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Grapevine : January 2012
aagrapevine.org 35 a cold beer in one hand andaboxofwineinthe other. I knew at 2:00 that I shouldn’t do it, but by 6:00 all of those intentions were completely erased. No matter what it was or how important, I simply didn’t care when it came time to have the first drink. Example three is how much it affected things I did once I was on a roll. My wife, looking good, would ask me to come to bed, and I would say I would be right there and two hours later I would still be pouring it in me. It was a rare occasion to have sex in the evening, as alcohol was my priority. I was powerless to reverse those priorities. My fourth example is how I reacted to alcohol once I started drinking. I never could understand how someone could have one or two beers. No way could I ever do that. Once I started it was on, and I didn’t stop until I fell asleep or passed out. When I would go out with business associates they would have a couple drinks at dinner and then go back to their rooms. When I went back to my room it was always with a bottle. I have countless examples I can list where Iwasinatownatahotel without a rental car and I would walk to the liquor store after dinner by myself. I remember Okla- homa City, early March, 26 degrees, nine blocks walking, howling wind, and I was powerless to stop from going. Example five: I struc- tured everything around drinking. Everything. For some reason I had an ob- jection to driving drunk, so I wouldn’t go to a cookout or a ballgame unless my wife was there to drive me home. Drinking affected when I booked airline flights, when I had doctor’s appointments, where I went out to eat, and of course, who my friends were. We didn’t invite certain couples to come over for dinner, and my wife was “trained” to turn down certain invitations based on who they were from. If it didn’t involve drinking, I wasn’t going to do it. I always took the kids to Little League, but the late evening games really bothered me. Whenever there was a function in the evening that I had to attend but couldn’t drink, I was a nervous wreck until I got the juice. Here are the five ex- amples of how my life has become unmanageable due to alcohol: The first example has to do with anger. It’s really the only emotion, aside from sadness, that I have felt for a long time. And once the root of anger took control in my heart and mind all of the normal problems that should be easy to handle became unmanageable. Small financial problems, basic issues with raising kids and simple marital stresses are all unman- ageable through an angry alcoholic fog. That first example leads directly into the second, because my inability to manage my anger has bred deep-rooted resent- ment. Alcohol prevents normal emotions from playing out. So I have buried and suppressed these feelings, resulting in a warped perception of the world. I have resented completely innocent people and those closest to me. I push people away, and I am the ultimate loser when that plays out. Example three: Earlier GRAPE_33-36.indd 35 11/28/11 11:45 AM