My story should serve as an example; if it sounds familiar to you, get help. I could have been. That was my dilemma. I’m not certain I was born an alcoholic, but on my path to recovery I have become convinced I exhibited many of the “fine” qualities most alcoholics possess at a young age. Lying was an excellent tool, which, when implemented, helped me evade consequences quite nicely. Manipulation was also a tool I used to see that I got what I wanted, when I wanted it. Though I seemed to be functioning quite nicely, I felt out of place, and ill-fitted to life. Socially, I was more backward than most people I knew. I feel that I was an alcoholic far before the substance ever polluted my senses and eroded my body. I could have been; that was ever my dilemma.
I was an intelligent youth, well suited for a career in academics or athletics, both of which I excelled in growing up. My potential, to me, seemed endless, and most certainly meant a life of fame and fortune. Yet, as the story goes, I nearly failed out of high school, couldn’t even walk onto a third rate college football team’s “B” squad, and barely avoided a dishonorable discharge from the military. I was fired from almost every job I had, was married and divorced, burned every bridge I crossed, and lost the respect of all who know me, including myself. Alcohol found me at an early age, and what I could have been, was no longer.
Today, I am sober, and have been for a little over two years. Recovery has taken me from being a hopeless outcast from society, to an upstanding man whose eyes I can meet in the mirror. Alcohol helped bring me to my knees, but a slice of my higher power’s humble pie opened the door to a better way of living. I asked for help. I was powerless and living unmanageably, and was in desperate need of a “life skills 101” course, which I found in recovery. With prayer and humility, good people and a twelve step program, “what I could have been” is now “what I can be.” Healthy Recovery, simply stated, rocks!