Mike Zito‘s blog makes me think back on my early days of recovery from alcohol. It was 20 years ago, my life had never been rosy, but it was now spiraling and out of control. I couldn’t keep a job. My diet was ramen noodles and a case of beer. I was always on the edge, between having a roof over my head and sleeping in a doorway. Neighbors were shaming me for being a lush and having no real life. I had other serious personal issues, but my drinking was covering these up, keeping me in denial.
Then my father offered to pay for me to complete my degree. Something lit up, and I immediately took him up on his offer. I knew I had to make some changes if I were to pursue this. I had to stop drinking in particular. And I stopped. Haven’t had a drink since then. I was a little flaky in school, but I got through it. I had some wild relapse dreams, but no temptation after day one.
The “other” things then hit me hard. I had to build a support network, first family, then counseling, and one more thing: My brother gave me a cassette player to carry with me, along with a few tapes: Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and Tom McFarland. This was kind of new to me. I’d loved the blues of Eric Clapton and Duane Allman, but this opened up a new world in a time of need. I hope I still have the tapes around. They would be a valuable memento to look back on. I think I’ll search around for them this weekend.