So flashback 13 years – back to the past. This is what happened that made me realize I was done drinking forever.
So it’s 8am. I’m trembling in bed naked. That’s how I slept.
Girlfriend’s already off to work. She just left. I didn’t really sleep that well. Every time I woke up, I had a couple big gulps of my malt liquor beer that was on my nightstand.
It’s eight o’clock now and I decided to just slam a full beer to start the day. You know, I haven’t eaten for a couple days, and want to get a good buzz on because I don’t want to think.
I don’t want to think. It’s Monday morning or something like that at 8am.
So I slam my first beer, my first full beer of the day, and 10 minutes later I puke it all over the floor. It’s this foamy mess in front of me.
All right, I haven’t showered for a week, my nails haven’t been clipped for a month, my hair’s greasy.
I’m in a dark room and my girlfriend at the time went off to work, she’s making 60,000 a year. She has no problem. I’m making like 800 a month caregiving for somebody, which is ironic I couldn’t even care for myself.
So I vomit up the whole beer, and I almost start crying because that was a full beer wasted, and I only have three left in the fridge, and she’s not going to bring me any more beer until 5pm.
So I’m lying there trembling thinking about what I’m going to do. I can’t drive, I’m too weak to walk. I’m in this darkroom, I don’t even want to turn on the music, which used to be my number one love.
I hated music, I hated people, I hated myself.
I had an imaginary friend that peeked out of the closet next to me. It was a bumble bee. I called her Mrs Bumble. She had big eyes, and she looked so innocent and sweet. She made me cry because I was lonely.
And I was pathetic and I picked up my first beer of the day. I’m trembling in bed naked, and all of a sudden this guy walks through the door, and I don’t know how he got inside the house.
I realized who it was, and he was about 10 years younger than me, and he had his skateboard with him – he was a skateboard punk.
Done Drinking Forever
Okay, I’m 36 years old at that time. He’s probably 29, same age as my girlfriend, they were friends, and he came over looking for her.
He’d probably been up all night on meth or something.
He seemed to be pretty wide awake for 8am, looking for my ex-girlfriend. I said she’s not here. She went to work. And so I thought he would turn around and walk out of the room, I’m laying in bed, but he didn’t leave.
He sat down and picked up this guitar that was in the corner of the room and he started strumming it, and he looked at me with contempt, not really knowing who I am, he called me weird one time, he didn’t understand me.
So he’s giving me this look like I don’t really understand you. I don’t even really like you. And he started strumming the guitar making songs about me, Erik’s so weird. Oh, Erik is so weird.
I had been sober many times in my life, I had six months, I had nine months, 18 months, 20 months in sobriety under my belt, always went back out drinking every time. Relapse was my middle name.
I went back out and it was worse than before, went to jail, had a heart attack when I was 32, lost jobs, lost girlfriends, but for some reason shaking in bed naked, unable to kick this guy out was what made me stop.
After people telling me I was gonna die within a year of alcohol, that didn’t matter, having a heart attack didn’t matter, losing my job, you know, hanging out with homeless people, getting wasted twice a day, not eating food because I didn’t want it to ruin my buzz…
None of that mattered. What mattered was that guy made me feel so much shame and guilt and defenselessness because I’m laying in bed, I can’t do anything about it.
It must have triggered my childhood or something. So when he finally left, I grabbed the last two beers in the fridge. And I looked back and I said this is it. I’m done.
I knew I was gonna lose the girlfriend, I knew I was gonna get kicked out of that house. I didn’t care. I had a converted school bus. I grabbed the last few beers, put them in my backpack and walked all the way back to my place.
I slowly drank those beers and I knew that was it. I slept for the next few days. When I got up the girlfriend was knocking on my door. I said I’ll talk to you in a couple weeks. I need to clear my head. Never, never went back with her.
And I started to slowly repair, I started to eat food again. I got two jobs, and I didn’t talk to anyone for two years. That is how I got sober, and that was 13 years ago and ever since I’m very thankful.
I moved away from that town. Got my health back. got a different girlfriend, who doesn’t drink, doesn’t want me to drink, supports me, I support her.
I’m doing creative things now that I thought alcohol killed. And I want to help people.
So that’s my testimonial of being a drunk, almost 20 years of my life spent drinking, 16 of those years hardcore getting blacked out every night.
I hurt so many people and now the last thing I can do is give back and help someone else get sober. So thanks for listening, hit that subscribe button, and we’ll talk to you soon.
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Erik C Johnson