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Move Over Dr. Phil !

Move Over Dr. Phil !
August 03
05:27 2019

By Mike Rudon Jr. –

I was tempted to do a relationship column this week, just to shake things up a bit – Mike’s feelings on love and relationships and heartbreak and healing and sex, even. I figured if I threw in sex, I would probably attract massive readership – maybe go from eleven faithful readers to twelve, or even thirteen. But after giving it some thought, I realized that I am terrible at love and relationships, and where sex is concerned…well, let’s just leave that right there. So, with that said, let me just write about alcohol and addiction.

From day to day, I live in fear. At first, soon after I stopped drinking, it was fear of rum. I was afraid. I didn’t want to pass bars – not because I would go in there. I would never. But I remembered so many occasions when I would be driving up the road and my vehicle refused to take me straight home. I’d be passing the bar, eyes and mind focused, and the damned vehicle would stop. It wasn’t me, I swear. In those early days of sobriety, I couldn’t get rum off my mind. I could always taste that first drink, imagine that first feeling of not caring about anything. I was sober, but I have to believe that I was still just a shadow of myself.

Today, I still live in fear. I fear the wrath of very good friends who will probably beat the crap out of me if I ever disappear again, as I did so often in those days. I keep thinking that if I ever do decide to take a drink, I would have to find a picado road in the deep, uninhabited south, drink to my heart’s content, and then never speak of it again. But they will know. I don’t know how they would. But they will know. And who has time for that anyway?

For way too many years of my life, I was a monster. Joking now won’t change any of that. I joke because it eases the pressure in my head, the guilt, the remorse, the sick pain of loss. Even when I was sober for days, weeks, I was a slave to alcohol. I was sober, yes, but I was a drunk. And I lost so much. Today I was reminded that I lost my marriage. Alcohol destroyed my marriage. I wonder if sometimes, unconsciously, I try to downplay how devastating alcohol is in a family setting because I can’t deal. I can’t deal with the horror and dread that a woman and children must have felt knowing that a monster is coming home – that the monster staggering through that door is not the man you exchanged those vows with, and not the father you believed with all your heart would be your rock.

Nobody deserves that. Take this very seriously, because it is not funny. There is nothing pleasant about any of this. Life with an alcoholic is hell. And I put my family through hell. And there is nothing I can ever do to get that back. Life has no replay button. I hurt my children, and I can never go back and take away that hurt. I can’t.

See what I hide deep down when I joke? How many of you are fooling yourselves, refusing to acknowledge the damage you are doing to your families? How many of you are making excuses? It was a rough day or a rough week at work? I deserve a break? I’m tired of the wife nagging? I’ll take the kids out tomorrow? It’ll just be one drink. I’m married, not dead. I have a life too. I’ll be their rock tomorrow. I’ll be the husband and the father I should be later. There’s always time. I’m not an abusive drunk. I don’t beat my wife or my kids. We’ll make up. There’s time. There’s so much time. Except there isn’t.

I’m sober now. But that doesn’t exonerate me. That doesn’t change where I’ve been and what I’ve done. I don’t like to be reminded of the darkness in which I lived. I’m not that person anymore, and I will never be that person again. But I guess sometimes we can’t get away from it. Don’t make the mistakes I made, if you are not as far along as I got. I’m telling you that you can stop. I know you don’t think you can. Maybe you don’t even want to. But if you can’t control your drinking, and if it brings out a monster in you, then you need to know the dangers and the damage you are doing.

Every day I thank God for waking me up. And every day I try to be a better person. Every day I try to love a little more, to live a little more, to be kinder, to show my children I can be trusted and I am there for them, to show my family and my friends that I am a good person, and that I am becoming who I was always meant to be.

You know…maybe I should have stuck to a column on love and relationships and sex. Maybe it would have been more interesting, less dark. But it is what it is.

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