Over the next thirty days I will be writing you each day to help you
- understand what an alcoholic is,
- “Get” how the alcoholic thinks,
- and what you can do to stay sober…
These writings and insights do not come at a cheap price…
They almost cost me my very life and robbed me of my sanity.
Let me first start by saying that I understand how you feel.
I understand how hard it is to accept that something so simple, so pleasurable at one time,
and so innocently used by other people, can knock us down to our very core and cause me to wonder…
What is wrong with me… why can I not stop drinking!
On so many other areas of life it was easy for me to excel. I started a successful online business
from just a simple idea when no one believed in me. At that time I had nothing to my name,
no fancy degree, no formal schooling, and I barely knew how to use my computer.
Certainly someone that can do all that… can kick something as simple as drinking… or so one would think.
I used to pride myself on the ability to learn and talk my way out of any situation… this was a valuable tool at
times or so it seemed… I was even able to talk my way out of staying the full 72 hour stay at a state run mental
facility… convincing them I was sane… the law requires a full 72 hours… I got out in four.
Or the so many times people looked up to me for answers and advice saying… wow… he seems to have it
all together… hes so grounded and mature, Yet deep down I knew there was something wrong… deeper
than the alcohol… deeper than my outward appearance which was usually presentable.
I was a functional alcoholic… I ran my business, took care of my family, cooked dinner every night, and
helped other people with their problems… I even had a therapist who stopped charging me because I was
“helping her more than she helped me.”
But… amidst the anguishing thoughts, daily guilt and shame, and inability to shut my mind of…
I knew something was wrong… but I did not know what or how to move past it.
Could this little drink… be what is wrong with me.
Is there more?
I would often wonder this as I searched the internet for ideas day and night…
I would search things like
“am I an alcoholic” and
“what is an alcoholic” and even things like
“am I going crazy”
…many a sleepless night I would stay awake researching and learning.
To no avail… nothing seemed to help. No one had the answer I was looking for so I could
stop drinking long enough to clear my mind and figure out what was going on.
In the spring of 2014, my life seemingly came to a crash.
I sold my home in California completely in a drunken fog and was about to relocate myself, my two kids,
and my wife across the country to florida for no real reason other than… I wanted to and the houses are cheaper.
We had problems getting the house in florida, my income wasn’t what I had expected…
and I could not run away from fear and constant thoughts of impending doom.
My life was worth less to me than my life insurance policy.
At this point my kids were afraid to be alone with me when I drank because I was not able to
tend to their needs and care for them like a father should.
My wife and I had our problems… 14 years of them… but all faded in the distance when I
could not stop drinking… that was all there was… that consumed me and them.
WHY CAN I NOT STOP DRINKING
WHY CAN I NOT GET PAST MY PAST
WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH ME
These thoughts plagued my mind day and night, I could not escape… I could not “turn them off.”
“The only thing that helped was more alcohol”
After a few weeks of serious consideration… I had decided the best way to solve my problems and
get rid of these haunting thoughts was to end it all.
I had planned to take my own life… seriously planned and thought out – not another one of
my half cocked plans, this one was dialed in.
After all… if no one knows what the hell is wrong with me… then it must be really really
bad and I should not be allowed to exist anymore.
Perhaps you are not as bad as I was… or maybe worse.
But I can tell you that today after being two and a half years sober… I still have the desire to drink
sometimes… sometimes I just want the taste… and others I know it used to help me escape a tough
situation or just shut my mind off for a little bit.
In those times I find it helpful to remember where I came from…
To remember what it was like to wake up after a crappy 4 hour sleep obsessing about what I did
the day before… trying to nervously account for every minute, where I was, what I did, who I talked to,
what I said, what I thought I did, what I thought I didn’t do… often times I would be in tears over
what my life had become… and I do not want that back.
Or to remember what it was like to HAVE to drink.
When I used to HAVE do down a few drinks, or cheap box wines, or the bottoms of whatever
was left over from the bottles of the day before… just to calm my anxiety to function in daily life.
One time It got so bad that I could not take a walk with my wife for more than 200 yards
because my legs gave in from anxiety and made me feel like my world was crashing in.
Other times I made excuses not to go to school functions because of anxiety so bad I could not sit still.
For over a year I could not attend church with my family because of this body crippling anxiety that
would not go away no matter what I did.
I was going insane.
My therapists said I just needed exposure therapy or some other cokamamy shit they came up
with for the day… I even took anti-depressants to try to help.
NOTHING WORKED… alcohol helped at first…
Then it got to where it was needed for daily functioning. I drank all day every day, in the morning,
at 4am, at lunch, all night… I was in the grips of alcohol… it owned me.
The very thing that helped me cope… had turned on me.
I HATE YOU ALCOHOL.
Why did you do this to me… what have I become… how can I get out?
These letters I will be sending you over the next thirty days are going to…
– Show you what is going on with your mind and how alcohol is affecting you
– Teach you how to not drink even if things get worse than they are right now
– Give you the gift of sober thinking
– Help you understand how your mind got this way in the first place
– Reveal tools you can use to combat the “unstoppable thoughts”
– Inspire you to overcome down times and depression
– Put an end to the useless guilt that plauges you
– Calm you by showing you how to deal with anxiety
– Inform you of what an alcoholic is and is not
– Give you daily coping skills to deal with just about anything
– Show you how to get by without alcohol
– And of course… you will start feeling better starting now
I write these to you as your brother, a friend, and someone who knows what its like to
be where you are… you are not alone anymore…
my words will go with you… take them and use them.
These are the letters I wish someone had sent me when I was at the end of
my ropes… and sometimes not…
You see this is a tough mountain to climb.
Sometimes I was able to maintain my drinking… sometimes I could stop for one, two,
or even three weeks. And, I thought I had it all handled… I wasn’t a fucking drunk
like those dudes in the park.
I had my houses, my cars, my business, and my family.
Then I would look back wondering how I ended up drunk again… I was doing so
well… now I am endlessly searching the grates under the bbq, the sheetrock
in my office, the boxes in the garage where I hid my $1 box wines…
pining like a fiend for my next fix.
Trembling, afraid, anxious, and guild ridden.
WHAT THE FUCK… I was fine last week… I went a whole three weeks… I had a
beer at lunch with my diet coke… I was good… I had a diet coke for crying out loud…
i was fine… till I wasn’t.
I cant tell you what took me from my diet coke and lite beer to bottles of box wine and
vodka, I can’t even tell you where I bought them or why.
It was as if some force above me was guiding me to that store and putting it in my basket.
My friend, you are not alone, and you do not have to do this by yourself.
I have walked this road before… and I am going to walk it with you for the next thirty days.
Remember… alcoholics drink… that’s what they do. Do not look at yourself as a success or
failure if you drink again. Do not trust your feelings when you are hungover, sad, angry, or
tired… let these letters be your guide and I will help you.
Welcome… to the first day of understanding your mind… try not to drink today no
matter what happens… if you can get thru the next 24 hours and make it to my
next letter… that will be helpful…
if you cannot make it 24 hours… go as long as you can and if you get the urge to
drink… or find yourself about to order one… read my next letter first.
I love you and can’t wait to share my life stories and experience with you.
I am not writing this as an all knowing enlightened son of a bitch who thinks he knows all…
I’m just sharing what happened to me, what got me sober, and what keeps me
sober today… use these words as a guidepost and make them your own…
In these letters you will find what works for you.