|ADDICTION IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY DISEASE|
A GIFT OF CLARITY
By Bob Weaver
It was the morning after Christmas and a night of drinking and "celebrating" that I raised my head to bump it on the underpinning of a couch. I had some vomit on my shirt and I had urinated in my pants.
My head felt as big as Australia and I was sick and weak.
I had passed out under the couch looking for a hidden bottle of vodka.
Pulling my bones together, I put on a jacket and climbed the steps to an upstairs deck to settle myself in a chair to watch the rising sun, a stillness in the chilly winter air looking across the West Virginia hills.
It had been a long time since I watched the rising sun, much too busy.
It was on this morning I had an epiphany, a moment of clarity, unbridled from the mechanism from which alcoholics perpetuate their addiction - denial and delusion.
Denial being conscious lying to protect ones need to drink, and delusion, actually believing the lies.
I have come to believe it is a rare occasion to have such moments of clarity, they are harsh, fearful and guilt-ridden.
On that morning, I knew beyond any doubt that I was a real alcoholic, and by my own devices, the best thinking or intentions I had put together had not been enough to return me to controlled drinking or sober living.
I was in the grips of a powerful addiction that had changed me into a person that I deeply disliked, hurting the people I loved.
All my excuses and blaming had led to countless vain attempts to stop drinking.
I sat there in the morning sun, naked with the truth upon me.
I saw myself as I really was, and it was not a pretty picture.
It was on that morning that I was thrust into a willingness to go to any length to become a sober man.
It was on on that morning I began the journey to sobriety that has graced my life for 37 years.
It is, beyond any doubt, the most important moment of my life, made possible by a Higher Power and then the helping voices and efforts of hundreds of people, including my wife.
This holiday, I am filled with gratitude and compassion for those who suffer with addiction, including many in Calhoun, with hopes that they will also have a moment of truth with a willingness to embark on a journey to sobriety.
It was after getting sober I spent the next 20 plus years starting and administering treatment centers for alcoholics and addicts, before starting the Hur Herald 20 years ago and serving as a Calhoun commissioner for 18 years.
During that time, I was directly or indirectly involved with the treatment of about 13,000 alcoholic/addicts, serving as president of the West Virginia Association of Drug and Alcohol Counselors, and conducted about 100 weekend retreats for recovering people.