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Toxicity

Toxicity
February 17
09:47 2019

By Mike Rudon Jr.

Just a few short weeks ago, I was on top of the world. My marriage was and is destroyed, for various reasons. I can be man enough to take most of the blame. But I was okay. My relationship with my kids improved dramatically, and mentally I was in a better place. I was still broke as hell after what was a terrible 2018 – the single worst year of my life – but I wasn’t broken. I felt stronger, saner. Nothing had changed in my circumstances, except that I was single, but I was okay. I was smiling more, happier. Anyway this isn’t about me and my razor sharp wit, charm and good lucks.

If you were to ask me to describe myself, honestly, I think I would say that I am a decent guy. I’m honest enough with myself to know I’m no great shakes in the looks department. But I’m smart and funny and loving. I am mannerly and respectful of others. I give great advice, and I am not judgmental. I am strong, and kind and humble. Oh, and I am not a hypocrite. That’s me in a nutshell. A hell of a guy.

Now ask me who I am when I drink too much. Because that is a whole other Mike Rudon. When I drink too much I am reckless and irresponsible. I am uncaring and loud. I become arrogant and obnoxious. I do things I shouldn’t do, and say things I shouldn’t say to people I shouldn’t say these things to. I am careless, and stupid and boorish under the influence. I become sarcastic, but in a mean spirited way. I think everybody is my friend. I become needy, and jealous, and insecure. Everything good about me goes away, and for those moments I am overcome by all these festering issues and situations and guilt and bitterness and anger. And I have no control to lock these things away. This Mike is toxic. He destroys friendships and relationships, and he destroys love, because he sees no good in himself, so no good manifests itself. This is the Mike that sees the rum and coke in his hand, and even as he drinks it, hates himself for doing so. This is a Mike that everyone should steer clear of, and most do.

You know – I am not writing this because I love talking about myself. I don’t have any insane desire to let a lot of people into my business. I try to be a very private person. But I need you people reading this – all seven of my faithful readers – to understand that alcohol will steal, kill and destroy everything you hold dear. If you abuse alcohol, and let it control you, then you are toxic, just as I am. For too many years, I allowed that toxicity to feed on me. I would drink on weekends, or maybe only one day of the weekend, but I would spend days after in a frame of mind that would drive Dr. Phil to go hunting for a watermelon tree to hang himself.

After alcohol has wreaked havoc on finances and relationships and families, it will destroy you. I’m not being dramatic. I’m writing this because I know. I suffer from terrible mood swings. I suffer from anxiety, and insecurity and depression. And alcohol amplifies all those things. I’m dead serious. Just weeks ago, in January, I was filled with hope and confidence. There were all these things I planned to do. I was even going to get a tattoo, to signify that I was rising out of these ashes of alcoholism and black despair. And then, alcohol started creeping back in. And now, as I sit here writing this, I can feel its tentacles trying to drag me back.

All I can do, in my very small way, is implore you to get help. Because when hope is gone, all is lost. No matter what roads you have staggered down, life as you know it is not over until you lie in that casket. Take control of your life. I haven’t been able to take control of mine as I would like. But I’ll keep trying. I won’t give up. Learn your strengths and weaknesses. I know my weaknesses well. I have little sense of self-worth. I am insecure, and I battle daily with guilt over all I’ve lost, and over all I’ve done. I know that when work is done, the weekend looms ahead of me and my kids are not with me, the northern highway is my undoing. Too many damned bars and temptation that way. Dead serious. So I know, as I sit here, that this weekend I need to drive to Boom through the Western Highway. And I need to keep my kids close, because they ground me.

If you are an alcoholic, as I am, learn what triggers you and keep far away. If it is guilt over the past, you will need to let it go because there is no rewind button in life. If it is insecurity, or depression, find what makes you happy and strong and hold on with everything you have. If you love women, and bars – find different routes home. Real. It may sound stupid, but it is what it is.

Understand that I’m preaching to myself too. Because we’re in this together. And no matter what, I will get through this week. And I will get through this weekend, and I WILL rebuild my life. You can too. If you need to talk, I’m here.

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