Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published November 2011.

Web Exclusive: In the Detox

Talking with a formerly homeless alcoholic convinced him that there was hope for him

"If I drink today, I probably won't find a place to live."

As an alcoholic I don't have the power to control my drinking. I do not even have the power to remember the suffering of my drinking from a week or month ago, let alone a year ago. Any excuse is a good excuse for a sober alcoholic to pick up that first drink, caving to the insanity of alcoholism. By myself, I cannot resist the obsession that someday, somehow, I will drink like a gentleman again.

But something has changed within me. The night of my last drink was the night I could no longer ignore the truth. It was nothing spectacular at the time. I drank my daily ration, in my careful attempt to maintain my alcoholic way of life. Alcohol no longer shut my mind up. Half way through my second beer, the thought came to me, "You're killing yourself." My next thought was, "I don't want to do this anymore." That was it. I finished my beer. I had said the same thing to myself countless times before. But in that moment something was different. I did not know it at the time, but something was fundamentally different.

-- Dan

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