I was introduced to Kari through Erik Severson’s book “The Successful Mind”.  Chapter 31. I know it well. The pages are ear marked and a little more worn than the rest of the book. After reading her chapter numerous times, it clicked.  I too was a “gray area” drinker. More than a social drinker but just short of an alcoholic, but well on my way. That “gray area” became a darker gray starting around 2015 and well in to 2021.
Oh, summertime… me living on a golf course… me having a job which allowed an abundance of flexibility equals a lot of afternoons to tee it up and drink. Or was it to drink and why not tee it up too? I’d make the trip to the clubhouse in my private golf cart after downing a few cans of “aiming fluid” at home while only putting my golf shoes on. Once there, straight to the bar. Giddy up. Let’s get this party started. One can’t play golf I thought without drinking, could they? My cooler now filled with my favorite ice-cold friend Labatt Blue and one “in the hand” as I sauntered down the steps straight off to my cart and the first tee. This went on summer after summer and then things started to become a darker shad of gray when I realized I didn’t need to golf to be here and drink. This is a bar in my own backyard! My daughters are grown, the last one almost out of the house. My wife still at work. Later on, I didn’t even care if she was home. I was going to the bar, I mean clubhouse, for a drink. Then, I didn’t even need to make it home first after work, I could stop by anytime, even out of golf season since they have a restaurant year-round. This is awesome. This is becoming out of control. If this keeps up, I’m going to destroy my marriage. Worst yet, I’m going to lose my wife, my best friend. Then covid19. Things came to somewhat of a standstill at the clubhouse and as a result my consumption leveled off. I got this I thought. On again, off again. My wife now starting to ride an emotional rollercoaster. Becoming elated when I wasn’t drinking for a few days and then bam, coming home to find me well on my way (I had introduced my other good friend Absolut to the party now). Straight from the bottle. Bottles that were hidden in my basement man cave or “bunker” as I called it. This was all of 2020.
As restrictions started to lift in 2021, I carried with me the somewhat “controlled” drinking now into golf season. She dreaded my Thursday night league. Middle of summer, sun filled evenings and 80 degrees. My wife pleading with me to come home sober. Sober? well no, I’ll shoot for functional. Her emotional rollercoaster now up and down daily since it was golf season. Keeping her on this rollercoaster is what I did all summer of 2021. It was wearing on her. I could tell and I wasn’t proud, because things were ramping up again and my somewhat controlled drinking was becoming uncontrolled. Again. Picking up where we left off prior to covid19.
First week in November 2021. I just had completed the book “The Successful Mind” and Kari’s chapter 31. Then chapter 31 again and again like I said. On Monday 08NOV2021 after an afternoon at the clubhouse, I couldn’t remember if I got lucky weather wise that day and played or not, and well on my way to inebriation (Labatt or Absolut, maybe both I do not recall) I put my cart away and stumbled into the house straight to bed. My wife had to work late, home free I thought. She woke me up not even an hour later and immediately I could see the disappointment in her eyes. I had hurt her…again. Tears down her face, sobbing now was common. That’s it. I cannot control my drinking. I’ve had enough. And so, 08NOV2021 was my last drink.
Timing helped. Going into winter in the state I live means no golf. My clubhouse trigger was in check as long as I didn’t continue to stop there during off season. Plus, I was determined to quit for good because I was retiring in January 2022 at 55. A long-term goal accomplished. I wanted, no needed, to get ahead start prior to that because my wife was petrified, I’d drink all day in retirement.
05JAN2022 was my last day of work. I was three days short of two months and no alcohol. I felt confident that there was no going back because clarity had begun to set in. As 2022 came in, gaining her trust took time. She was hesitant. Afraid to leave me at home, afraid she’d come home to me slurring my words after power drinking Absolut while she stepped out. Her emotional rollercoaster going to new heights and lows since it was on a daily basis not knowing what state she’ll find me in if she steps out. I kept assuring her it is over. I needed to give her more assurance. So okay I thought. You’re on your way to beating this, now let’s take it a step further. Let’s get healthy. And so, I have. As of this writing I’ve lost 31 pounds by completely changing my eating habits. Well, the first two months I literally starved myself to see the results quickly which turned into pure motivation to keep this thing going. Then I added back nothing but fruits and vegetables. I now lift weights, do yoga (well a lot of stretching) and even put a sauna in my house. I haven’t even added cardio yet but that’s coming in the new year. I’ve completely turned a 180. No longer in the clubhouse swigging beers but now consuming mass amounts of fruits and vegetables. I love it. I no longer have to wake up trying to remember what happened last night or where I parked my golf cart (another story, one of many). I made it the entire golf season of 2022. Those sun filled evenings and 80 degrees playing golf and getting drunk are over. I made it through two summer golf trips, plus other social functions. I made it each time I walked into clubhouse during league and other golf functions. Do I miss it? Absolutely not because I feel great. I feel even more confident. The support of my friends has been insurmountable. I made it.
Most importantly. I’ve discovered pure clarity. My marriage is stronger than ever. My wife, who retired on May 1st, calls me “Scott V3.0”. I cannot thank you enough for helping me pinpoint what I was going through and getting me through it. Sobriety equals Clarity. I made it!
Scott T.