Friday, March 12, 2010


I sat at my kitchen table. I felt sorry for myself. I was fat, alcoholic, and a two-and-a-half pack a day smoker. My wife had left me. My elderly mother sat in the den gazing mindlessly at our TV set. I had two cats, a truck, and a thankless construction job, running heavy equipment. I was 53 years old. I hated what I saw in the mirror, so I avoided looking at myself. Was this all that was left for me, after a life of hard work?

I cleaned up, and decided to go out. I told my mom, I was going to an A.A. meeting. As usual, I made sure she was well-fed, and spent some time with her, so she didn't feel abandoned by me. I kissed her on the cheek, fed the cats, petted them, and then rambled off in my Dodge Ram to the local tavern. I ordered double scotches, knocking them back quickly to get the job done. The bar stunk of disinfectant, smoke and urine. I was relieved to get drunk. Suddenly I felt the acid reflux, and hurried out the door. I fell down the tavern steps, and noticed I had gravel in the bleeding palms of my hands. I stumbled to the edge of the parking lot, and behind some trees, I threw up my dinner and all the alcohol. I went back in and started drinking again. Then I blacked out. The rest is a mystery to me, until I woke up in jail. The cell was dark. Sitting in the corner was a ghostly apparition of myself. Maybe these were what they call delerium tremors, I don't know. I could see the walls on the other side of the figure. He was transparent. He looked to be a sickly, thin, old man. He had a sickly pallor, and a shimmery aura. The color was a gray-blue. It surrounded him like a weird light...something like swamp was eerie. He looked at me with watery eyes and said: "I am your future, if you don't find the way." "You are going to die, young man, if you don't find the light." Before I could utter a response, the apparition disappeared. I sat upright on my cot, as if I was hit by a bolt of lightning.

I was in jail. This wasn't a dream. The next day when I made bond, I had my daughter take me to an alcoholic treatment hospital. I sobered up. After I was released, my wife came back to me. I had what they call in A.A., "a spiritual awakening".

My first day in rehab, when I was alone in my spartan room in the evening, I got on my knees and cried. I prayed to something I did not understand. I said: "I haven't prayed in a very long time, but I know this path I have taken is going to kill me...please help me! me the way!" At that moment, I felt as if a heavy weight was taken from my shoulders. Every day was a baby step toward a new life and a new view of the world. I went to an A.A. meeting every day for 90 days. I learned that all I have is today. I am grateful for every day, my higher power gives to me. I will be sober 7 years on May 9th, of 2010, God willing. I feel that I am a living miracle.

I do not regret my past, because it has given me compassion for others. I am still short in the humility department. On that, I work every day. I don't fear the future. I take care of my body and my mind. I love and am loved, by many people. I figured out a lot of things over these many 24 hour periods. I have regained my ability to read and write. The cloud of anguish, and confusion which enveloped me for 38 years has lifted. I thank God for my life every morning. I pray to be the best guy I can be, every day. I don't procrastinate about things anymore. I decided to become a man of action. I also decided to see more sunrises-and-sunsets, to smell more flowers, to pet more cats-and- dogs, and even enjoy snowy-and-rainy days. I try and dispell all negative thought from myself. Often I fail, but I try hard every day.

I say one prayer every day..."God grant me the serenity, to accept the things I cannot change...the courage to change the things I can...and the wisdom to know the difference." This prayer has given me strength in the toughest of times. I envision my God, as a guy with a bill cap, and a fishing pool in his hands. Hey!...Whatever works, eh? I don't fear the ghosts in my life anymore. After all, they are spectors of my imagination. I learn from them. Once I faced my fears, I learned how to set myself free.....Amen.


  1. Amen!! Very well written! No regrets just mistakes. Yes, every experience has made you this incredible man that we all adore!! BTW my daughter was born May 9, 2005. May 9th is a good day!

  2. she was born on my awakening day, anniversary!