I almost never talk about personal stuff on this blog because people on the internet are mean, but I think it is important to announce that today marks seven years I’ve gone without a sip of alcohol. I’m not telling you this to toot my own horn. I’m a private person and probably would prefer if no one knew I ever had a cause to quit drinking. But I did. I drank every evening to make sure I didn’t dream because I had PTSD from a pit bull attack that put me and my Newfoundland dog Buster in the hospital. I would relive it all over again in my dreams, and it was just as terrifying each time as the real thing. For a while, I just tried not to sleep at all. I should have sought psychological help but I was stupid and went the self-medicating route.
Turns out if you do that for a decade straight, it starts to kill you. It also turns out that you can’t quit when you want to. A lot of people follow a similar route to opiate addiction. I’m lucky that I’m alive.
Anyway, on September 11, 2014, I finished off what little was left of a bottle of vodka and I did not go to the liquor store to get more. After about 10 days, my body revolted and I wound up in the hospital, followed by a brief stint in rehab. Fortunately, I never relapsed (knock on wood) and haven’t really struggled with it either. It took six months for me to feel something close to normal, but the nightmares didn’t come back and before long my health improved.
I’m telling you this because I know there are people out there who realize that they need to quit drinking (or drugging) and don’t feel like they can do it. It might be harder for you. You might have some problems that dwarf anything I was dealing with. But I’m here to tell you that it can be done and it’s totally worth it. Whatever addiction has you in its grip is really the devil because it’s trying to kill you but it has you convinced that it’s your only friend, or only way to cope. You have to treat it like your enemy, not something you’re reluctant to live without.
You won’t live long if you don’t do something, and you’ll start losing the trust and affection of the people who love and are our counting on you. So, get started soon, and I promise that you can do it and you’ll be so thankful later that you got your shit together.