Line in the sand

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I started drinking in my teens because it's what you did in the Midwest if you were social at all.  Pot use started soon afterward.  Cocaine started senior year.

I had a lot of fun through college, somehow escaping consequences that I saw happening to others who partied as hard as I did.  Dropping out of college senior year may have been the first bright red flag.  Becoming a career bartender for 15 yrs. allowed my recreational use of everything to blend with my worklife.

I began to notice peers of mine get on with normal, real-world lives.  While mine seemed a bit more exciting....I had an '80s song lyric in my conscience that pestered me:  "...what is wrong in my life, that I must get drunk every night?"   

Eventually met another bartender to fall in love with.  We got married, bought a house, got pregnant.  THIS was my line in the sand.  Having a kid was always going to be the trump card in my deck against my overuse of substances.  It didn't work. 

I found myself at the height of my use 3 yrs later with my wife pregnant again.  My day job (I had quit bartending to help "slow down") was going extremely well....deep into six figures.  But I couldn't stop doing cocaine & drinking.  Bigger quantities every month.  One night I was trying to read a bedtime story to my 3 yr old son with my heart racing, sweating, voice shaking.  I looked at him next to me & he was staring at me.....he knew something was wrong with his Dad.  I remember that moment exactly.  I knew I was utterly out of control.  I was going to go to jail or die.....those were the only ways I could think of stopping.

I was blessed with an easier way.  My wife found a baggie & kicked me out.....old school, swingin' a frying pan at me.  I was scared enough by how bad I had gotten & the prospect of losing my family that I took suggestions and went to rehab.  I did what they said.  It included AA. 

10 years clean this March.  You can get out.  You don't have to live like you have been.  The first step is honestly admitting you have a problem....not just to yourself.  You're gonna need some help. 

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    March 1, 2016 at 10:32 AM

    Thank you for sharing your story, J. Congratulations on 13 years today!

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