Hitting Rock Bottom

A tale of two months of failure

Photo by Francisco Gonzalez on Unsplash

So, it’s been a while. Time for an update.

The story starts around the middle of December 2021. I was, I believe, 57 days sober and feeling pretty darn great. it was the festive season, or as some say, the silly season. For me, it turned into a lot more than festive or merely silly.

We had some family over we had not seen in a year but, there was some uncomfortableness surrounding their visit. In a moment of desperation, or perhaps just stupidity, I decided the thing that we need to rescue the situation was some drinks. Big, big mistake.

Don’t get me wrong, the evening turned out just fine, it is the events thereafter that I am referring to as the mistake. I was lead down a path which I have walked before, but it got even more out of hand this time.

December was for the most part life is usual before getting sober. Some evenings things would be entirely under control and I would have one or two beers and call it a night. But then there were the evenings where I lost control. Where one or two beers turned into six and a bottle of wine.

The worst of it started early in January 2022.

Never before in my life did I give into the whole “hair of the dog” thing the day after the night before. More and more though, this seemed like a short term solution. While I did not have a drink upon awakening, I did have a beer or perhaps even two by eleven in the morning.

Some days that would be where it stopped, but other days, I would continue and end up drinking six to eight beers by six or seven in the evening. Things were out of control.

Problem is, once you start down this path, it is extremely hard to do a 180 degree turn. I bargained with myself, “Ok, I will have one now. Then see how my “hanxiety” goes and perhaps even another one or two at four or five in the afternoon”.

My belief was that, if I pull that off, the next day would be easier and I would be able to only have a beer or two in the afternoon, and the day after that, back to no alcohol and freedom.

Let me tell you, do not believe that voice. Do not bargain with the devil as they say. This pattern went on and on. Two or three days sober, then have a beer, maybe two. Lose control. Rinse and repeat.

That was until three days ago.

I had a bit to much to drink on the Thursday evening and so by eleven on Friday, I decided to have a beer to quiet the anxiety eating me up from the inside. One turned into a complete loss of control. I honestly do not know how much I ended up drinking throughout the course of the day.

At around 10 PM I went to bed, took my medication, and fell asleep.

The next thing I remember is my wife and son being in a complete freakout. From what I gathered I got up to go to the bathroom but could not keep my balance. I hit my head against the wall, tried to steady myself and completely passed out on the floor.

When at last my wife got me up and on the bed, I kept telling them that I am OK. They kept insisting to take me to the hospital, but I honestly felt that I was fine and they were overreacting. Of course, I did not see what they saw.

I did end up falling asleep again at just after 1 AM and slept until 9 AM. I awoke with feelings of fear, extreme guilt, and realized that I just hit rock bottom.

Suffice it to say, I apologized to my wife, son and eldest daughter for what they had gone through and I vowed that it would never, never happen again. I got the fright of my life. the medication I take should not be taken with alcohol at all really, and definitely not when you have drowned yourself in the stuff.

It is frightening if I think what could have happened.

Thankfully, my family is simply amazing, and our love allowed us to move past what happened. I am now on day three of being sober and this time, it is for good.

Never again will I touch this destructive substance. Never again will I put my body through such turmoil. Never again will I allow this substance to destroy my life and the lives off those I love.

I am done. I want my 57 days back and then some, and no matter what it takes, I will make it this time.

If you are struggling with alcohol, if you even think that you might have a problem. Please, please get help. Remove it from your life. There is honestly nothing it adds to your life that will not be even better without it.

I am grateful to be alive. I am grateful for another chance, and I am grateful for a living family that is willing to forgive and support me in living my, and in turn, our best life.

I wish this for each and every one of you going through this. You can beat this. Just don’t be ashamed to ask for help should you need it.

Peace and love.

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Schalk Neethling

Schalk Neethling

I write about mental health, addiction, sober living, living your best life through an active lifestyle and a whole food plant-based diet. Psychedelic curios :)