Have you ever tried to dance on the head of a pin? Well, I did – for four years. I kept dancing and dancing until I was so drunk, I fell off. I had a great family, a job I loved, and the picture-perfect life, but something was still missing. I started to crave a break in my normal routine, and alcohol stepped up to fulfill that need. It seemed like it happened overnight, but I’d been feeling like this for a long time. My wife started to ask me if I was OK more and more, and I just kept lying to her and saying that I was. People at my job were more easily fooled – as long as I kept performing, they didn’t seem to really care. This was one of the things I loved about working there.
It started with a drink on the way home from work. I’d drank my entire adult life, but was never really the “go-to-the-bar” kind of guy. Still, I didn’t think it was a big deal. As time went on, I started thinking more and more about how I wanted to drink and blow off whatever I was doing. This inclination became more and more powerful, and it wasn’t long before I was keeping alcohol in my desk drawer and fighting, tooth and nail, to not drink every minute of the day. This was basically the beginning of the end of my old life.
After a while both my job and my marriage were in serious jeopardy, but I couldn’t be bothered with that anymore. My new love was alcohol and life had become a sad circus. My wife and I barely spoke, and I’d gone from loving my job to contemplating quitting every single day. I thought I was missing something when I was sober, but I was missing a whole lot more when I was drunk. There wasn’t day that went by that I didn’t have a screaming headache or want to vomit. I’d started keeping my office dimly lit to avoid bright lights.
There was no one incident that compelled me to seek treatment, just the slow and dull feeling of my life deteriorating, and me feeling like a shadow of the person that I used to be. It was becoming clear that my wife was getting ready to leave, and I knew that if she did, that would have been it for me. I laid it all out on the table and told her I’d get help, if she’d just stick by me. It was the most honesty or sincerity I’d shown her in years. I made good on my promise and checked myself into a Florida alcohol rehab facility the next week that I had researched online.
I considered it 50/50 as to whether she would be there when I got out. When I saw that she had stayed, it made everything worth it. After I finished my treatment, we decided to start over. I took an early retirement and we sold the house and moved closer to my daughter’s college. It was exactly the fresh start we both needed. I still shake my head when I think about what I almost lost and the selfish reasons for which I almost lost it.