Just a few years ago, unless I was drinking, I hated myself and everything around me. Today, I don’t drink, and like who I am and what is around me. Here’s my story.
Although I grew up enough food, clothes, shelter, friends and family support, I always felt alone and different. That was until I discovered alcohol. After taking my first drink, I was like everyone else, able to do whatever I wanted. By the time I reached my twenties, alcohol had become my constant companion. Before, during and after most of my activities, I drank. It was not an option. It enabled me to escape from fear and worry.
By my thirties, although constantly drinking, I was doing pretty well. I made it through high school, college, law school and passed the bar. In a short time, I got a job, met my wife and had a couple of kids. It seemed all was going my way. But, through it all, I drank to feel comfortable. Increasing episodes of yelling, arguing, fighting and ultimate self-loathing ensured. Abusive behavior became the norm for me. While blaming the world for all my problems, I could not stand me. Anyone in my path suffered.
In my early forties, no one intentionally remained in my path too long. I was usually drunk. At work or at home, no one could predict when I’d either say or do something unacceptable. I had lost all my friends and was close to losing my family and job. That was then.
My life has changed dramatically. What happened? While eating dinner alone and having a few too many, I started talking to a guy sitting next to me. What I said, or how I spoke, is a mystery to me. I remember what the guy said to me. He asked, “Do you want to stop drinking?” He added, “I’ve seen you before I’m a lawyer too. Used to drink.” After that, I only know when I came to the next day, two phone numbers were in my pocket. One was for Lawyer Assistance Program, the other for Alcoholics Anonymous.
Many times people told me that I drank too much and that I’d better stop before losing everything. But I never listened. Yet, rather than make a demand, when another lawyer asked me a question and told me about himself, giving me phone numbers to obtain information, well, that finally moved me. I was able to admit that I had a drinking problem. It was the root of all my other problems.
I called Lawyer Assistance Program. Anonymously, they helped me learn what steps to take so I could live comfortably without alcohol. Now, in my late forties, I have comfortable personal and professional life. My life today is filled with fun, laughter, and success. When I have a problem, I don’t have to drink over it.