I’ve been listing all of the ‘great’ things that have happened to me in my adult life when intoxicated. I say ‘great’ with a substantial amount of sarcasm.
1. Spent the night in police cells
2. Had a fight with my brother in a pub
3. Head butted somebody in a night club and was then jumped by a a group of his friends
4. Punched a wall and still have a damaged finger years later
5. Fell over and split head open / ended up in hospital
6. Passed out in the toilets of a pub, ended up in an ambulance
7. Jumped out of a moving taxi and did a runner because I though the driver was going to assault me
8. Slipped in a bar, hit head on a shelf and woke up in hospital
9. Lost multiple mobile phones
10. Lost multiple bank cards
11. Restrained by the police for trying to talk to an ex-girlfriend (that one is going back a long time!)
12. Tripped at a Bus Station and still have a damaged elbow years later
13. Got locked out of my hotel room on a trip away and in only my underwear
14. Ejected from a pub by the bouncers after arguing with bad staff over something trivial
15. Turned up at my Parents pissed on Christmas Day and was an arsehole about the presents my Mam had bought me. Really upset her
I’ve purposely tried not to justify or explain the above incidents in more detail because it is irrelevant whether it was my fault or not, whether it was self defence, me sticking up for somebody or purely an accident. Some are safely 100% my own drunken arrogant behaviour. The theme is that in all of those moments in my life I was pissed.
Now for a similar list from when I wasn’t intoxicated…
1. Road rage incident where I followed the other driver for a few miles (off my route) – but then thought better of it and turned around
2. I’m really struggling to be honest…
I suppose the point I’m trying to make to myself is that no matter how bad things get for me in life going forward, I have a track record of screwing up my own life and hurting others when I drink. I mentioned 15 stand out examples for the purpose of this post but I could sit here all day and reel off the many more times I upset somebody, scared somebody, hurt somebody, made a bad decision, took an unnecessary risk or just let somebody down. My wife more than most has endured all of that and I owe it not only to me but to my family not to put them through that worry, fear and frustration again.
I’m still moody at times and I can be a sarcastic arsehole when I want to be but there is no malice there. At least in a constant sober state I can remember every word and action. I’m not perfect and pretty sure that nobody is but I can work on being the best version of me when I’m sober.
Those drunken incidents that I shared above are reminders that on another day it could have been even worse. I could have died, I could have killed somebody, I could have caused irreversible damage to a relationship. Thankfully nothing happened – and I didn’t even include the night I was sectioned. I seemed determined on ending things that night.
Given another chance, alcohol would kill me. No, I would kill me. With alcohol. My choice.