By Jeff Stevens
My days start out just like yours. I wake up, shower, eat and go to work. But if you look closer you will see I’m not entirely just like you. I wake up each morning promising myself that I will not have anything to drink that day. I wake up each morning with a pounding headache and a short fuse thanks to the drinks I had the day before. I wake up each day with a gray cloud covering my head and leaving me feeling foggy through out the day.
I go to work, just like you. While I’m there I applaud myself on getting through the morning without a drink. As my stressful day wears on I find myself trying to find ways to have a drink. Lunch time is a daily battle for me. I wish I was like some people who struggled with the internal dilemma of if they should have a full fat meal or stick to their diet and eat salad. My dilemma is worse. I spend each lunch hour wondering if I should have that one drink or not. Part of me says that one drink will take the edge off of me, while another part reminds me of the promise I made to myself. More often then not I give in and order a drink. One drink becomes two and two becomes three and lately three has been becoming four drinks. I’ve learned to cover it though so that when I go back to the office, no one knows. I often feel better after a few drinks and have even managed to convince myself that I need alcohol to function.
My commute home is long and I spend the whole time thinking about my next drink. The promise I made to myself in the morning is long gone and I can think about is the warm liquid numbing my body.
I arrive home and greet my family. As I head to wash up, I find my hidden bottle of vodka and take it into the bathroom with me. I manage to finish half the bottle without even thinking twice about it and sadly without even noticing it. I know there is more hidden throughout the house in places my family would never dream of looking. I know later on while I’m doing wash I will find another bottle hidden in the washing machine just waiting to be opened.
I do my drinking in private. I enjoy it more that way. There is no one else there. I stare in the mirror and tell myself I do not have a drinking problem. I’m not violent. I don’t beat my kids or act like the typical alcoholic acts. I tell myself this over and over again so I don’t have to face the sad truth.
This is my day, over and over again. I ignore the signs that I have a problem such as the forgetfulness or the nights where I drink so much that I don’t remember it the next day. My days are filled with broken promises because the call of alcohol is so strong. My days are filled with disappointment, especially in myself. My days are the days of an alcoholic.
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