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Alcohol, Whorehouses & Sad Songs

Alcohol, Whorehouses & Sad Songs
April 13
08:05 2019

By: Mike Rudon Jr.

It is difficult, even now – or maybe especially now, to explain what alcohol did to me. I started writing these columns some months back, and rode them out through the darkest times of my life. There were honestly times I thought I wouldn’t make it through, as I fought alcohol and depression. I think fought may be too strong a word – because I gave in much more than I fought. It is hard to gain perspective in those times. It is even harder to get on stable footing.

I remember sometimes, in those dark days, telling myself that I would head home to read a book, or watch a movie, alcohol a thing of the past. And then, turning into the Chinese store to buy rum and coke and ice and cups, almost like a zombie. I was a wreck. I couldn’t even see straight, much less think straight. I remember days when I couldn’t imagine getting out of bed. I remember days when I wanted to drink and drink and drink because it was the only time I could numb the pain. I never wanted to be sober again. But then I did. And then I didn’t. See…told you I was a wreck.

I thought I would never be happy again. There were times, in my self-imposed darkness, when I told myself I had lost it all, and I would never recover. I drove away from Belmopan with nothing, not even self-respect. I got my clothes piled up in a few garbage bags sometime after. I remember looking at those bags and thinking that at this stage in my life, everything I had was in there. Nothing left of a disastrous marriage, not even feelings. I genuinely thought I was done. I was a zombie, just doing what zombies do until Milla Jovovich blasts them into hell. Okay so maybe I fixated on the star of Resident Evil a little bit too much.

I was wrong. Life didn’t end. I didn’t end. I survived.

Every single day is a lesson to me. And there are two that I try to hold on to every single day. I am blessed. There are so many things we take for granted. We can get so caught up in despair that we forget. We can get so drunk on our own sorrows, and alcohol too, that we are blinded. How on earth could I have thought I lost it all, when I have three beautiful children who are healthy and strong and who love me despite me? I have a family that is always there. I have friends that never quit, even when I do. I have a job, which I’m pretty good at if I do say so myself. I have food (too much) and shelter. I have love, and I am loved, and I love. And while I may have taken a beating, I am still respected and still appreciated.

And there is another thing. We men need to be around for our children. We can’t let them down. For a long time I thought my children were better off without me. I was a soaking wet mess of alcohol and self-pity. God I did my kids wrong. I did myself wrong. But I’m here, and I’m not going anywhere. We need to guide and protect our kids. We need to be that strong hand, and shoulder to lean on. There’s too much crap going on in this country, and in this world. Too much going wrong. But I’m here for my kids.

Some weeks ago. I wrote a column in the depths of my despair. And I apologized, for everything. I meant every word. I don’t know if that fixed something in me, because I’m still broken but better. I still hurt, but I don’t die inside every time. I still fall, but I get up faster and stand stronger. I think, at some point, although there are regrets I will carry with me for the rest of my life, I forgave myself. There, I said it. I forgave myself. I am no saint. I am a sinner. And there is good and bad in me, like there is in all of us. I can still be a total jackass at times. But I’m human. And I forgave myself. And I’m okay. I lived.

That’s where I wanted to go with this. I have sunk low. I have done wrong. I am an alcoholic. I have hurt. I wanted to let go. But I didn’t. And I made it through. Ain’t that a hell of a thing!

In case you’re wondering about the title – I just put that there to get your attention. Well it worked, didn’t it?

The End.

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