Throughout almost a decade long addiction, starting at the young age of fourteen and ending nearly six months ago, one friend stuck with me the whole time, but I almost lost it all due to this horrible disease. My love for him and our friendship was one of the biggest reasons why I got sober.
For years, this friend, Evan witnessed me take my drinking to the limit, either blacking out, getting into fights at bars, or getting violent with our friends. He pleaded with me constantly to cut down or stop my drinking completely and I would stop for a little but get right back into it, disappointing him over and over again. He was torn up inside because he didn’t know what to do or how to help. I drank because everything about my life was truly a mess and drinking just added to the confusion, making it worse, but I didn’t understand that, he did. He knew that if I wanted a better life I had to stop completely.
One night back in my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pa, Evan and I, along with some of our close buddies were coming back from the bar and stopped at the park to smoke some weed. I in my usual black out was being ridiculous as always, but my friends were always loyal to me, and kept me by their side until they could discontinue their unpaid babysitting job, eventually dropping me off at home. They all really hated when I got too drunk but they had an obligation to get me home safe. I would have done the same for them. After we had gotten through about half of the blunt, even though it is hard to remember, I vaguely recollect myself arguing and ultimately on the ground fighting with someone. That’s all I can recall from that situation.
I found myself the next morning, still drunk, wondering what had happened the night before. After calling a few friends, asking them what had happened, I got the usual answer, “you were ridiculous.” But what I didn’t know was that the person I had been in a brawl with was Evan, my best friend. A few days later I got a phone call from him, pissed off and regretting that he had ever met me in the first place. He explained to me that if I didn’t stop drinking for good that he was no longer going to continue our friendship; he was going to be out of my life for good. I pondered this thought for awhile, weeping as I went back to the first time we met and all the great things we had done throughout our childhood. I didn’t want to lose someone like him due to alcohol. Drinking was not worth that. I had to grow up and make the biggest decision in my life. Stop drinking or lose a dear friend.
I’m almost six months sober today; learning to move past old behaviors, building a sober life, a content life….full of pure friendships and promise. Thank you sobriety!