I’ll never forget the night before I decided to stop drinking alcohol for good. The next morning I found a local program for Alcoholics. I hit bottom after getting into a fist fight with a guy who was twice my size.
It was not a pretty sight when I awoke to discover I had road rash all over my body from wrestling on a brick-paver driveway. As I looked intently in the mirror that morning, with a beer in my hand already at seven o’clock, I said: “Who the heck are you.” I realized what I had become sucks.
For several days prior to making the final decision to stop drinking, I had begun to think of the things I valued the most in life. Thoughts of my children, wife, home and business were evidently present in my mind. These are the kind of thoughts that will make an alcoholic stop drinking.
Ever since my mother had passed away, six months prior, my alcohol consumption had gradually escalated.
What had begun as something fun to do, three years ago, was now gripping my life so much that I felt as if I was in chains. I began to realize that I had turned into an alcoholic.
Being addicted to alcohol is a feeling that is unexplainable. Your body experiences the sickest feeling of filth at times like no other sickness I’ve ever experienced. The disease is definitely in a class of its own
As I look back on it now, I realize that God had His hand on me working to nudge me toward recovery. Now eleven years later – He has slowly become my everything in life. If He had not protected me during those horrible years, surely I would have died.
I have to say that it was when I looked in the mirror, the morning following the fight; I realized I was someone that I did not want to be. I was concerned about my children having a responsible dad to look up to.
I knew that if I continued to pour alcohol into my system on a daily basis that I would eventually loose my wife, business and beautiful home. It was a healthy fear that I was experiencing.
It had to be my decision to quit drinking and get help. When I entered into my first AA meeting I wondered, “Why am I sitting here with these alcoholics?” As the meeting began, I realized that my life had become unmanageable.
The power of alcohol in my life was stronger than my ability to resist it. As I listened, I was thoroughly convinced that they could help me. For the next three years I attended alcoholism support group meetings regularly getting help to stay sober one day at a time.
The reasons why alcoholics finally hit bottom and stop drinking are too enormous to count. Every recovering alcoholic’s story is different about how they hit their bottoms.
I can say that there is really no pleasure in living a life filled with anger, pain, shame, guilt, and physical addiction. Hitting bottom was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. Today, I am glad I got into a fight with a guy who was a walking giant compared to my physical size. I needed to have my butt kicked in more ways than one.
If I had to give you an answer for why I stopped drinking, it was because something inside said that life’s worth living sober. I believe that was the voice of God answering the prayers that my children were praying over me on a daily basis. Not long after I was able to get free from alcohol on a daily basis, I quit smoking too. I believe that my children’s prayers were answered once again because my daughter told me that she was praying for me to stop drinking and smoking.
As life continued on… my wife at the time could not stop drinking. I eventually found myself in Al-anon meetings getting the tools needed for detaching from an alcoholic. She only hit bottom once but could not stay sober after six months of trying she went back to her old ways.