Daily Prompt: What might have been…

Daily Prompt: The Road Less Traveled.

I had traveled the road for a very long time.  I nearly took a detour once, but drifted back to it.  The second time I finally did depart, and I am such a better person for having done so.  But had I not done that…

The road was familiar, though bumpy and fraught with long times needed for recovery.  Oh, I could handle a little hangover.  Sure, less would get done today at work, but no one would know.  No one would find out that I had snuck a few miniatures of Yukon Jack the evening before…after nearly a six pack of beer.  It was my life…my privilege as an adult to drink when I wanted to.

I looked forward to those times of day, late in the afternoon when a beer would hit my empty stomach.  Such a wonderful feeling.  Or a couple gin and tonics with lime on a hot summer day.  I was happy when, in my state, they lifted the blue laws, and I could now buy alcohol on Sundays.  Although, I didn’t like the fact that I had to wait until noon for the liquor stores to open.

Not everything was joyous about those days, however.  Looking back on my journals I had kept on my computer, there were days and months  — years, in fact — of writing about the guilt I felt about my drinking.  Plans to quit, or to at least cut back.  I was reading about the tenets of Moderation Management, a group that, unlike AA promoted the idea that alcohol abusers could learn to moderate their drinking without quitting altogether.  Yes, that was for me.  The thing is, I never moderated.  When I looked back, I could not remember a day when I did not drink.  You would think hangover days would be dry, but drinking a little just helped get through those days.

God gave me a chance in 2005, when I was in the hospital for nearly a month for diverticulitis, which required surgery, and then corrective surgeries for one that had gone wrong.  I could have used that period of forced abstinence to quit.  …to take a new road.  In fact, alcohol did not appeal to me just after getting home from that.  But I found a way to enjoy it again.

The second period of forced abstinence finally got my attention.  Until that time, I did not understand the appeal of the road without drink.  How could that be any fun?  But after that DWAI, I got a chance to find out.  I was required to go in for random breath tests.  Even then I tried to cheat the system.  It became a game for me.  As an alcohol researcher for several years, I knew a thing or two about the metabolism of alcohol, and I knew how my body handled it.  I could drink a certain number of hours before the test (which I could take any time during the day when my number came up).  But alas, I was busted.  Three times they detected alcohol, and so they put me on Antabuse…a drug which makes you sick if you drink while on it.  And I even tested that!  Believe me, that was not fun!

All the while, God was patiently waiting for me.  He had pointed out the road after the surgeries, and I rejected it.  But this time I listened.  This time I took the road.  I had lost a wife and our house, the latter having more to do with the economic recession than anything else.  There was also a new woman in my life.  A wonderful Christian woman who vowed to be by my side, even if I was to return to drink.  But this time…yes, finally this time, the road selected for me was one I wanted to take.  And I see no reason to ever see that other road again!

(A note here: I am not against drinking for others, and I will socialize with people who drink.  I do not tell people they should not drink.  I just know what is right for me.)

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About Cinnwriter

Scientist who enjoys writing fiction, but can hardly find the time for it.
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6 Responses to Daily Prompt: What might have been…

  1. Pingback: The Road Less Traveled: What’s Traveled is Traveled | Khana's Web

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