Conversation with one of my colleagues on his most memorable turning point.
“At college, for 180 days straight, I got drunk, smoke a lot of weed and took pills. Once, I did something really bad that could have led me both dismissed from school and go to prison.
The counsellor gave two choices, either I’d go to AA meetings every week and report on what I’d learnt, or he would report me to the university and the police for what I did.
I took the first option. Once there, I met this guy from AA who told me:
“Look, man, you think this is funny, you think you’re tough? You think this isn’t the problem?
You’ve been doing this for 180 days, I’ve been struggling with this for 30 years.
Do you want to wake up at 9.20 when you have a job, you’re drunk, you don’t know where you are, you can’t find your shoes and you have to get a cab to get to work? You go to a good school with a very difficult major and you seem like a smart kid, so I want you to go home today and I want you to look in the mirror tonight and think:
“Do I want to do this for the rest of my life? Do I want the first thought in my head when I wake up to be “I need a drink”?"
Right now you’re at school, but one day you’ll have a kid and a wife. I missed the birth of my daughter because I was in a drunk holding cell. I wasn't there for her, is that what you want? I missed my father’s funeral because I was at the bar.
My first answer was “Look man, that’s your problem”.
He said “for 30 years, every decision in my life was influenced by alcohol, and I don’t want that to be you.
You think you have the whole world under your feet but you’re right on the verge of losing everything in front of your eyes".
So I listened.
When I got home, I got rid of all the bottles and asked my roommates to hold me accountable.
If there were parties, they’d tell me to go upstairs. 2-3 days in, I was sweating, I felt horrible.
After 2 weeks, I went out, planning on only getting one drink.
After the first drink, my friends took my credit card, and if a girl would offer me a drink, they’d slap it out of my hand. Or they’d smell my glass to check whether I was having water or vodka. It eventually got to the point when I’d go out and only want to have soft drinks and slowly grow out of it. This dude's sentence still sticks with me.”