Diagnosed with hyperactivity as a kid, what we now know as ADHD. Structure and discipline kept me in line when I was in high school, graduating with honors but I lost my mind with the freedom of college and failed out. I was called lazy for my failure in 1992. I liked drinking alcohol just a little too much, it was a corner I turned that I wish I hadn’t. But it quieted my mind, which was always racing. I never consciously knew back then about how alcohol helped in that aspect but I liked it.
Many dead end jobs later I decided to try the one thing I hated - being a cop. I had been trying since 1995 to get into law enforcement but nothing worked out, I had to decide on the spot back then if I was going for the Border Patrol - which paid 22k a year or the local pd which paid 29k. I held out for the local pd.
I find out in 1998 that I’m going to have twins. I find myself in a huge push to get hired to have a good job with benefits to cover the twins on the way. In 2000 I get hired at the local pd
Part of your daily routine once you’re out on your own, it’s “choir practice,” with your shift. I wouldn’t change my past, the laughs the camaraderie, it helped you through the shit you dealt with that day. When the department frowns on choir practice, you find yourself taking the edge off with a drink at home, not being productive. It let you forget about your day, I didn’t have that constant thought process in my head, it dulled that critical inner voice. I looked back the other day and realized I spent over 21 years doing this routine, just pondering what have I done to myself? Regardless of that I was able to do my job and do it well, I retired as a decorated senior investigator.
5 weeks after I retired I was on vacation and found myself trying to get drunk for no reason. It hit me hard. I was asking why am I doing this now? Why do I need to do this? I’m free of that stress, but yet here I am trying to self-medicate. That’s when I knew I needed to take a break. A day turned into a week, a week into a month. It’s been over 8 months of sobriety. Ironically I don’t miss it, I rarely have that urge to drink, which makes me happy I could do this on my own.
I bought myself a DBM hat that came with a bracelet to remind me every day of what was in my past. I’ve worn that bracelet every day.
I’ve never felt better, never slept better in 30 years than I do now. Law Enforcement has its share of demons that follow you, the things we see affect us and change us, we are only only human. Just a reminder that it can happen to anyone. I appreciate what you guys do to put the message out there for any kind of sobriety.