Friday, July 05, 2013

Out of the Abyss

"A man may drink because he considers himself a failure, yet fail all the more completely because he drinks".

George Orwell

9 years ago today, I checked myself into a detox facility for the last time after years of closet drinking and the rapid decline of my "functioning alcoholic" stage. I was no longer a functioning alcoholic - I was a drunken wreck, and I wasn't fooling anyone anymore.

When I finished a righteous tear, I didn't wake up in bed with a hangover, I woke up in the ICU of the hospital with an IV bag.

I find myself asking "why did I get better when so many others didn't". Lots of people tried just as hard as me, went to as many meetings as me, and did all the right things that are supposed to keep you on the straight and narrow. I have (what you medical nerds refer to as) Type II Alcoholism. One the hardest to deal with and a disorder that has a very low recovery rate. I have seen many of my fellow travelers end up in jails, hospitals, and even die from the disease in one form or another. Why did I get better, and why did they fail?

It's not about "will power" or "self control", but I won't bore you with the details, lest you drag me out into the street and beat me over the head with a bottle of Jaegermeister. I like to think that it's been my conservative values of self-reliance and personal responsibility that have kept me sober all these years; but I know it has nothing to do with my personal political proclivities.

Maybe God looked down and whispered "Joe, I need to keep you around". Maybe he needed me to annoy liberals and entertain my countless fans with fart jokes, split infinitives, and obscure pop culture references. Maybe it was all a path leading to the lovely Mrs. Claire. I don't know. I just know one day I had finally had enough, and I've never looked back.

Today I lead a charmed life. I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the word, I have a wonderful job, some uber cool diggs, and a blog that's read around the world - From Montreal to Maine, from London to Los Angeles, and from Australia to Austin.

I wouldn't go back for all the beer in Boston - and believe me, they make wicked beer in Beantown.



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