A year or two before I finally hit what some would call my alcoholic bottom, sitting on a barstool all rummy-eyed, someone actually asked me "Didn't you used to be somebody?"
I guess I had become the shell of the man I once had been, too oblivious to respond.
It didn't seem to matter anymore.
"Didn't you used to be somebody?" More of a statement than a question, really.
"I didn't know then that I was very near finding some bottom, one bottom, a bottom. But I know now that what I need to do is to move forward and to build on whatever little life I have left....
"NEWSFLASH: Cocaine sped me to my bottom. The more cocaine I took, the more alcohol I could drink. The two substances fed off each other, a feeding frenzy, my brain being the main course. Already plummeting well enough on my own, cocaine and other dry goods sped the process....
"For me, Alcohol, in combination with any and many other drugs, was the Quicker Fucker-Upper (Sorry, Bounty Paper Towels). Cocaine sped me to my bottom.... Today I am grateful for everything that sped me to hit bottom. Everything."
With each passing sober year (now a dozen years clean and sober), I look back on my memory of being asked that timeless "Didn't you used to be somebody" question and I am another memory of a memory separated from it. I felt nothing slouching on the barstool in that short encounter, but my memory of it has changed with time, too, an accumulation of sober days healing that insult which was also a fact.
I often wonder if that same guy, years later, ever had another person ask him the very same question.
Another anonymous encounter that might occur before his sobriety is found.
Why didn't I just answer, "Yes, I once was somebody"?
Perhaps he'd have bought me another drink and like my cocaine and other substances, he'd have helped speed me to hit bottom before finally finding recovery.
Cheers, Gentle Reader, a Sparkling Cider sober toast to you!
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
The passages above in quotes are excerpted from All Drinking Aside, an Autobiographical Fiction by Jim Anders, linked here: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Visit his Niume Recovery page here: https://niume.com/pages/profile/?userID=26056& find his Recovery Tweets here: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4