Life Story of an Alcoholic in Recovery

Oh, the glory days. Hanging out with my buddies, causing trouble, playing golf, chasing girls, and getting drunk. It was all about the story, and our stories always began with how much we consumed – the rest, well, you’ve all seen “The Hangover.”

It happens when you go to the movies, watch re-runs of ‘The Sopranos,’ sit in a sports car, or revere wealthy athletes. It’s called – fantasy.

When I got drunk, I became these characters that I fantasized about. I became Stu, capable of pulling my own teeth or getting a Mike Tyson tattoo on my face. I embodied Tony and became a womanizer. I drove my Hyundai really fast, and I bench pressed no less than 200 pounds to make sure I still had what it takes.

The morning after, the glory was gone. I was sick, beat up. Usually, something horrible happened, but when I looked into the mirror, my denial was so entrenched that there was no way I could see a budding alcoholic. I refused the notion. Admitting you are an alcoholic is for losers. I justified my insanities with my fantasies, and even when I came back down to earth – I then justified it with my possessions.

20 years have passed, and the only thing that has aged is my biceps and hair. I could not see the guy whose family lost hope, whose wife left him, whose business was failing, whose mortgage was going into arrears, or whose life only had maybe a day or two left. I didn’t see the guy who hadn’t eaten anything in 10 days, or who was severely dehydrated or the guy who lost 40 pounds in 2 weeks and was ready to die.

I still saw the fantasy.

The reality is that I was very sick, but I held onto the fact that I still had 2 cars in the garage – albeit ready for re-possession, but who cares. They were there.

I knew I had a problem with alcohol early on in my drinking career, but then I found cocaine, and it only anchored my denial. I could justify quitting cocaine abuse cause it never led to anything good, but to admit that I was an alcoholic – no way!

I attended my first AA meeting 10 years ago, and I only recently understood the word surrender. How does that happen?

I came from beer-drinking football buddies, bare-knuckle boxing, and Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. I’d seen Commando at least 30 times. I was taught never to surrender, never give up, and never admit defeat, and if you did, you were considered a wimp.

Indiana Jones, Dirty Harry, and Joe Montana – these were my heroes. Did they ever surrender? I think not.

But I came to learn that it’s all just one big fantasy! Most of us are not action heroes, professional athletes, or characters of fiction.

The ultimate reward in recovery is that when you give up your constant state of fantasy and denial, the breakthrough you will experience is more euphoric than any alcohol-induced story you ever pursued.

Today I live in a constant state of admission, sobriety, and guess what? I still have my 2 car garage and so much more!

Live Long & Prosper,