Many dads have demons they are dealing with, I had mine as well. I was an alcoholic. Today, I am one year sober.
This is a story, I thought I would never be able to share. For nearly 13 years, there were very few nights that I did not have at least one drink. Beer was my weakness, but would drink anything I could get my hands on.
Although I drank in high school, it was limited to the weekends. The summer after graduation is where it all began. I had a very close group of friends that drank just as much as I did. We pushed each other, we partied, we drank more. We looked for excuses to drink.
When I went to University the drinking was amplified with the freedom.
There was always a party, a bar event or an excuse to drink. Many times the “party” was sitting all alone in the basement on my computer.
The University cycle began. I would go home during the summer, see my friends and party. I would go back to University and party.
Every second day after work, I would be buying a case of beer and drinking until bedtime. Get up the next day, work and do it all over again. Right up until the day we had our daughter.
As I held my daughter for the first time, I remember looking down at her promising her the world. I knew that the way I was going I couldn’t deliver it to her.
I decided that evening that I was going to become sober for her.
Two days later after we got out of the Hospital, I was drinking again. First broken promise and my daughter was two days old.
I went through cases of beers, hidden bottles of liquor, money like you would not believe for many years after that. Countless nights I would sit there, sometimes in the dark drinking. My wife and Daughter sleeping in bed, but I would sneak out of bed and drink more. Bottles of liquor were hidden and when I went to grab a beer, I would drink straight from the bottle.
We had to sell our beautiful dream home, that we put our heart and soul into to get just right because we had no money. Lots of alcohol but no money.
As we survived in our rental house with the same pattern repeating itself, my son was born. I didn’t even make that promise to him. I couldn’t break it again.
New job, new city, time to get sober
I accepted a job in a new city and I took it as the chance to get sober. I was sick of seeing the pictures my daughter took with her IPad and I was holding a beer. Or my eyes were bloodshot because I was drunk or hung over.
I knew as soon as I accepted the job I would use it as an opportunity to get sober. I was scared and nervous. I remember drinking almost a case of beer a night, every night before I moved. Something inside of me said, this was it.
I haven’t had a beer since and it feels amazing.
What they don’t tell you about getting sober
It’s damn near impossible to fall asleep. Your body is used to falling asleep from drinking. Now, it has to find a way to fall asleep without assistance. I recall laying wide awake in bed until 4 o’clock in the morning.
You have an abundance of energy. I used to sit on my ass and drink and drink. Those were my nights, now I can’t sit down for more than 15 minutes. Just restless. It has passed but I couldn’t stop bouncing around, especially at night.
Beer stinks. I literally puke in my mouth every time I smell beer now. It is the vilest thing. Is this what people were smelling on me all those years?
My friends are losers. I no longer hang out with the same people. Contrary to popular belief, I am not alone. I thought everybody drank when I drank. Turns out, I just hung out with people who drank all the time, because I was one of those people.
Dads, you have the strength to fight your demons
As someone who has gotten sober, I truly believe that anyone can overcome anything. I have never felt better in my life. My kids see the difference. There are days where I outplay them and I don’t have to stop for a beer.
There are days and nights where I get dark and want to have a drink. I am so much stronger now, it is too easy to say no.
I will leave you with these words. If I can do it after 13 years of drinking, you can overcome your demons.
Be proud of being a dad, be proud of being a man.
Kids are expensive. I created DadsRise.com as a means to invest in my Children’s future as well as share the knowledge I have gained with my readers. If you have gained any benefit from the article, consider donating, 100% of the proceeds will be invested in my Children’s future. Every $2 Helps!