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Charles L.

by James Thelen 03 Jul 2024 0 Comments
Ascending Phoenix I started drinking when I was 10 years old. Until now I couldn’t really tell you why. It was not to get a buzz or just have fun. I was drinking to escape, bury my physical and emotional pain. My story is typical of a lot of alcoholics. I was abused by my father, both physically and mentally. My mom did what she could, but was struggling to deal with her own problems. Mom also mentally abused me, though I don’t think she ever knew she was. She also became an enabler of my alcoholism.I believe I was around 7 years old when my parents divorced. In the beginning I had some contact with my dad, none of which was helping a boy learn how to be a man. He would take me to bars and sit me in front of whatever game they had to entertain me, while he got drunk with his friends. It wasn’t long before he was out of my life. My mom raised me with the help of her mother. My nana past when I was 10 and that was the beginning of my drinking. My memory is not good, but I still remember my first drink. I rooting around my nana’s room, it was left untouched after her passing. In a desk found a bottle of aged whiskey. I took my first drink that day and it has taken me 42 years to stop.The day of my last drink started out just like any other Saturday. I’m a truck driver and I came home around 4:00am. The first thing I did after changing out of my work clothes was grab a beer and turn on the TV. My wife woke up around 9am and noticed I was already drunk. I was around 10 beers deep by then, but in my mind I was nowhere near drunk. Alcoholics are never drunk, we are just a little buzzed. Of course I turned this into a large fight when she told me I needed to stop drinking and go to bed. Here are the Cliff notes of the next 9 hours. I went to sleep for about an hour and a half, drove to and from an appointment, KEPT DRINKING, argued with my wife, KEPT DRINKING, stormed out the house, called a friend, walked to his house, KEPT DRINKING, walked home and fought with my wife some more, KEPT DRINKING, and finally passed out.I woke up in the early AM Sunday morning and knew I had some apologizing to do. What I didn’t know was that it was going to become my first day as a recovering alcoholic. When my wife woke up and started to talk to me I thought it was going to be just like any of our usual conversations after I got really drunk. Well, this time it wasn’t. She told me she could no longer handle my drinking and she was done with the pain and embarrassment it was causing her and the kids. If I couldn’t stop drinking she wanted a divorcee. I agreed with her and said I would stop drinking.I knew AA was not for me. I’m somewhat introverted. The thought of being in a room full of strangers and talking about my drinking problem was terrifying. I contacted a local psychologist for help. She told me that my problem was not her specialty and referred me to a colleague. I picked up the phone and called this psychologist (I will call her GL moving forward). GL told me she was an addiction coach and that she was willing to help me. That moment changed my life forever. During the first month of my recovery I would talk with GL twice a week, while texting her daily. I was given hope that I would be able to beat my disease. Yes, alcoholism is a disease. I was also deeply depressed. I had no idea that I was suffering from depression until I started to sober up. After just a week of not drinking I found myself becoming less depressed. GL opened new avenues of thinking, new tools for coping with daily life, and above all hope. Hope that I could deal with sober life. Hope that I could repair my marriage and my relationship with my children. Hope that my life would no longer be controlled by alcohol.As of March 6, 2024, I’ve been sober for 2 years. I still talk with GL regularly and she is still guiding me on my journey. What everyone needs to know is there is no shame in being a recovering alcoholic. What you should feel is pride, self esteem, and confidence. Alcoholism is the only disease that does not allow you to get away from the source. This is what I mean. Try to go one day with out seeing alcohol in your normal activities. Count how many time you see alcohol in your favorite sitcom, or movie. At sporting events ads for alcohol are everywhere. Go to your favorite restaurant, bet you they have happy hour drink specials and none of them are non-alcoholic. In order to conquer this disease you have to be strong every second, never letting down your guard. If you can do this you will be reborn. You break the grip that alcohol has on you. You will become like the phoenix that rises out of the ashes and above the darkness. Your past is now behind you and there are endless possibilities for your future. Where you want your journey go is totally up to you. What you need to know is that you do not have to journey alone...


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