Whirds to live by…

I wrote the following words (whirds?) on Nov 15th, 2005 which was my second day of sobriety. After ~10 years of being smash drunk (thank you Budweiser, Guinness, Michelob, Sam Adams, etc… :|) , I decided that enough was enough. I realized that I had to quit drinking not just for myself but, for my family’s sake too. Also, even though I had a few people tell me that I should probably stop drinking throughout the years, I had to come to this realization myself. And once I did, I quit drinking ‘cold turkey’. No rehab, no counselling, nothing. I just quit, and haven’t looked back since. I looked at my wife and, at the time, 15 month old daughter and had all the reason I needed. And it’s been much happier and safer for all of us. Even now, with my daughter being older and having a son, I’m extremely glad I quit. There are many life experiences for these two yet to come but, having Dad stumbling through the house, mumbling nonsense out of his mouth and generally acting like an idiot shouldn’t be one of them.
(Wait. I do that anyway, but they know it’s just a joke… Right?)

Strength

it’s easier to drink and dream
than it is to try and fail
it’s easier to get drunk and wish
than to let that ship sail

drinking was supposed to be fun
and to have a good time
but i’ve drank so damn much
sometimes it’s hard to rhyme

and it so easily became
such a way of life
it consumed while i consumed
it stabbed my dreams with a knife

and they say what doesn’t kill you
will only make you stronger
well…
it’s the drinking that will kill you
and to stop will make you stronger

but i am getting better now
it is all up to me
gonna get my shit together
just you wait and see

there are plenty of stupid things
stupid stuff i’ve done
that at times i’ve probably pissed off
the Man we call number one

but there’s no reason for me
to feel regret or guilty
and i am not asking
for anybody’s pity

but i’m gonna make you proud
but that’s not what really matters
gonna make Myself proud
that’s the message of these letters

sometimes it’s hard to see
me without the drink
but i know i have the strength
to dump it down the sink

and i am getting better now
it is all up to me
gonna get my shit together
just you wait and see

-2005-11-15 jeremy pope

While these are not the greatest words ever wrote, they helped me out quite a bit in the early days. I had them printed out nicely and stuck on the fridge, front and center. (And I still have a copy on the fridge) I read them every day at least one as I fought through all the whacked out emotions going through my head. And eventually, they worked enough magic that the cravings subsided, I was able to sleep normally and generally function as a normal person. I was able to proudly say “I’m a recovered alcoholic”1. Not that there aren’t days when I am slightly tempted to have just one drink. And other days when … well, let’s just say that I have many many O’doul’s2 on those days. ;)

And these words I wrote, have also been passed on to a few other people I’ve met who were near those crossroads between the sober life and the not-so sober life. These words may or may not have helped much, or even helped at all but, I’d like to think that they had a small impact. Not that I would have actually listened to anyone else at that point in my life…

Strength tattoo

Footnotes:

  1. Technically, there isn’t an actual cure for alcoholism so there isn’t really such a thing as a “recovered alcoholic”. I just prefer to say that instead of “recovering alcoholic” as that sounds like there is never an end to the recovery. I quit. End of story. And I’m not starting again. Period. Therefore, I’m Recovered. :)
  2. O’doul’s is a non-alcoholic brew brewed by Anheuser-Busch.

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