On June 5, 1994, my life crashed around me. Several catastrophic events brought my world down and everyhing was caused by one thing — an inability to control my drinking.
I woke up with a hangover the next day, June 6, 1994 — the 50th anniversary of D-Day — and realized I had to deal with the Beast that was destroying my marriage and everything else that mattered in my life.
That night, I walked across the street from my home in Arlington, into the community room of a nearby church and started the first of 12 steps under Alcholics Anonymous.
Today marks 10 years of sobreity: 3,653 days without a drink. W.C. Fields once asked: “Can you image waking up without a hangover and realizing that’s the best you’re going to feel all day?”
Yes, I can. The first 30 days were the hardest but it would be more than five years before the urge to drink subsided. There were other problems — anger, paranoia and events that are often come from being called a “dry drunk” — but booze is no longer a part of my life nor will it ever be again. The strongest drug that enters my body nowadays is aspirin for arthritis. Later this week, I will attend my regular AA meeting and accept a 10-year chip.
Does this mean the battle is over? No. For an alcoholic, the fight with the Beast never ends. The best you can hope for is an uneasy truth. He is always lurking, waiting for that one moment of weakness where he can pounce.
He can wait until hell freezes over. I have other demons to battle.