An Open Letter to the Guy Behind Me at School Drop-off this Morning

I get it. You had somewhere to be this morning and it wasn’t at your kid’s school to drop them off. Perhaps your wife usually does it. I don’t know your circumstances.

And you don’t know mine.

So when I stopped at the wrong spot to drop my kid off and then moved forward a mere 20 more feet, you really could have just played it cool, but you didn’t, you had to let me know that I’d somehow fucked up. And I get that too.

Really, I do, because there are a million little things that get under my skin on a daily basis. Like when someone doesn’t use their blinker when making a turn. Like when the barista at Starbucks doesn’t leave enough room in my coffee, or leaves too fucking much. Or when I thought I had my wallet and I don’t when I pull up to the gas pump. Yes, I get it, that my stopping short of the mark to drop off my son really pissed you off.

And you know what, I’ve walked in your shoes. I’ve been the angry asshole who made hand gestures at other people who I didn’t know because they fucked up in a minor way on the road. Continue reading

Ericka’s Story Part 1: “I Remember the Morning”

Damien’s Note:  Ericka started following this blog on it’s Facebook page a while ago and recently reached out with a series of articles written from her personal experience.  Here is the first in the series.  I can certainly relate to parts of her story and I suspect some of my readers will as well.  The post was written on August 5, 2015 and this is the first time Ericka has used her full name in conjunction with her struggles with alcohol and she said, “It feels raw, but amazing!”

It was another lonely night in an otherwise full house. My husband and the step kids were downstairs watching a movie. The Sunday night family dinner was over, the leftovers and dishes were put away and my wine cup was washed and put away. I had a few drinks while preparing and cleaning up after dinner hoping no one noticed my slurred words or loud voice at the dinner table. All I could do was think about being upstairs, alone, and open that extra bottle I had hidden in my dresser drawer. This had become my life, my routine, my only existence at that time.

So there I sat, once again, alone in my bedroom. At this time, the husband and I were already sleeping in separate bedrooms for over a year so it was easy to be alone and even easier to hide and drink my wine. Although his bedroom was a mere two feet away, it felt like miles.

Morning came along with the hangover, the shakes, and the regret. Continue reading

Matt & Caz’s Story

Damien’s Note: Matt and I have followed each other on Twitter for some time and have had enjoyed good interactions. Last week, he reached out via Direct Message requesting my email, saying that he had something to share with me. When I opened the email, in the middle of my work day, I was dumbstruck. I had to get up and leave my home office for a bit to absorb the pain.

Matt’s story hit home because I know what it’s like to loose someone important to death, but I can’t imagine loosing my wife. I hoped that Matt might want me to share this story on my blog. Matt’s story is one of resilience. He’s proof that our sobriety can be stronger than our emotions, life’s twists and turns, and even death.

C0IQQWbXgAAO-U8I married an amazing woman in 2004. We had been together as boyfriend & girlfriend for 7 years to the day when we tied the knot. Not only was I marrying the love of my life, this person was my best friend/lover & soul mate.

I came out as bisexual to her early in the relationship, she understood and excepted me. If I am in a relationship with a person that’s it I am just in a relationship with that one person.

By coming out to her it was as if I had come out to the entire world. I was free to be myself, no secrets and no shame. When I saw her eye up some attractive random man could smile and tell her she had good taste, a relationship like this comes but once a life. Continue reading

Some Feelings Need to be Felt

There is a lot of talk in the rooms about feelings, and specifically about feelings that we didn’t want to feel. I know that I personally drank to cover up feelings — of inadequacy, of fear, of confusion. We talk a lot about how alcohol numbed our feelings, or put them aside, but we don’t often talk about the feeling that resulted from our drinking.

I know for me, especially as I neared the end, I felt feelings of hopelessness, anger with myself and others, and despair as a result of my drinking. I felt like I was trapped — and I was trapped in a cycle of daily drinking. I felt that there was no way out and I hated what was happening. I distinctly remember looking at myself in the mirror, sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the middle of a bender, and thinking — I hate you. Continue reading