Goodbye old friend

Goodbye

 

You introduced yourself as a friend, there to listen whenever I was alone and depressed. I would spend time with you every now and then, it seemed to help me cope with life for a time. As time went on, you started coming around more often. I liked it because you always listened. As my life turned south and my stress levels began to rise, you were just a quick phone call away.

You began to show up at my home every day and soon you were everywhere I looked. I couldn’t go anywhere that you weren’t there. Night or day, I found you to be a constant friend. Even when my life turned better and I didn’t need your company, you refused to leave. Every morning, I promised myself I was going to ask you to leave. By the time work was over I had changed my mind and there you were, waiting for my when I got home. Well, truth be told, most times you needed a ride so I would stop to pick you up.

The nights I made dinner for my family I skipped eating to hang out with you. Most times we would sing and dance in the kitchen. Many times, the boys would laugh and make fun of us and my wife would just look disappointed. Remember that time we tried to ride the skateboard together; the boys found it funny, but my back is still not right after we fell off backwards onto the driveway. Yes, we laughed together but that was more you than me.

Remember the time we hung out early in the morning before we were supposed to take the dogs to the vet’s office; yeah, I was stupid for listening to you and believing I was in any condition to drive, let alone try to control both dogs. We shared many nights together. Because of our friendship I’ve neglected spending time with my wife and kids.

Do you realize you are the reason my daughter moved out at 17 years old? Did you know our hanging out has made me unable to be a father to my kids? Have you ever considered why my 14-year-old son has a problem with pot? Yeah, it’s you! Hanging out with you has kept me from realizing it has gotten so out of hand that he’s been expelled from school for selling pot AT school?

Just so you know, something has got to change. Our friendship has become toxic. You always wanting to hang out is costing me my health, my family, and could possibly cost me my job unless I change my ways. So, let me break the news to you as eloquently as I can so that you will clearly understand my intent. You may have noticed I haven’t wanted to hangout in over 2 months, 60 days today to be exact.

At first, I really missed you and wanted to hangout, but I had no way of getting in contact with you. This was very scary, I felt alone, like you do when a relationship comes to an end. But, some very kind and loving people, my wife included, took care of me and offered me the help I needed to deal with my separation anxiety. As the days have ticked by, I haven’t missed you quite as much as I expected. Strange thing is, I’ve enjoyed spending time alone without you. I had forgotten how much I could like myself and as with the breakup of a relationship, there are random moments when I think about you, but I don’t miss you anymore.

So, this is farewell. Our friendship is over. I won’t be taking your calls anymore. I won’t be answering your text’s and I’ve blocked your emails. My house is a place where you are no longer welcome. So, in the clearest way I can say it and I hope you hear me loud and clear; Get the Hell out of my life. I don’t want you here no more, you’re not welcome anymore. I have too much to live for and I’m not going to let you ruin my chance for health, happiness, and the love from my wife, my kids, my grandkids, my friends and anyone who cares about me and those I love and care about.

So, this is it….

Alcohol……

Get the Hell out and Stay out!!

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Once you face the truth

Growing up, my father often recalled the stories of a childhood filled with homelessness, hunger, and alcohol abuse. This is one of the reasons he worked tirelessly to provide for our family and care for others. He would talk about times he and his siblings would scrounge for change in order to get enough food for the family each day. I believe this is the main reason he left California at 18 years old and never returned. He wanted to separate himself from the life he experienced in the skid row slums of Alameda, CA. He would explain the hardships the family suffered because his father would get a paycheck and drink it all away.

My father passed away in 2011, after my mother passed away in 2007. As their only child, their passing became my nightmare. I will not blame them for what has happened since then. I will reference those pivotal events as the beginning of a downward spiral which has lead me to become what I am today, an addict. That sentence is the hardest I have ever written. I do not write these words, nor do take this fact lightly. Now what?

What started as a casual activity, shared among friends, has transformed into a solitary daily event. Before you think this is a confession that has an overcoming outcome at the end, I must warn you it is not. I have not been delivered, beat the devil, or any other term you want to add. I am an alcoholic. How did I get here? I’m not sure I can point to one event that tipped the iceberg. I don’t have repressed memories of a haunted childhood that have come to light. I have never suffered mental, sexual, or physical abuse that has caused me to seek comfort in a bottle or in pills. I can not blame someone else for this, nor do I want too.

So I have admitted my faults in front of God and anyone else reading this, what now? I could go on and on about what I could do, should do, or will do. I could say this is the first step of recovery or the fight begins now, but that would be a lie. I like drinking. I like the feeling it gives me and the way I can retreat into my own world with my headphones on while I’m drinking. I hate the way it makes those close to me, feel the way they do about me when I’m drinking. I regret the things I say to my family, even though I can’t remember it. So, I move forward. What now? I don’t have the answer. Not even sure why I am writing this because now everyone knows that I know what is happening.

Once you face the truth there is no way you can hide from the facts. Now what?

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