Three years ago my sister bought me a 26 oz bottle of Crown Royal Whiskey for my birthday. I still have it in the cupboard. I believe I opened it once, and swished the stuff in my mouth to cure a canker sore.
If it were ten years ago, the bottle wouldn’t have made it to the cupboard, I would have drank it the minute I got it, but a lot can change in ten years.
If I were to attempt to drink the stuff now, I would probably be sick until my next birthday; funny how life does that to you.
I spent most of the 90’s pouring the stuff down the hatch, getting too drunk and too sick to do anything. I used to blame my divorce, my job, my boss, customers, women, lack of women, lack of dates, I could go on, you get the picture. Hell, I can’t even remember much of the 90’s, except for that dance mix music that was popular in the bars at the time. I spent too much time sitting and wallowing in pity to accomplish much anyway.
I used to go to bars with my ‘friends’, who would drink as long as I was buying, and then drift off to the next fool with a wallet. I sat at bars while women sat and I bought drinks for them, deep inside hoping that one of them would take me out of that place, and maybe we would fall in love. Talk about pipe dreams? Who wants to fall for some drunk guy who sits at a bar feeling sorry for himself?
I wondered whether I would ever pull myself out of this life, and every day I thank God that I did.
Its not that I drank a lot, it didn’t take a lot to get me loaded. I would drink a flask of Whiskey with my ‘friends’ before heading to the bar to drink beers until closing time. I spent a lot of time with my head in the toilet bowl paying dearly for this life. I was headed down a long road of loneliness and despair and I figured that there was no light at the end of the tunnel.
Don’t get me wrong, I was no alcoholic, but I was headed there. five of my mom’s brothers are all alcoholics, so it was kind of in my genes I guess, but something made me stop, something even I cannot fully understand. It took a big scare. I don’t mean little brother jumping from behind the sofa and yelling ‘Boo!’, something bigger.
As I stated in an earlier post, back in December 2003 I was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in my throat, wrapped around a nerve that ran from my jaw to my brain. This changed everything. So I was divorced, so my job sucked. So I wasn’t popular with the ladies, so I didn’t have a lot of bucks. None of this mattered. I made a decision to change, and I promised anyone who was listening (whether it be My God, your God, a stranger in the next room, who ever) that I would change my life if I could only have a second chance. No, I didn’t ask for a second chance, I asked God for the nerve to go through whatever was headed my way.
That was my problem all along. All those nights sitting at a bar pitying myself when I should have gotten off my ass and did something about it. After the surgery, somehow everything changed. I couldn’t imagine wasting time sitting in some dark barroom when I could be outside in the fresh air. I couldn’t imagine going out every night and spending time with losers who were as afraid of life as I was. Somehow, I grew nerve.
I went back to school, got an education, got a job and met a beautiful woman. I gained confidence, and that is why I am here today. God only knows where I would have been if I continued that old life, probably dead.
A few weeks back some friends asked us to join them at a local pub. “Join us at around eleven p.m.” they said. “Eleven?? That’s way past my bedtime” I replied.
“Boy, what a boring life you must lead” they said.
I just smiled.
I celebrated my 49th birthday two days ago, I love my life, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I certainly don’t need to be piss eyed drunk to have a good time, these days I get my highs from life, love, and whatever this wonderful world throws at me.