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December 15
13:47 2018

By: Mike Rudon Jr.

You want brutal honesty. People don’t like drunks. That is the truth. And I don’t blame them. Hell – I don’t like drunks either. I’ve lost some pretty decent people who couldn’t handle me under the influence. Sober, I’m a hell of a guy. High, I’m barely bearable. Drunk, I’m an idiot. It’s as simple as that. A few people tolerate us. A few people pity us. A few people openly scorn us. But nobody likes us. There’s nothing to like. People who are drunk do the stupidest things and make the worst decisions. We act stupid and we look stupid. It’s only cute in the movies, and only if you’re Denzel Washington or Russell Crowe. And while I’ve been told I have a striking resemblance to Denzel, the person who told me that was probably drunk.

And so people walk away. People turn their backs on us. Some say they’ll be there to the end, but it’s easy enough to see them keeping their distance. Acquaintances walk away very easily because they have no obligation to deal with any of it. Friends stick around a little longer, and they generally still take calls when we’re sober, but eventually they leave in every way that matters. For family members it’s the hardest. They have to love you. But they don’t have to like you. So it’s tough on them. And everybody suffers. It’s hardest on children. And it is death to relationships. I’m telling you because I know. It’s happening to me. Right now.

And then, like the girl in Beetlejuice who was perpetually depressed – you find yourself utterly alone. You’re there, your life in shambles, and the worst part is that you realize that the fault is yours alone. My lerd – it is a terrible feeling. You look back on your life, or what’s left at it, and you can’t figure out how to fix any of it. You just can’t. You look at your children and as desperately as you love them, you’ve hurt them, terribly. If you’re like me, you realize that every single time you chose to pick up a drink instead of spending time with your kids you hurt them. For me, the hardest thing is realizing that I always believed that I was a great father just on the strength of my absolute love for my kids. But I wasn’t there when I should have been there. And many time when I was there I was drinking. And I just don’t know how to fix any of it.

But here is the crux of this thing. You’re alone. And that loneliness consumes you. Some of us maintain this façade during the day. I laugh and joke. I post the silliest stuff on Facebook. I’m pretty okay at what I do, if I do say so myself. I work hard. I’m a decent writer. I come to work early. I leave late. And if you met me today for the first time you wouldn’t know I had these issues. You’d meet this affable, cool guy. But then when I’m alone in that dark room at night, or driving home alone, or sitting in my own little corner of a bus, it all starts to slip away. I get lost in thoughts of what I’ve lost, and what I’ll never get back. And in my quiet moments alone I realize how I’ve failed, and what a disappointment I am, and how many people I’ve hurt. And it really tears me up. Sometimes I feel that I can’t breathe. I’m overwhelmed.

It’s tough trying to explain all this. Some people will think I’m looking for pity. And that’s fine. It doesn’t really matter. But one thing I am sure of. At least a few of my seven faithful readers will get what I’m saying. Maybe you’re struggling. Or maybe somebody you know is struggling. Maybe this will help you to better understand.

I hurt. Because when it comes down to it, I’m not a monster. I’m not uncaring. I’m not unfeeling. I love. I know a lot of people feel the same way. But I am lonely and I have to live with the consequences of all I’ve done in the past. The pain doesn’t go away.

And the hell of it is that the only time I feel better, is when I’m drinking. The only time I don’t feel so alone, is when I’m drinking. The only time the pain becomes somewhat bearable is when I’m drinking. It’s a no win situation. People treat you crappy because you drink. And all you can do is live with it, every single day. And know that even if you change today, or tomorrow, there is no easy fix, no quick fix, or maybe any fix at all.

So there. I said it was honest. I didn’t say it was pleasant. Not exactly a Christmasy column right? But it is what it is. I know I should be offering hope and positivity. I know I should be telling you that even if you drink too much, like I do, it’s okay. Maybe I’ll do that next column. Or not. Who knows? Merry Christmas to you and yours. And wake up. You know that old phrase – I want to be like Mike. Well you don’t want to be like Mike. Take my word for it.

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