I quit drinking when I finally realized that alcohol was taking far more from me than it was giving. Though nothing really bad had happened (yet), and few people were aware of the extent of my problem, I knew it was time. I knew my life was on a high speed collision course with total destruction, and my attempts to slow it down or control it were completely useless. I was done fighting it. I was tired and my bag of excuses was empty. I had to stop or risk losing everything in my life, both what I had and what I ever hoped to have. I was one day away from losing it all.
I loved my beer. With a demanding career, four children, and a wife busy with her own career, I had a lot on my plate. I’ve suffered from severe anxiety since my twenties, and alcohol helped me to relax and cope with all the stresses of my life. I don't know the exact date that it happened, but beer had gone from a source of pleasure, to a source of medicinal need that provided more relief from life's woes than anything my doctor had ever prescribed. I had lost all abilities to cope with fear and stress with our bodies own natural tools. The only way I knew to 'better' any uncomfortable situation was to drink it away. I did it well, very few knew anything about the real me, the 'me' that was hidden behind a bottle of beer. What alcohol allowed me to show the world was a mask that looked nothing like the frightened face beneath it.
Eventually I started to experience more serious anxiety and the emergence of a new friend called depression. I was combining anxiety medicine with alcohol, with no understanding that the bulk of my anxiety symptoms were caused by the same alcohol that I was consuming to alleviate them. I was in that "vicious circle' and had no idea how to get out. I became very isolated, turned my back on friends, shy'd away from social events and found that my only 'peace' in life was found in my basement alone with the exception of my 24 'friends' that I allowed to join me. I had lost the ability to dream. I was simply existing, I was no longer living and I had given up hope that things would ever be different.
On November 5th, 2019, I drove myself to a week long stay in a rehab facility to begin my journey BAC 2 zero. Driving myself to rehab that morning was the first act of being 'responsible for my own actions' that I had taken since I can remember. It was a very insignificant, but critically important move for my recovery. The time had come to rely on the guy in the mirror, and to start holding him responsible for the outcome of my life.
I used to think that being sober was the end of 'life' or at least the end of ever truly enjoying it. I was terrified I would become boring and completely bored with my sober life. Surprisingly, I learned that I am still that same fun-loving person, and even more surprisingly, that life is just as fun, if not a whole lot 'funner' without alcohol. I never have to worry that I said or did something stupid while at a social event. I no longer fear that every car behind me is going to start flashing blue and red lights. I no longer have to worry about the beer; when will I get it, how will I sneak it, will I have enough, how can I drink it without 'them' knowing, and the always fun, how am i going to get rid of all these dripping, frat house smelling, piles of aluminum cans in the morning! I have since developed much deeper relationships and connections with my friends and family. I can actually engage without counting the minutes until I can 'get another one' from my secret hiding places. Today, I no longer survive life, I actually live it!!
People ask me if it bothers me having everyone drinking around me. The answer is absolutely not, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Just because drinking doesn’t work for me, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t work for others. I want my friends and family to be comfortable and have fun and relax. If drinking works for them, fantastic. I have never pushed my lifestyle choice on anyone, and I never will.
Today, I am a Certified Coach with Annies Grace's This Naked Mind. I specialize in working with individuals that wish to maintain their busy lifestyles and anonymity while they address their relationship with alcohol. I work with clients that know that things must change, but dread the thought of what that life might be. Through discussion and the utilization of the proven practices of the This Naked Mind program, we are able to not only learn to separate ourselves physically from alcohol, but also free ourselves of the mental obsession and dependence upon alcohol. Only by addressing and rewiring our belief system regarding alcohol, can we truly find the freedom and happiness in life that we have commonly forgotten. If you would like to speak with me about receiving assistance in your journey of sobriety, I would welcome the chance to chat with you!
That's me in a nutshell, if you have any questions about my story, I will gladly open the book. By sharing my path, it helps me to understand who and what I am, why I did what I did, why I felt what I felt. If I can learn to fix my 'things', my past uninvited guest and it's 23 aluminum friends might no longer try to walk through my door with intentions of ruining my life and the life of my loved ones.
You've heard my story, I'd love to hear yours!