The Night I Quit Drinking

It was around midnight then that I stopped drinking the beer in my hand, went to my bedroom, got on my knees, and for the first time in more years than I could remember, I prayed. I asked whatever God was out there to help me. I expressed a complete lack of ability to fix my fucked up life on my own resources. I prayed for help from a God that I wasn’t even sure existed.

After that, I stood up, went to the kitchen and proceeded to empty every drop of alcohol in my shitty little apartment down the drain. It should be noted here that this isn’t an easy task for someone who liked to drink as much and as often as I did.

8 Hours Earlier

I spent the early afternoon helping Kevin move everything he owned from from his car into my apartment. Kev, my best friend for the past 13 years, had just driven 14 hours through the night from Dallas to Nashville to come live with me. He had planned on making a more practical drive to town in a week or so, but after he’d heard that I’d just picked up my 3rd DUI in 6 months, he decided to make haste and come on out before his best friend blew up his life even worse.

After we got his car unloaded and his new room somewhat setup, Kev needed to catch some sleep. After he dozed off I got back to thinking about how fucked my life was.

I knew I was about to lose my drivers license as a result of another DUI. I knew that once I lost my license I was probably going to lose my job. Then my family was going to find out, the girl I was half-dating was going to split. It was all coming to an end. My charade was up and everyone was about to find out exactly who I was.

I needed a fucking drink.

I started with a glass of wine. You know, just to calm my nerves a bit.

Then moved to beer cause beer>wine.

Then moved to beer+ whiskey cause I couldn’t get my head to shut up. I was having a hard time getting drunk. And I really wanted to be drunk.

2 Days Earlier

I woke up in a holding cell in Williamson County Jail. Again.

I was starting to learn little tricks like using a roll of toilet paper for a pillow. Things like that. I was freezing cold but luckily earlier that evening I stole someones wind breaker from the bar I was at. The Box Seat.

For some reason I spied a dark blue jacket that said “Ken’s Gold Club” and I knew I had to have it. It was on the back of some guy’s stool so I slyly bumped into this chair and eased it off the back. And just like that, I had a strip club wind breaker.

When I woke up in that cell I had a chance to make bond and call someone to come pick me up. I vaguely remember dialing 2 or 3 friends but no one was answering my calls at 3:00am. So, like any good spoiled 27 year old, I called my parents.
My step-dad answered. After I explained that I had been arrested I went ahead and told him it wasn’t my first DUI since I knew he’d find out shortly. The first words out of his mouth were, “Are you alright?”
He didn’t cuss me out. Or tell me to fuck myself and that I could just sit in jail until my hearing. He asked if I was OK.

To this day I’m not sure I comprehend that kind of love and patience. After 14 years of putting up with my shenanigans he still automatically responds with caring and kindness.

How in the world did I ever luck up with people like this in my life?

Back to That Night

After I emptied out all the liquor, I cleaned up a little bit and laid down in bed. Starting in some weird way to feel hopeful about what happens IF I can stop drinking. I wonder if there is a life for me if I don’t have a beer in my hand. I have a hard time imagining hanging out with friends, or holidays, or fishing, or going to see bands play, or really just about anything in the world without that beer in my hand.

Drinking was my best friend. My safety blanket. My higher power. My problem solver. Imagining life without drinking felt mostly impossible. But imaging life with drinking felt simply unendurable.

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