I’ve never shared these thoughts with anyone. I don’t enjoy talking about myself, so this is difficult for me. The following is basically a stream of conscious, so I apologize for the poor writing, typos, grammar, etc.
I’m what could be considered a high functioning alcoholic. How do I know I’m an alcoholic? Well, Each day I know that I don’t want to drink, but the nagging voice coaxes my hands to signal right, turn the steering wheel towards the Mobile station, and propels me straight to the beer cooler. This has been happening every day for at least the past three years and probably a whole lot longer if I’m being honest with myself. I consume easily six beers each day and sometimes as much as 12. I don’t drink in front of my kids, and I usually do my drinking at night once the boys are asleep.
In February of this year, I had taken steps toward being more healthy and cutting my drinking down to two a day. The plan was to eventually cut drinking out altogether over a course of weeks. I’m sure some of you can see where this is going.
March 13th was my first hands on experience with protocols related to COVID-19. The homeowner of the house I was working on had come home from Italy. He wasn’t showing any signs of having COVID, but he had just traveled from Italy, through multiple international airports, and to my place of work. Against the wishes of the owner of the company I work for, I shut the job site down for two weeks. After the first week of staying at home because I put myself out of work, all of the schools in VT and NH shut down. My wife is a teacher, so she was working full time at home trying to teach her students, while I was trying to teach my oldest son and watching my one year old simultaneously. My now two year old son has a form of Cystic Fibrosis called CRMS which can have a negative impact of the respiratory system. So yeah. I’m scared to death of my little guy getting COVID.
The drinking had started up again and the quantity consumed had increased.
My wife is black, and so are my two children. We live in VT, not the most diverse of states. The black lives matter movement was at its apex and forced me to take a good hard look at the situation in our country and the world when it comes to race relations. I’m a paper white English guy who has never really thought very in-depth about race, because I’ve never cared about how folks look. I’ve always judged people by their actions.
I have terrible anxiety, and with anxiety comes depression. I take medication for this, but as anyone who takes anxiety meds knows, it only takes the edge off. Meds don’t take the anxiety away, just makes it more manageable.
As I sit here in my truck typing out this post on my iPhone, staring out over a beautiful riverscape, I find myself wanting to go to the Mobile station. Wanting to crawl to the bottom of a Bud Light bottle and try forget all the bullshit.