Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Alcohol was my master

In his own words, this was what Bill, the founder of Alcoholic Anonymous, uttered during the height of his Alcoholic Addiction. I can relate well to Bill's life as described in the Big Book. The Big Book is something like the Bible of the Alcoholic Anonymous.

Bill's struggles are too familiar. I feel at home reading about his life. I am an eternally recovering alcoholic and I cannot ever proclaim that I will ever be able to recover from it. Once an addict, always an addict. It is too familiar. My addiction started when I was in my teens at the age of 17 of 18, I lost count actually. I am now in my 40s. So that makes me an addict for more than 2 decades. When I was 25, I got married and my first son was born. My salary back then was not enough to support the family. I thought this situation will force me not to spend on alcohol anymore. But I was wrong, the more I became one, the more I spend more on drinking, going to bars, and women. Yes, women. Drinking alcohol in bars and sleezy joints inevitable equates to getting on and intimate with women. As one Alcoholic Anonymous member said, alcohol is a mind-altering and behavior altering drink. Once drunk, I feel very powerful with women. I can do anything with women. The power of alcohol transforms me into somebody I do not know. I become a totally different person. At one time, I woke up in the middle of the Magallanes street at around 6am, vehicles passing me by on both sides. Luckily, I was inside my car with the headlight on. Luckily, too, there was no police who happened to pass by.

Before a drinking session, I tell myself, it will only be for 2 rounds (2 bottles of beer), then off I go home. After 2 bottles, I tell myself, I will be off by 9pm so wife will not notice. At 9pm, my addict mind somehow negotiates with my sane mind, make it 10pm. Ok, so after around 5-6 bottles at that time, 10pm comes, and I am still on the drinking table. There is no more negotiating going on between my addict mind and my sane mind. I just tell myself, I will be home by 12midnight. 12 midnight comes, I tell myself, what the heck it is 12midnight, what is the difference if I come home at 2am or 3am.

I come home at 6am with my wife welcoming me with her dagger look. If looks can kill, my wife would have killed me a thousand times. Sounds very familiar indeed. Alcohol was my master for more than 20 years. My life has become unmanageable. I've been on and off with my wife. The last time we were separated for 2 months. I've resorted to violence inside the house. I have terrorized my kids when under the influence of alcohol. I have even challenged my eldest son to a fist fight. It is not normal. I am not normal. Why I did these things?

Until I discovered God thru my counselor. Then she referred me to Alcoholic Anonymous. My recovery is a long and winding road. It was not an easy path. Temptations lurk at every corner. Many side streets intersect the road and these are so inviting. I am still on the road to recovery. I hope with God's help and the support of my family and the Anonymous Group, I will be able to maintain the correct direction, direction where God wants me to be.