Most people say they remember their first drink and were hooked, I am one of those people. I was 12 when I remember having my first beer I thought I was cool.
When I was 15, we moved to a new town. One of the first nights there I drove around with some older kids, we drank until we got very drunk, they dropped me off where my bike was and I was so drunk I couldn’t even ride my bike home.
10th grade my goal in life at this point was getting drunk, getting girls and playing hockey. I was successful at all three. I worked the summer after graduation for a paving company. This is where I really learned to drink. We would party until 3 am and be up at 6 for work, 6 days a week. At this time, I still gave no thought to my future or what I wanted to be or do, still just party all the time.
After working for a year, I went to college. Still to this day I’m not sure what I was in school for, but I could party full time while I was there. One particular time I was supposed to be in a gym class at 8am. My classmates ran past, I had stayed up all night on a Wednesday for no other reason than to party. Needless to say, I was kicked out of college.
I moved to Calgary, got a job as a roofer. The roofing company I worked for smoked and drank as much as I did so it was a perfect match.
I had met a girl that could drink as much as me and we got engaged. The first time I met her dad he had a huge glass of whiskey and 2 ice cubes, straight. I thought, this guy is an alcoholic. He drank a 60 oz. of whiskey and 12 beers, could still walk, didn’t look drunk and drove away. A few years later her dad died, he was drunk, fell and hit his head. All alone he wasn’t found for 3 days. I still remember the scene and the smell, all I could think was, that won’t happen to me, I’m not an alcoholic.
Looking back now, it’s funny how God gives us warning signs that we choose not to recognize. At that point in my life I didn’t know God, or want to know Him.
Age 27, I was an auctioneer. Forward to 2001, I was hired as manager and auctioneer doing sales two times a week. After every Wednesday and Saturday sale we would go to the bar. We would drink until closing on Wednesdays and usually do a twelve-hour drinking shift on Saturdays. I ended up moving to Arizona in 2004, At this point in my life I was resigned to the fact that all I would do was work on cars and drink every day. I still remember the feeling of just giving up on a better life. I remember the first time I bought a case of beer during work, it was 9:30 in the morning. This was the start of my drinking every day for the next 4 years. Things at home weren’t good so I used to drink to escape, or that is what I told myself. Near the end of my marriage my ex-wife took my son to church. The next day my ex-wife called and said I needed to go to church for the sake of my son. The following Sunday I did just that. It was life changing. I was in tears and finally realized I was in need of guidance.
Still drinking every day our marriage isn’t working out, of course it’s not my fault or my drinking! Soon after we get divorced. I still drink everyday but now more reckless.
I decide to get in shape, I find a running group. I attend but usually stop at the bar on my way home. I had what I thought was a great little dive bar hangout, one night after running group I’m sitting there and look around me, I think to myself they are all alcoholics and make the decision that that’s not going to be me.
I had a friend in running group and I noticed he didn’t drink, he told me he goes to AA and would take me if I wanted to go, this was September 2014. I continued to drink for three more months but had finally had enough on New Year’s Eve. I woke up and had no phone and no idea where my truck was or how I got home. I talked to him the next day and decided to go to a meeting.
January 6, 2015, I walked into an AA meeting and stood up and admitted I was an alcoholic. I wept and was very emotional but it was such a relief to finally admit I was alcoholic out loud in front of the people at the meeting. This was the start of a new life for me.
As I write this now, almost 900 days sober, I have learned that I don’t need alcohol to have a good time or to be popular or cool. Life is amazing and you have to be grateful to be alive and sober every day.
I think my point of writing this at the start was to blame someone for my drinking, blame my parents for letting me drink, or do whatever I wanted growing up. But, in writing this down I come to realize that I was the one that made the decision every time to drink, it is nobody’s fault but mine and God had a plan for me all along. I thank God, every day for keeping me sober and pray that I am doing the right thing and being a great role model for my boy. I hope that he sees that you don’t need alcohol to have an amazing life.