An Epiphany

The night at the liquor store ended peacefully.  Thankfully,  I was spared from being transported in a police cruiser to the detox center.  I owed it all to my girlfriend who convinced the officers to let me go to her custody.  She drove me home and soon things got a little "dicey" again when I called my ex-wife on the phone.  I proceeded to tell my ex that I was soon to be married in October.  The news of my betrothal didn't settle very well with her.  She hung up on me but called back immediately.  She emphatically told me that I would never see my kids again if I were to get married.  She hung up again and I was fuming!  My preferred way of dealing with anger and frustration was to destroy an inanimate object such as a chair, table or in this case....the telephone.  We only had rotary phones back in those days, but they were large, plastic, and annoying.  I referred to the phone as an "instrument of disaster" meaning that the majority of calls spelled disaster in one way or another.  In any event, I took a hammer and proceeded to pound the plastic into several, unusable pieces all the while cursing the ex-wife and her villainous ways.  Hammering away, my aim wasn't the greatest.  Missing the phone several times, I accidentally pounded the floor.  Being on the second floor, the tenant below heard all the commotion, cursing and screaming from above.  He or she called the police thinking that I had murdered someone.  In no time, an officer arrived knocking loudly and incessantly at our front door.  My girlfriend told me to "go to my room" which I did without hesitation.  The officer discovered the dismantled telephone and asked my whereabouts.  I had to emerge from my room and explain the explosive situation.  I just remember feeling very "sick and tired" of being "sick and tired".  It seemed as if my life was in constant Deja Vu having similar unpleasant encounters with authority and inanimate objects.  During my drinking career, I had several episodes of anger mismanagement.  There were chairs thrown, tables broken, holes kicked in the walls and many objects hurled.  One episode I am not proud to recall was when a swat team surrounded my apartment.  This incident was precipitated, once again, by a phone call from the ex-wife.  She had called me on Father's Day to inform me that she was taking sole custody of my two sons and moving out-of-state.  Anger, fueled with alcohol, possessed me to throw a card table out the front window of my apartment.  Before I knew it, the swat team had arrived, guns drawn.  Here was a familiar pattern.  Anger fueled with alcohol.   A destructive behavior that I had always fallen back on for many years.  I was "conditioned" to react with anger..."drink and get angry, get angry and drink". That combination always got me in big trouble.  But this go-around  (my last drunk) was different. I knew that the situation was not going to get any better, especially by consuming alcohol.  It would only get worse if I were to continue imbibing.  When the officer left that evening, I experienced an epiphany that changed my life for the better.  I made up my mind to surrender to the disease of alcoholism.  I took that first step admitting that I was an alcoholic.  I went to many AA meetings thereafter. Ninety meetings in ninety days was recommended.  I soon learned that I was powerless over alcohol and that a power greater than myself would restore me to sanity.  The culmination of many past situations led up to my decision to quit.  I was fortunate to have made that decision before I might have killed or maimed someone while behind the wheel.  A very popular cliché in AA resonates with the fellowship...  "there, but for the grace of God, go I".  Simply put, it's a recognition that other's misfortunes could be one's own, it it weren't for the blessing of a Higher Power or for one's luck.  I prefer that it was my Higher Power that intervened and gave me an epiphany that literally saved my life (and others).  


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