Date of Interview: Wednesday, March 14 @ 8pm MST
So I'm 4 years clean and sober today. To someone who's not familiar with alcoholism or addiction it probably seems ridiculous to think it's an accomplishment to stop drinking yourself to death. To someone who's an alcoholic or an addict or who knows an alcoholic it's a pretty big deal. All I know is that in my case, it was hard! I only have one story and it's still the same.
Here it is: I used to own a bar called The Toad Tavern and I was completely physically dependent on alcohol. I had been able to sufficiently quit drugs and I figured I'd be okay if I just drank. I drank in the morning to get rid of the shakes and just continued to drink all day and night. For the last few years of my drinking, I was consuming around a handle of vodka a day which is about a half gallon. I was in and out of the doctor with problems like dehydration, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, fainting, bleeding when I went to the bathroom, gout, vomiting blood, a distended stomach from leaking fluid, and so on. I told the doctor how much I was drinking and he took a blood test and told me I had 1 to 2 years to live if I didn't stop drinking. He told me I was a late stage alcoholic and showed me his chart. It said "alcohol abuse; severe".
I tried to quit on my own and took medications supposed to lessen my cravings but I continued drinking for over a year. I went to a psychiatrist for symptoms like depression, rapid thinking, anxiety including panic attacks, sleeplessness, uncontrollable mood, etc. somehow thinking these symptoms were my real problem and that if I could deal with my mental illness my drinking wouldn't be so bad. Well finally I spiraled down and had what I call a nervous breakdown. I was suicidal and ended up in a mental hospital where I played what I call my "bipolar card" and the psychiatrist there put me on a massive dose of mood stabilizers called Depakote and Lamictal. It really sucked. I had a decision to make...did I want to be a mental patient the rest of my life or admit I was powerless over alcohol and quit drinking?
I finally admitted I was an alcoholic. I also knew I couldn't quit drinking on my own and sought help. Today, I'm not on any medications at all. In fact, when I did what was suggested of me from the people who helped me my moods got better, my depression and anxiety disappeared, and I sleep great now. I no longer have any desire to drink or do drugs. I don't say that to be cocky...only to show that it's very possible. I'm in good physical shape and I have an amazing life. I think I was mostly afraid to quit drinking because I believed I wouldn't ever have any fun and life would be boring...that somehow I would miss out.
The Truth is that my life started when I got sober and I believe I can do anything I want to do with my life now. By putting in work and taking suggestions from people who had figured this recovery thing out and who were willing to teach me, I woke up from the hypnosis that I had been living in.
Today, I co-create my life with a Higher Power I refer to as God or The Universe or even as The Force 🤣. It's not a religious thing...it's a spiritual thing and it's the driving force behind my life today. I'm far from perfect but I have devoted my life to being the best version of me possible. I try not to cause damage to others and I try to help other addicts live a life of recovery. I have good relationships with the people I love and most of my problems disappear when I focus my attention to helping others. I could go on and on about all this. I have so much gratitude and hope which is something I never had before. My son's story was supposed to be "my dad owned a bar and died when I was 2 years old" and it's not and I can't put into words the joy that gives me. I love my friends and I love my life! And here's where I say Booyah!❤️
p.s. Yes PLEASE SHARE THIS if you don't mind!
It could help someone else and it could help my sober housing business @Mile High Sober Living: http://www.milehighsoberliving.com
p.s.s. If you want to talk to me about your problems with drinking or drugs send me a message and I promise to keep it confidential.
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