Some of you have had the opportunity to know me well enough to know this already. If you do not then I would like to explain that I am an alcoholic. In my thirty-three years alive I have spent the last ten numbing my problems with the liquid and if you have not experienced it I ask that you read my story, My Prison. I have spent the last few months trying to end this torment on my own but was unable. I have set foot on the path that should lead me out of the darkness and I wanted to create a blog to chronicle my experiences. I do not know if this is appropriate for here, but I do not really have anywhere else to do it. If this is against the rules, feel free to remove it.
February 4, 2019 - 11:00 PM
I had just finished off my beer for the night. I had spent the last few months trying to get down to none without success. There were days where the nagging feeling in the back of my head was so strong that I would go back to the five or six that I had been on the last year. Then others I would be able to keep it to one or two. None of which was my goal. I wanted to be done with it. I went to bed that night disappointed in myself again. Which most of you may not know, but that is a symptom of my sickness. Someone close to me keeps reminding me, "Alcohol is not your problem, but your solution to your problem." I think about this as I pass out.
February 5, 2019 - 5:05 AM
I wake up with a splitting headache, like usual. I climb in my shower and get ready for work. I sit under the steaming hot water and try to let it wash away my shame. It never works. I sit there contemplating my day and what I will have to look forward to. A thought creeps into my mind, something that makes no sense to me at the time, "You need God in your backswing." I know that I will down four ibuprofen to silence my headache and when I get to work I will drink three or five cups of coffee to try to wake me up. This combined with the fact I already have high blood pressure is a recipe for danger but it was the only way I had found to manage my problem. The words from my shower keep repeating in my head but I still don't understand what they mean. I fight off the sleep that still has me in a haze all the way to work.
February 5, 2019 - 11:15 AM
Work is stressful and that is what I attribute this stiffness in my neck to. The pressure seems to build behind my ear and my hearing is slightly muffled. I try to ignore it and complete my duties. Within the next hour, my left arm and leg begin to feel weak as if I had been running. I get up to help a customer and my calf muscle begs me to get my weight off it. Something is wrong, I know this but I have to push through it. I need to work, my family depends on my paycheck. The weakness becomes tingling and the pressure gets worse. I am stubborn. I am prideful. I am completely over my head. I am feeling confused and weak. I know I need help but I am afraid to ask.
I stand in the middle of the tiny office of my work and tell the bookkeeper that I feel strange. She can tell something is wrong. She says I look flush and I am sweating. She asks if I need to go to the hospital. I stammer, "I-I-I think so..." One of my co-workers comes in from his lunch break. The bookkeeper asks him to take me to the emergency room. He can tell something is wrong. He drives faster than anyone should on the tiny main street between my job and the hospital. I step out of the truck, holding the door to stand. He asks if I need him to come in with me but as usual, I am stubborn. I tell him I will be fine, for him to go back to work.
February 5, 2019 - 1:03 PM
I am admitted and they take my blood pressure, it is so high that both of the attending nurses look at each other funny. They won't tell me yet. They ask me a lot of questions and by this point, I am crying. One nurse asks me to grasp her hands as hard as I can. Then she has me follow the motion of her finger. I know she is thinking stroke. She has no idea that I am already afraid of that outcome. I decide to admit to them that I am an alcoholic. They finish taking my vitals, meanwhile, I am trying to not lose what little sanity I have. As soon as they have what information they need they take me to an exam room.
I am told to remove my shirt and as soon as I do I am hooked to an EKG machine. Another nurse enters with the means to give me an IV. I find myself praying to God for the first time in years as the nurse asks which arm I usually have blood drawn from. Somehow I am able to joke and say, "Take your pick, I'm good either way." Meanwhile, I am begging for help inside my head. I am asking God to let me see my family again. They get their sample and administer saline through my IV to ensure I am not dehydrated then leave me. I am alone for thirty minutes with my thoughts. Those were the longest thirty minutes of my life in that tiny exam room. The words from that morning came to me again, "You need God in your backswing." So, I turn my eyes upward and say, "God, if you can give me the strength I will get up from this and I will fight it." I am still crying when my wife arrives, which makes her cry. She asks if there was bad news and at the time I did not know anything for sure.
The cuff on my arm checks my pressure every fifteen minutes. My wife stares intently at the monitor. She relays to me what it reads but it barely changes. They are all concerned I might have a stroke. Each nurse keeps checking for deficiencies in my hands, legs, speech, and eyesight. They find no sign of any. After an hour they turn the monitor so we cannot see what it reads. I can only assume they are worried it is keeping me stressed. It drives my wife crazy but I tell her that it will be ok. I lie to her to try to calm her down. I have no idea what will happen and I do not know who is more afraid her or myself. I am unable to stop shaking and the room feels like it is below zero. I ask my wife if she is cold and she says no. I begin to wonder if this is what it feels like to die slowly. The pain, the fear, and the creeping cold.
February 5, 2019 - 2:55 PM
The doctor enters and tells me that they have found no problem with my body that would cause the events of the day. They agree that the event is due to my already high blood pressure and the alcohol that I have made a permanent staple in my diet. This does not calm me. I am given Xanax to reduce my anxiety and calm the tremors from the withdrawal symptoms I had experienced from the lowered dosage of my liquid medicine. I hesitate, unsure of taking something I have never had in my system. They assure me it will help. I swallow the tiny pills with the water they give me. It was the first thing I had put into my body since the coffee that morning. It reminded me that I had missed lunch again. I am also given a stronger blood pressure medicine. I take it quickly, hoping that my heart would stop pounding like a drum. My wife keeps asking if I am alright. Sometimes I do not know what to say. It takes another hour for my blood pressure to return to normal so they can release me. The doctor returns and begins detailing the very difficult road I will have ahead of me. I survived, but barely. The demon almost won this time.
February 5, 2019 - 6:25 PM
My wife drove me to a small building at the center of town. I am afraid as I approach the door with a symbol that I have only read about stamped upon it. "AA," it read. I did not know what to expect but I knew I had to change this and I knew I had made a promise to not only myself but to God to be better. The next hour was spent with some of the kindest and courageous people I have ever met. I was thanked for coming and asked to return. I was handed a card with phone numbers of every single person in the room and they told me to call at any time if I felt like I needed help. I left that building feeling better than I have in years. In one hour my perspective changed.
When we arrived home my wife asked if I thought the meeting would help and I told her that I thought they would. I already felt better about what I had to look forward to. She asked if there was still any alcohol left. I reminded her that there was. She promised me that all of it would be gone by the time I got off work the next day and promised me that as long as I was fighting this, she would fight with me. We have agreed to not drink again, even though I am the alcoholic. I am glad I have my wife and I thank God he saw fit to save me.
February 6, 2019 - 5:05 AM
I wake up before my alarm. I am not in pain. I do not need the thirty-minute shower to get me going. I have been sober for twenty-four hours and with the help of God, a little medication, the support of new friends, and the support of my family I don't think I need to be inebriated. Today feels like a new day and I am smiling again. The first four hours of my workday have been easier and I feel better. I still have a slight headache and I cannot say I am cured but I like how I feel right now. At this moment I feel like I can beat this demon once and for all. I will keep my promise.