*This post was composed by my man The Mario Washington (It’s like A Tribe Called Quest, you’ve got to say the whole thing.)
July 4th 2007—Last Call
“I have taken my last drink!” For those of you that have known me for any extensive amount of time, you’ve probably heard me utter those words at one time or another. But today I said for the first time and I actually meant it.
I’ve made promises to people on two separate ocassions that I would give up alcohol for good. Those promises lasted for about 24 to 48 hours, or whenever the next weekend was in sight. I looked my mother in the face and told her that I was giving up alcohol, which was an absolute lie. I then proceeded several months later to look in the mirror and say we’re giving up alcohol; again I failed in my quest. But there is a difference today because of the person that I made the promise to. I’ve promised God that me and alcohol were divorcing. That’s the person that I should have made the promise to years ago. But being the coward that I am, I needed an incident to occur that would forever change my view on alcohol and what we’ve been through together. Obviously, people do stupid things when they get drunk, but I am told that after cooking a dynamite 4th of July meal, I transformed into a different person and I reached a new low. I had been drinking for several hours and I continued to drink. I like to drink. It is one of my favorite things to do. I enjoy the taste of it. I wasn’t abused as a child or anything like that, I just like to drink! Before I reveal the stupid thing that I did, let me give you a brief history of what alcohol does to me.
It is a drug! It is a controlled substance, yet still a drug! And just like any other drug, it can destroy your family. I am the great grandson of a man named Joe. I’m told that Joe would hop on his mule in Allendale, SC and go to town on pay day not to return unitl all of his money was spent on both alcohol and gambling. I’m told that Joe had a loving wife at home, and several daughters, one of whom was my grandmother. Joe passed on then my grandmother inherited his same passion for alcohol. I’m not sure that abuse of alcohol directly lead to her passing, but I am certain that it didn’t help keep her alive. I never met her because she died some years before I was born, but the stories that I hear are epic. My grandmother had a two sons and several daughters with one of the sons being my father. My father also has abused alcohol for many years and he still does today. His son inherited the cycle and began abusing alcohol on a weekly basis.
People see alcoholism as something that only affects people that can’t hold down a job or somebody that gets drung on a daily basis. But in reality, alcoholism comes in several different forms. An alcoholic is a person that abuses alcohol routinely. It could be daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, or whatever as long as it is a part of a routine. My abuse has been for a while weekly. People didn’t know it, but I routinely abused alcohol. I was what people in elementary school told me when I was in the 4th grade a functioning alcoholic. I would get drunk, fall down, forget things, and other things. NONE of those things really enticed me to quit drinking. But what I did on the 4th of July 2007 forced me to change my view on the vice that I have grown to love over the last decade or so of my life.
After several drinks, I began to talk to my wife in a manner that no woman should ever be talked to. On the surface, you would think that this wasn’t a serious problem so to speak. But the way that I talked to her was awful. Basically, I was talking to her in a controlling manner, telling her what she was going to do and when she was going to do it…pretty much the way that one would talk to an animal. What’s worst is that I didn’t remember any of it. She revealed to me when I woke up that I had said some mean things, but she left it at that. But my cousin Starr who was present during my rant explained to me in detail the awful truth of what I had done. It made me feel low. I began to think about my relationship with alcohol and all the bad things that I’ve done because of it. But nothing made me want to kick the habit more than me finding out I disrespected so disgustingly the woman that I make my home with. So I decided that I have taken my last drink, and I ain’t going back!
Alcohol is poison. Now if you accidentally eat a pinch of poison, you get sick and you live to tell the story. But if you continue to eat the poison, then eventually you will die. Now I have never driven a vehicle drunk or anything like that, but I’ve had it with this. It will destroy me if I’m not careful, so the logical thing is to just give alcohol up for good…..and I’m really happy about it.