So, I quit drinking. No big deal, I thought. You’ve already quit twenty-seven times. This’ll be a piece of cake. And then it dawned on me. I’d quit that many times but only for a week tops, and sometimes even the next day. I threw my last half-fifth of Jim Beam into the woods behind my house, only this time I took the cap off, remembering the 10 ℉ January morning when I went back into the briars to retrieve one with a cap on.
I had it bad.
During the summer of 1964, my seventeen-year-old cousin asked his twelve-year-old kinsman if he wanted to go to a party. I was elated and said, “Oh hell yes” and away we went up the hill to Memorial Park in the westernmost part of Martins Ferry, Ohio. As soon as I got out of his junky VW, some senior offered me a beer called “Blatz”. I graciously took and downed half of it in maybe two gulps. I loved the taste of it and never turned back. After five more of those I was, what the older boys called, “Blatzed” and my benefactor put me in the car and dropped me off at home right smack dab in front my Bible-banging, die-hard Baptist and Suffragette-sympathizing Mother.
Off and on for the next six years, Mom and I fought about my “entertainment problem” until six years later when she threw me out of her house. It was time. I worked as a coal miner and truck driver for the next forty years and continued with my “merriment” until October 1st, 2018 when I admitted to myself –and my wife and kids, who already knew—that I was an alcoholic. I went through the detox at home because I didn’t want this torture on my medical records. Never been so sick in all my life. At one point I thought if I’d slip into a coma for a few days it’d all feel better. Then, on October 10th, 2018 I joined Alcoholics Anonymous and felt better. My sponsor said I should start a journal.
I think I just did.