I'm sure I was headed in that direction long before that, but my heavy drinking began in 2001 when my ex-wife and I split. I was sad and alone for a little while. Then the realization came over me that I still had this nice apartment in Nashville, TN, had a decent job, and could basically do whatever I wanted. I don't claim to be the most mature person, but what followed was downright infantile.
Everyday after work, I would buy a twelve-pack of beer and something to cook for dinner. I mean really cook. Salmon, steak, aparagus, pasta, jambalaya...... I'd drink my beer, eat, drink more beer, play on the computer, keep drinking, watch South Park: The Movie, and maybe go to bed around one. This was when I was still functioning and going to work. I was king of my lonely little kingdom. My parents got concerned and asked me if I wanted to come to Alaska.
When I got there I found a social services job almost immediately. Still drank when I had days off (I was a live-in Home Alliance Coordinator). It was a terrible job. Things were gradually going downhill. I partied quite a bit. More than quite a bit. Blew money left and right. Ended up leaving the job. In this one circumstance, I had good reason. They'd stuck me in a house with two psychos who were constantly trying to kill each other. Went back to my folks' house and after a month or two got a job (briefly) in the medical lab where they worked. I stayed with them, continued to blow money, continued to drink, and take advantage of their hospitality in every way you could imagine. And for that I am sorry. Step 9...... They left Alaska not long after and I stayed behind.
My functionality as an alcoholic started to decline with the lab job. I was starting to call in alot. This was one thing that led to me losing it. After they moved away I went to Anchorage. I had a series of jobs and never failed to screw them up. I worked at the airport for a near-record 3 years. I called in alot there as well, but never seemed to get into trouble. I had graduated to vodka and was drinking about a fifth a night. Still made it to work on most days. Other days I was more interested in playing PS2 and boozing. It didn't take long before I wasn't even showing up for my job. You see how this problem creeps its way in and takes a stranglehold if you let it?
Let's see... Drank and partied for 7 months straight on Maui. Don't know how I did that being broke most of the time. Came to New Orleans in 2006 and volunteered after Katrina. Ended up living in a house with no power. Slept in a tent in a bedroom. Moved into New Orleans with the kind help of my parents. Thank you. Continued to drink drink drink. Got jobs and lost jobs. Met the most beautiful woman in the world. Made her life hell. I'm so sorry, Sweety. I wish I could redo it.
It was about a year later, that I broke down and admitted I needed help. She was behind me all the way. Went to rehab. Came out and was drinking again not too much later. It had gotten to the ugliest point it could get. Now I was just laying in bed and drinking 24-7. Tried treatment again. Each attempt became more and more half-assed. I think I just gave up and took that poor, wonderful woman and the rest of my family with me. I lied about everything, withdrew, when I wasn't on a binge I was a dry drunk, and I would say very hurtful things. This was a terrible cycle for a while.
"What's different now?", you may ask. I realize that my rock bottom isn't living under a bridge somewhere. It's betraying her and everyone else I love. And I do love all of you. I never took my recovery seriously and that is the reason I kept sliding. I have an awesome program now. Great sponsor. One or two meetings a day. Getting counseling next week. Helping others however I can. That's just to name a few. I'm trying to change me from the inside. I ain't getting any younger. There's no better time to start working on the dream than now. ....And maybe it isn't too late for the most beautiful woman in the world to walk that road with me. Even though I don't deserve it.