22 years ago this Monday I admitted that I was an alcoholic. It’s a day I’ll always remember because it was the first Martin Luther King, jr Day. I didn’t admit it freely. I admitted it after I was “locked-up” for a 72 hour observation, after attempting suicide.
During those 72 hours I saw what “sick” people were really like. I wasn’t sick like them - I was just a drunk. A drunk that was running out of ideas on how to stay drunk.
That day in 1986 was the first time I said “I’m an alcoholic.” That day I began a journey into a new world. Along the way I had some pitfalls and some set backs, but those events help me make the person I am today.
That sobriety lasted 5 and a half years. By the time I went back to drinking I was full of anger and rage. Sobriety at that time did not fulfill the promises I had hoped for. It would take me a little over two years of doing “more research” before I understood the whole picture.
In 1986 I admitted to a problem but I needed to do more. By admitting to the problem I took the first step. I put the bottle down but I didn’t learn how to live in this world. Those two years of drinking and totally destroying everything I thought was a value to me helped me understand what it took to have a chance at long term sobriety.
That was acceptance. With acceptance came responsibility and spirituality. With acceptance came the reality that I will always remember the consequences of my last drink.
In 1986 I admitted to a problem, but it took me till 1994 that I accepted that problem. With acceptance came humility, with humility serenity showed up, and with serenity long term sobriety was achievable.
This entry was originally posted on Saturday, January 19th, 2008