My Recovery: Why I Won’t Relapse


In the 6 weeks I’ve been here at the Boston VA for Alcoholism Treatment in all the groups, therapy sessions, meetings, no one has ever asked us to list the ways that alcohol has negatively impacted our lives, or will impact our lives should we pick up again.

I think this is a missed opportunity.  I think if we as recovering alcoholics/addicts had an exercise where we attempted to list many of the ways in which our disease has reared its ugly head, or how it will affect us if we do pick up again, that it might have some impact.

It might also be a good list to keep handle should I start thinking that I am ok to pick up again.  I am pretty sure it would put me right back on the right path.

So here goes!  This isn’t going to be pretty:

20 Reasons Why I Won’t Ever Drink Alcohol Ever Again:

  1. I become a loud, overbearing, and obnoxious asshole.
  2. I have picked up the phone lots of times and bought other drugs.
  3. I ruined almost every single friendship I’ve ever had since college.
  4. Drunk dialing.
  5. Drunk driving.
  6. Defects of the mind and character.  Suicide attempts.
  7. Financial ruin.  I am homeless and poor.
  8. I will end up back in jail.
  9. Kids out of my life. (mainly an affliction of the exes poison.  Yes, SHE owns that, I NEVER drank in front of the kids).
  10. I got kicked out of the military for an OUI in Germany, then subsequently tested positive for hash (Honorable).
  11. I got 2 USA OUI’s and have 2 years of jail time/probation hanging over my head.
  12. I have had over 60 jobs out of 48 years of eligible employment.  Yeah, that one staggers me when I added them up.
  13. I destroyed, or have been involved in destroying 4 out of 5 of my significant adult relationships (of more than 3 years).
  14. Loss of major income.  I have wasted umpteen thousands of dollars on alcohol and drugs.
  15. I cannot have just one.  I have to close every place I go.
  16. Isolation, loneliness, depression, despair.
  17. High blood pressure, weight gain, physical exhaustion.
  18. Cost of car insurance, and installation of a breathalyzer in my car (which I currently don’t own).
  19. Instability, chaos, loss, depression.
  20. I will end up dead.

So there you have it folks:  it ain’t pretty, but that’s my truth.  And having just finished the list and reading over it, it staggers me and I have to take a moment to regroup.  Not all my life has been that doom and gloom, lol.  But for the most part it has not been pretty.  I think tomorrow or Sunday I will post 20 Great Things I’ve Done In My Life, just so you don’t think I am a complete washout.  I know you don’t think that, just sayin’

Alcohol is a disease.  Alcohol will swallow you whole, chew you up, and vomit you onto the cold hard pavement.  It will do this over, and over, and over again.  Alcohol got me so I ended up a lonely, isolate–but on the mend!!– poet blogging at a VA Treatment Facility on a Friday afternoon.

But a sober, lonely poet (wink).


  • I think we might be related. Or you could be related to my half brother. When I am drunk I can be obnoxious, cocky, and too self confident, I have lost friends because I STOPPED drinking, I’ve had a DUI, suicide attempts, overnight accommodations in a barred facility, and I always had to close a place or be thrown out of a place and always drunk dialed. This is the weird part. My older brother is an alcoholic (active) and has smoked pot since an early age. He’s mostly like me when he drinks but would never attempt suicide, he thinks too much of himself for that. He was in the Army. He was caught smoking pot while on Guard Duty, he broke a beer bottle in a man’s face while drunk on base, he was stationed in Germany with his wife and got into another bar fight. He decided to just hop on the next plane to the U.S. without telling anyone. Can you say DISHONORABLE DISCHARGE? I could make a list with a 100 reasons for my brother and it wouldn’t matter. My list doesn’t matter. What helped the most for me is finding out and knowing why I drank. The cause of it. What made me want to drink so badly? It was a little easier to string sober days together until they became years. I did it without a program but that was my personal choice. You have already accomplished a great deal in a short time.

  • Rob,
    You have been brutally honest with your life and that is a tough thing to do. You have reached out to others and have been open with what you have dealt with and faced. Just understand that you do not stand alone. We may never have served together but we are always brother’s in arms and we stick together. We have had to deal with challenges that only a few other’s like ourselves understand. I bet you can still remember your Drill Sergeant’s names and faces, I know I do. The struggle of doing something few even try. You have a strength inside that few in this country can understand and so use that. It is there and always will be, I see from what you write that it is still there. Keep up the fight.. Semper Fi. Marine.

  • Wait a minute… Did you just steal my list??

  • Rob, I think you are a courageous guy to face this head on. You have a lot going for you don’t give it up.

  • Rob???

    You are on the road to full recovery…

    The first Sure step is accepting and coming to terms..
    with the impact on you..
    and what it costs you..

    You have hit bottom.. and they say.. there is no way to go but up..

    I would love to be see your list of things you have accomplished and proud of..

  • Private Bad Thoughts

    Honesty is really important and being honest with yourself isn’t always easy, but necessary to take a good hard look before you can change. and being honest and open with others keeps you accountable-thanks for sharing, keep on sharing-

  • Takes a lot to write an inventory like this. Keep at it. I wish it was something that just needs to be done once, but in both AA and Al-Anon we don’t stop taking inventories of our defects and wrongs so that we can continue growing and making amends.

  • I’m amazed that they didn’t ask you make this list? What sort of treatment is that? Keep it close. I have my own list and I hope to have the presence of mind to read through it before I even contemplate picking up a drink.

  • You are more than you know! Raw brutal honesty will always help someone. Don’t stop reaching for more!

  • I love this raw honesty. You are brave and tough and to be respected 💛

    • Or stupid haha. Just kidding. Maybe it will help someone who is thinking of picking up or someone who doesn’t know how bad it can get. I dunno, bottom line is it helped me

  • You are one hell of s honest to goodness guy. I like you for being so truthful. Not many like you. Pleased to meet you Rob.

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