July 30, 2015.
That was the last day I had a drink. It’s been over 500 days now (consecutive!) and while it hasn’t always been easy, I’ll say that it’s certainly been worthwhile, and an extremely long time coming. I was a hard drinker for most of my adult life, say twenty-plus years, but last year or so of my drinking, you could say I went “pro”. No particular reason, really. My job changed, my dog died, and I think I battled light depression I suppose. All of that is really just life in general and no one thing made me pick up that bottle. No, that was all me.
Happy hour was usually at 7pm. Then seven became five. Before I knew it, 5pm had become 3ish and I was “rewarding” myself for mundane household chores with a stiff martini or three. I wasn’t driving or hurting anyone. I don’t live under a bridge alongside the interstate. C’mon, I’m not pushing a shopping cart down the road laden with recyclables and a molted live Owl in its basket. I own a home and have a solid education, I can’t be a rueful and pathetic old soak…right?
What your brain refuses to acknowledge your body will not ignore. In turn, I got sick. REALLY sick. I was hospitalized. I had a blood transfusion. I had a wire thread shoved into my jugular vein and threaded down into my liver where a shunt was placed to connect my portal vein to my hepatic vein. My body took on an extra 20 lbs in a greenish Gatoradey-looking bile that was drained via a huge needle periodically. My liver had enlarged to three times it’s normal size. I was given a 35% chance of survival if I kept up the boozing. According to my Doctor I would easily be dead within three years. A liver transplant was discussed but only briefly. They don’t dole those things out to drunks, turns out. You do NOT fuck around with those liver people, let me tell you.
So, those are the Cliff Notes.
That, my friends, is REALLY last call.
So, pull up a stool and come join me while I navigate sobriety, and a second chance.
All served with a splash of humor.