol didn’t beat me this time, though. I beat myself.

The thing is, if you ask me – I’ll tell you I don’t drink anymore. And let me explain why. If I had continued along my path, I would have lost my kids, my family, my job, my sanity and eventually, my life. As is, I lost so much, but I would have lost everything. I have no doubt about that. I look around me every day and I see others struggling with alcohol addiction, as I do. I see men deserting their families for the seductive appeal of rum. I see women leaving their families for the same thing. I see kids out drinking all over the place. I see frustration, and abuse and sadness and grief and broken homes. Drinking is the thing now.

Because I’m in the media, I also see the violence and blood and death associated with drinking. These days the cause of the most deaths in Belize is socializing. Men, woman and children are dying because of ‘socializing.’ It is a hell of a thing.

So if you ask me, I don’t drink anymore. And I’m dead serious. When I decided to get sober, I changed the focus of my life. My mistake was my arrogance. I thought I had won before the journey even started. And now I know better. For many years of my life, I wanted nothing so much as to get drunk. I couldn’t wait for the weekends. I couldn’t go to a function without drinking. I missed many, many functions at my family home because I weighed it – if I don’t go, I can drink all over the damned place. If I do go, I can’t drink. Awww hell, Mom we can’t come this weekend, got four flat tires on the car.

I DON’T DO THAT ANYMORE. Alcohol is not my focus anymore, and it will never be again, for as many seconds, or minutes or days or years that God allows me. I am focused on being sober. Focused on family. Focused on being successful. Focused on being happy. And the rest will fall into place.

I may fall again. I am tempted to state assertively that I won’t, but I have been forced to acknowledge that I am just a mere mortal, and I may fall. I pray to God I won’t. But if I do, it will be a momentary, temporary thing, and I will pick myself up and keep going. And one day, maybe today, I will be where I want to be – sober and strong.

This wasn’t a dirge, and I had no intention of making it seem as such. As always, I thank you for sticking with me, those who have. We can do this. Don’t lose hope, because I never will.

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