Mending with Liquor

“Maybe just one more” he thought to himself sitting at the bar. The dust and smoke of the place filled the entire room making it hard to breathe. The barkeeper was a fat old woman. She appeared to be in her sixties and sour as hell if it were not for a subtle sweetness about her. “Want another darling?” asked the kind old woman. “Yes please, but could you make it ditch, and a double as well?” he asked. The woman made her way down to the other end of the bar and pulled out a double shot glass, filled it with ice and set it on the bar. She reached down to the very bottom of the bar and pulled out a small bottle of Glenlivet and poured. The two ounces she was supposed to give him looked more like three and she spilled a small amount bringing it over.

He sat there listening to the crowd. All of the small talk of gossip and rumors flying throughout the air provided some semblance of comfort. He simply stared in his drink thinking of the hell waiting for him at home. She wanted to see him before she left, as if to salt the already bleeding and stinging wound. Sitting at home, his soon to be divorced wife and children waited for him to return. He was done with all of it, all of the pain and the despair. The old barkeeper counted out his total and gave him the change. He noticed just how happy everyone around him seemed. It disgusted him terribly, making him feel as if he were a lesser man for carrying his pain into the bar.

Does he go home? Argue and fight with her? Or is she a lost cause? He asked for a bottle of scotch to go, making sure to tell the waitress to grab the larger bottle. She packaged the bottle in a brown paper bag and handed it over the counter to him. The weight of the bottle heavy in his hands gave him some semblance of happiness. He stepped out into the warm June air. The wind was calm and the town was in its usual swing. People were going on with their lives all around him, walking and driving here and there. In some strange way, the world seemed to be slowed today as if nobody was in any hurry to be anywhere. It was only half a day to match his new half-life. Gathering his strength for the fight to come he started down the street to his house, knowing what was waiting for him there when he arrived.

The steps leading up to his apartment were rather old and screamed noises of his presence throughout the building. His wife would without a doubt, know he was home. He walked into the apartment and sat the bottle on the counter. “Oh that’s nice” she said with a tone that said she wanted to fight. “Sarah, if you are going to go, then just go. I don’t fucking care anymore” he replied sternly. She was clearly a little offended by the remark as she went back to packing. He opened his bottle and sat with his kids while his wife rummaged through the house scaring the children more than necessary. “You know I love you right?” he asked his kids fighting tears. “No matter what happens, I will always be here for you, I promise” he said nearly choking on the words.

He walked out to the living room where she was packing her things still. “Are you going to let me see them still?” he asked. “Some things will need to change Nathan” she replied in a harsh manner. “You are a drunk and I am not sure you are healthy for the kids.” He sat there letting that absorb a minute. She wasn’t wrong, but was it truly necessary to rip the kids right out of our picture we painted? There had to be a more gentle way to go about this for the sake of the kids. “You are a selfish bitch” he said in a harsh tone. She just sort of sat there staring at him for a minute at a loss for words. “You think this is best for the fucking kids do you? Ripping them away from everything they know without explaining?” He asked angrily. “Mark my words someday they will hate you for this, and they would be right to do so” he said.

There was suddenly a honk outside the apartment. No doubt it was her father coming to pick her up and take her home. She grabbed the kids tearing them away from their father. She left her poor father to move her furniture himself, so he helped the man. He helped this man move his wife out. They were all packed and the kids were strapped into their seats in the back of the truck. “I love you guys, be good for your mom and I will see you again soon” he told them as the door slammed shut in his face. He held his hand flat against the truck window and his son’s small palm was pressed against the other side. It was time to say goodbye. With that he turned from his children, fighting back the worst anguish he had ever felt in his life. Walking up the stairs to his apartment he began to tear himself apart from the inside, blaming himself for what had just happened. He walked into the small bedroom that used to be his son’s and started to drink. He drank with the intention of never waking that night. From that point on, nothing would be the same, and all he had been, the shallow, hollow husk of a home without a family was all that was left to him.

“Mom” he said over the phone. “Sarah left last night, I’m not really sure what to do anymore and I think this is a forever kind of thing.” He told his mother. “Well why would she leave? What reason was there?” She asked her son. “It just wasn’t working I guess, not really sure why as of yet.” He lied, knowing that he could not tell her he was a drunk. She would think ill of him, or worse, hate him for it. There was an awkward silence on the phone that seemed to last forever. “Well it just is what it is then” His mother replied. He was satisfied by this answer however he was also a little disappointed. His entire life just crumbled all around him, the love of his life had left him and he was alone. He said goodbye to his mother and started to get ready for his day as usual.

He stepped into the shower and turned it on. The cold feeling of the water on his body made his sick and hung over body tremble as he waited for the water to warm. Normally the house would be filled with the sound of his family running about, getting ready for their day as usual. But today there was nothing, nothing at all. Sarah would get the kids dressed and we would walk them down the street to daycare for the day. Then we would say goodbye and head our own ways to work. But today was not the same, today he would attempt the very same thing he attempted the night before. Only this time he would do it right.

He stepped into the bedroom to get dressed only to find where he had gotten sick the night before. “It seems that this is why it didn’t work” he thought to himself as he cleaned the mess from the floor. Reaching into his closet he pulled one of his fine Sunday shirts from the rack. He found the first decent pair of jeans from the floor and threw on his sandals. No coffee or breakfast for him this morning, he was to sick for that. Stepping down the stairs to the street still slightly drunk from the night before that is when he saw her. “Drunk again Nate?” hissed the landlord in a nasty tone. “So long as my rent is paid and I don’t make too much noise I can be as drunk as I want” he said with a smirk. “Son, you may need some help, I heard about Sarah and I feel for you. But even with the rent paid, you can’t just be drunk all the time” she said. “I am having the worst fucking week of my life and I paid you, leave me the fuck alone woman” he snapped, clearly showing his headache was far too big to be dealing with yet another drama. “Fine Nathan, have a good day” she relied shortly and went on her way.

Walking down the street he saw many parents taking their children to school. He noticed some of Aiden and Brenna’s classmates and couldn’t help but feel the cut that was still there from the day before. He was nearly to the bar when he noticed they were still closed. “Shit” he thought to himself. “I just want a fucking drink” he said aloud for all to hear. “At least I didn’t eat, that will save me some money on drink today” he though as he fingered through the money in his billfold. He was nearly broke and pay-day wasn’t for another week. The little old lady was bustling about inside the bar, getting the stools down and wiping the counters as usual. He was usually here for what he liked to call coffee before work. There were a few men in town that just loved their morning coffee covers and he was no exception. The door clicked with the sound of it unlocking. “Well you are still here” she said with a warm smile. “I heard what happened and I really don’t think you’ll find answers here Nate” she warned him. “Maybe you need to call the bishop at the church?” she suggested offering him a free cup of coffee. “You know it’s funny Stacy, I’ve been coming here for coffee for two years now and this is the first time I actually had coffee” he said almost with a half-smile. “Nate, sweetheart, I can’t serve drink to a broken heart” she said in a caring tone. “Go home and make all of this right” she said, and with that she went on to attend to other things around the bar.

He got out of his seat almost offended but understanding the lecture was needed and left out the back door of the bar. He stepped outside to find the weather had turned and it was raining. The smell of rain was in the air and the chill of the drops chilled him to the bone. It is amazing, the emotional power of rain, it can turn your thoughts and warp your mind into a depressed stupor. Suddenly the images of his children playing filled his mind. He saw them crying, cursing and hating him. He stepped down the street and noticed that the liquor store had just opened. He stepped down the street fighting his tears yet again and stepped into the store. There were dozens and dozens of bottles of pain relief. “I just need something to help, it’s too much. But this is the last time so help me God” he thought to himself. He grabbed the largest bottle of cheap and dirty scotch they sold. “That will be eighteen seventy-five” said the shopkeeper staring at him wondering why the hell he needed that much booze at eight in the morning. He said nothing to her besides thanking her.

He walked out of the door to see that the rain had become worse; it was a downpour at this point so he started in a fast walk down the street. He scrambled to get home and start drinking the scotch he had just bought. Strangely he was excited and to be drunk again. He was happy and looking forward to it in a way that really cannot be described. He stepped into his home, grabbed a glass and started to drink what he thought was his medicine. He got his journal out and started writing. Strafing between the pages of Ernest Hemingway and the bleeding of his own emotions on paper he began to decompress his feelings. Drunken words spilled onto the pages alleviating only the most topical of pain. He sat there until he blacked out, leaving reality to find a place that had no pain for a few hours. When he came back to reality he found that almost a quarter of a gallon had disappeared and he was sick. He didn’t want to move, he would rather drink more. He poured another trying with all of his might to die by the bottle. He let cheap scotch and Hemingway take him on a drunken journey through the snows of Kilimanjaro as he slipped from reality yet again.

Two weeks later he was getting ready in a hurry. His mother was bringing the kids to stay for two weeks with him. He scrambled to clean the house that had so obviously started to become a bachelor’s household. He was hung over as usual but this time, he seemed happier. She pulled up into the parking lot and he rushed down the stairs to meet her. He opened the door and there they were, his son and daughter. His son smiled and ran to him as if he hadn’t seen him in a year. His daughter was taken from the car-seat and handed to him. His mother hugged him and visited for a few minutes. “Are you doing alright?” she asked, she was clearly concerned about her son. “I’m fine mother” he said reassuringly. The visit did not last long; it was hard for her to see her son so very sick. It was clear what was wrong with him, he was dying. He took his son and daughter upstairs to the apartment where they found all of their toys and bedding exactly as they had left it. “Just like home kids” he said to them as they ran into their room to play. He walked to the kitchen to make himself a drink and revel in the bliss of having good drink and good family. There were few things he cared for more than those children and he was so very thankful to his family for bringing them to him. Truly happiness had found him again at last.

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Meet Craig Blair, Winner of my Prose Contest!

Craig Blair copy2

“CHALLENGES”

Missy sat on the glider on the back porch and observed the birds flitting around the bird

feeder. It was a fine sunny day and she had her notebook in her hand, recording the

birds’ movements for a science project at school. A bluejay suddenly flew up and the rest
of the birds took flight. She picked up a small stick and angrily threw it at the bluejay.
“Shoo! You stupid bird!” she hollered, “Stop chasing the other birds away!” The bluejay
flew off with a raucous caw.
“Missy?” She heard her father’s voice behind her. She turned to find him standing nearby
with a woman beside him. The woman was very thin and had long brown hair. She was
dressed in a checked shirt and black jeans and held a gift bag. She had an exhausted look
to her as if she were just recovering from a serious illness. Missy almost didn’t recognize
her.
“Your mother is here to see you,” her father said. The woman’s smile was a little
hesitant, but warm. Missy froze for a few moments in surprise, then set her notebook
down and got up from the glider.
“Hello, Mom,” she said politely.
The woman walked over to her and gave her a hug. “Hello, Sweetheart!” she responded.
Then she held the girl at arm’s length. “Oh, my gosh! Look how you’re growing! You
must be in fifth grade, now.”
“Sixth,” corrected Missy.
“Sixth! Of course! What’s wrong with me?” her mother replied with an embarrassed
laugh.
“Why don’t you two have a seat and I’ll get some lemonade,” said Missy’s father.
Missy sat back down on the glider while her mother pulled up a patio chair. She reached
over and tentatively stroked Missy’s hair. “You’re getting so pretty,” she said, “I’ll bet
you have a boyfriend by now.”
Missy shrugged and smiled shyly.
“I have a birthday present for you,” said her mother with a touch of embarrassment, “I
know your birthday was three months ago, but… well… here.” She held the gift bag out
to her. Missy looked inside and pulled out a large butterfly picture book. “I remembered
that you liked butterflies,” her mother continued, “You even wanted to be one of those
scientists that studies them.”
“A lepidopterist,” responded Missy.
Her mother snapped her finger. “That’s the word,” she laughed.
“Thank you for the book. It’s very pretty.”
Missy’s father arrived with two glasses of lemonade and set them down on a nearby
table. “Missy,” he said, “Why don’t you show your mother the butterfly garden that we
planted?”
Missy jumped up off the glider. “C’mon. It’s over here,” she said with a gesture for her
mother to follow her.
“I’ll be in the kitchen if you need me,” he called after them.
He was scrubbing the stove top when Missy’s mother stepped into the kitchen about
forty minutes later. “I guess I’m ready to go, now,” she told him, “We had a very nice
visit. Thank you so much for letting me see her.”
He gave her a nod. “S’okay.” He rinsed his hands and walked her to the front door.
“I can’t believe how fast she’s growing. And how pretty she is,” she said along the way,
“And smart, too! You’ve done such a good job with her.”
“Thanks,” he muttered.
He opened the door for her and she stepped out onto the front stoop. Then she turned to
him and said, “I’ve been sober for three months, now.”
He raised an eyebrow in mild surprise. “Really?”
She nodded. “I’m in a new program. It seems to be working for me.” She looked away
and continued, “But it’s hard. God, it’s hard! I think about booze everyday. The only
thing that keeps me sober is the hope that maybe…” she looked down like a child asking
an adult for a special favor, “… just maybe if I stay sober, I can be a part of my
daughter’s life again.”
He looked at her in silence for several moments. “I’d be okay with that,” he finally said.
She looked up at him with a hopeful gleam in her eyes. “Really?!”
He nodded. “I think it would be good for her to have her mother back in her life.” Then
he added with a stern look, “Sober!”
“Yes!” she nodded enthusiastically, “Absolutely!” Then she looked down again and
stammered sheepishly, “And… who knows? Maybe… I could become a… a part
of your life again… too.”
His face hardened. “I wouldn’t count on that.”
She continued looking down and nodded. “Of course. I understand.” When she looked
back up at him her eyes were moist. “But… it isn’t out of the question?”
“Well…” his voice softened a little, “I suppose anything’s possible.”
She laid her hand on his arm. “Thank you. I need that small glimmer of hope to keep me
going.”
“But I don’t want to mislead you,” he added.
She nodded. “I understand. I know I have a long way to go to earn your trust again.” He
didn’t respond. She made as if to hug him and then stopped herself. Instead, she turned
without a word and started down the sidewalk.
“I hope you make it this time,” he called after her, “I really do.”
She looked back and smiled, then continued on. He closed the front door and shook his
head sadly. “But we’ve been down this road soooo many times before,” he sighed to
himself.

Share the Weight

When we are recovering alcoholics, the people around us rarely understand the hell we have to live in. I remember being so pissed off and frustrated with my partner because she just did not get it. She couldn’t understand how I was so depressed and hurt all of the time, and to be honest neither did I. There were several really nasty fights that we had, I realized at a certain point that if her and I were going to work I had to include her in my recovery.

For the longest time my recovery was “my thing”. I never shared it with anyone, to the point in fact that nobody knew I was an alcoholic. There were many different things that had occurred because of this and one was fighting. I was frustrated because I wanted to drink and didn’t want to admit it and she was mad because she wanted to know what was wrong and I wouldn’t tell her. This created a divide between us that made s feel like we were separated when we needed to be together.

I wanted to change that so I included her I everything in my life. My appointments with the therapist and my rehab, my legal fight against my ex-wife and all of my attorney meetings. She is now literally included in every part of my life. Naturally the fighting simmered down and we were operating like a team again. Now we still fight from time to time, but not in the severe manner we used to. One thing I can tell you for certain is that nobody is going to understand your pain if you do not share it with them. They need to know that you are vulnerable and that you hurt. If they are good for you, then they will care. If they are bad for you, then they won’t. My partner took to the role of supportive spouse without missing a beat, as did the rest of my friends and family. It’s funny because I remember early I recovery it felt like I did not have a friend in the world, when really it was me pushing everyone away. A word of advice for anyone recovering from alcoholism, share the pain. Nobody will help you if you do not let them.

Anger feeding From Shame and Denial

There are times that I will be going through a withdrawal and I am just pissed off. I mean down to the core, don’t even talk to me pissed off. I think that most addicts who find sobriety feel anger at some point in their recovery. There was one time I snapped at Tori when all she was doing was asking me if I was alright. I am not excusing my sometimes less than perfect attitude but there has to be some leeway for the “angry addict”.

First off, it’s not easy being us and that is a fact. Anyone who has never been addicted to alcohol has no real understanding of what we are going through. It’s a nightmare just to wake up in the morning sometimes. The stress, nightmares, anxiety and general depression of quitting something that strongly rooted into your life is nearly unbearable. But even as angry, blunt and sometimes uncaring addicts, we must remember to have a heart for those who try to help. I bit Tori’s head off for asking me if I was alright. Let’s just say I felt like a real jackass when the dust settled. I have to always stop and remind myself; “they don’t know, it’s not their fault.”

In my own personal experience, I hated people whether I was sober or drunk. I am an introvert so I am not a people person by any means. That is why I work from home on my computer. I do not have to see anyone in person except the people I am comfortable around. This reclusive nature of mine has one negative though. I am guarded around new people. Online I am a social and friendly person who writes and shares his stories with his readers, but don’t ever think I want to have you over for dinner. It’s nothing personal, you just intimidate me and your “physical” presence makes me uncomfortable. I am happy in my own little world with my tiny circle of friends that have the “Nate’s Stamp of Approval.” The reclusive, shy and anti-social nature of people can be a great root system for anger to grow. Add alcohol and you have one disaster waiting to happen.

Imagine what it was like to sit in my first group. It felt like everyone was not just staring at me, but rather staring “into” me. I remember sitting in my therapists office when she said; “Nathan, you have to come to group, it’s a part of your patient recovery plan.” I can remember walking out of her office pissed off, thinking she was wrong and that I didn’t need to meet all of those strangers. In hindsight, looking back, I would probably be drinking now If I had kept that rotten attitude of mine.

I feel that oftentimes, when a court tells someone they cannot drink and forces them to quit, the addict feels quite a bit of shame along with it. My friends list definitely died down a little when It was public that I was a good for nothing drunk. I became very, very reclusive.I wrote a previous article that some of you have read specifically for “shame” and what shame based thinking can do to an addict. We found out that when an addict is holding onto too much shame without healthily letting it go, it can undo everything he is working for. This leads to anger or relapse or both. Often times you see a judge sentence someone to rehab and anger management simultaneously, because sobriety, alcoholism, shame and anger are all the very best of friends and you rarely find one without the others.

I have experienced two kinds of anger regarding my drinking in my life, the anger projected outward in the case of denial. “johnny, do you really need another one? You’ve had three already.” If johnny is in denial of his addiction he is likely to get angry and defensive. “Worry about yourself, never mind what I’m doing.” This might be a response someone in denial might say to get the other person to simply “drop” the line of conversation they have started.

The other form of anger that the addict may use is the anger I find myself still using from time to time. This anger is not projected outward, but rather inward. The addict will “beat himself up” for being the way he is. “I’m a failure and everyone must hate me.” The roots of this anger can be traced to shame for what the addict has done or how he is judged by his peers. I know that when I recognized my problems I was ashamed. I fact, I still haven’t talked to my own grandmother because I have shamed myself and beat myself up so bad. Even as I write this and share it with you, the reader. I can tell you that I still don’t have all of this nailed down either.

Anger can destroy lives and make sobriety virtually unachievable. Anger has many roots that stem from other feelings that often the addict will hide. Shame is often a trait before anger and that anger is generally directed inward. Whereas denial is generally projected outward to those who would dare to step up and help us. These are unfortunately the dangerous formulations that make up the mentality of most alcoholics.

Shame

We all feel shame in some fashion or manner. We have all done things that we do not openly want to discuss with others and that is completely normal and human. Some people view shame as weakness, however after my own therapy and recovery, I have learned that shame is a sign that we actually care. I have lived with shame for many different reasons, however I have learned that letting that shame go and understanding that bad things happen and poor decisions are made has allowed me to be more open and fulfilled in my own life and it can be so for you as well. I was in therapy for a while a few years ago and my therapist immediately recognized my issues were “shame based” and he recommended a great book for me. In this book I learned how to cope with my shame and use it to fuel my own emotions for a greater good. The late Ernest Hemingway once quoted;

“If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry. Worry never fixes anything”.

This is more true than anyone could ever realize. I firmly believe that most of our stress comes from our mind making a stressful situation worse. To an alcoholic this becomes almost nightmarish. Imagine having the responsibility of bills, work, children, spouse and everything else attached to them and having to remain sober in a world that screams at you to be a drunk. It’s no wonder most recovering alcoholics are a little “grumpy”. I tend to worry about everything at once, and I mean everything. We really can’t just worry a little bit as humans can we… Most people are full of worry and stress.

Feeling an exuberant amount of shame for ourselves can be very stressful and unhealthy and may lead to a relapse. But always remember that you are not a bad person. Even if you have done terrible things under the influence of a substance, those decisions were not truly you and you are not that person anymore. If you feel some shame about being an alcoholic, good. Use that shame as fuel so that you never use again. It may be hard to live with the shame, believe me I know, but that shame can be a very powerful tool that when wielded properly can keep you a beautiful, sober and amazing person for the rest of your life.

My Mistakes

The hell of it is the terror of knowing. Knowing that you have caused a hurt and a burden to someone who cannot be undone. The nightmares that follow the actions of one mere drunken evening. An evening of turmoil and pain the like of which can uproot even the most firmly rooted life. The things that I have done, the pain I have inflicted will never be forgotten or forgiven. The haunting nightmarish hell that I live in every single day of this miserable life I call my own. Do I take my own life? Some may see that as the easy way out. I don’t deserve even the ease of releasing my own life and if you were to ask, most would agree. How then can we reconcile the terrible actions we have made? Is it as simple as apologizing? I think not. How then can we begin to atone for our actions when those actions are so terrible we shake the very foundations of love? Well the truth is, as I write this, I have yet to find out.

It started the day my family was ripped apart. The hellish day that brought me to a drunken stupor that inflicted pain like a wound. A deep laceration of my soul that no needle may mend no matter the skill of the healer. At the point of no return some may say, and who can blame her. But there I was, begging and pleading for her to stay, not yet realizing the evil poison that she presented to my life. I thought happiness was tolerance, now I know that it is in fact temperance. She left, left me alone without a family and without life. How can one be killed yet live? To reside in a shallow husk lacking a soul, never to be cared for nor truly heard from again. I was as near to dead as the walking may stride, and I truly felt it in my very soul. I began to find solace in the bottom of a glass. I frequented the bars and lived the nightlife scene. Soon my drinking had taken over the very best of me. The hardest part of being that person was actually knowing that I was a drunk, knowing that I had an issue and just not caring one way or the other. I had no feeling of self-worth or value. During this part of my life I felt truly worthless and afraid. There were many times that I would drink to die in a very literal sense, trying desperately to end my life by drowning in alcohol.

The root of my addiction came from socialization with friends. I felt as if it was normal to drink at such a high rate. When I was a teenager it was the “cool” thing to do. I remember times with my best friend as a teenager. I would pass out drunk, with my face in the mud and my peers would make fun of me as I lay there in my own filth and vomit. What is worse than that is the fact that me and my friends thought that this was the fun and cool thing to be doing. It’s no wonder why I flunked school and nearly everything I did at that time of my life. As the years wore on my emotions, I began to noticed that my friends and I were slowly becoming more and more aggressive. The emotions of life, such as bills, work and other responsibilities began to take hold of who we were. Now when we drank like we used to, we were angry. I began to feel other emotions along with this as well. I felt worthless, scared, stupid, unlikable and overall very untrue to myself as a person.

One great thing that did occur in my life was the birth of my children and through all of those years I was a drunk. I was never really a good father and I most certainly think that I could have done better. My performance as a father was never exactly “great”. I remember a time that I tried to quit drinking and all it did was create a divide between myself and my ex-wife. I began to resent her, and this led to cheating on both fronts. I cheated out of hatred and spite and she did the same. For almost a year my relationship began a tailspin of destruction and we both knew it was over. I didn’t want to be sober, I truly refused to be sober at first. It took an earth shattering act of stupidity on my part to make me accept that I needed to be sober. I still get the urge to drink even though I am so far into sobriety. I go out with my fiance and I have to order a coke and not my usual pint of beer. Have you ever had salt rubbed into a wound? Or been stitched without anesthetics? That is what a dinner at a restaurant with a drink menu is like. But I tolerate those pains and urges for the sake of those around me. I tell myself; “its not their fault that I am the way I am and we should eat her even though it will be hard”. I used to be selfish and hurtful before sobriety, and now I am making sacrifices all the time for people. Even though it is hard to do that, I feel as if I am the person that I was supposed to be. Thank you for reading and please share with anyone who needs a story like this to help them. I have so many people to thank for being strong for me when I could into be for myself and words alone cannot describe the depths of gratitude I feel for them. And I thank my readers, were it not for you, my words would be a meaningless ramble of nothingness.

That Is One Ironic Videogame…

My partner and I are very big gamers. We love our video games no doubt about it. I was playing one of my favorites the other day and I noticed that my character can become addicted to alcohol. It was really shocking that a video game would include that as a feature. I continued playing this character, running around killing things and stopping every once in a while for that quick pick me up and I noticed that every time my character went without drinking to long, the weight he could carry would decrease. Holy metaphor batman! That is exactly what I used to do! I would ride my tall drunken horse, carrying all the weight I wanted until the alcohol ran out and I had to start dropping all of the cool things I had. I dropped friends, a wife, kids, close family and pride. I felt worthless like a naked and afraid video game hero who never saved the world, he instead sank into a pit of despair and self loathing and was never seen again.

My character was having withdrawals, he couldn’t aim, carry anything or even run as fast. It was really sad to watch him leave everything he loved so dearly sitting in a field somewhere. He needed to be better, he had to be better so he immediately ran to a doctor who immediately healed his alcoholism. Now there are no quack doctors that can simply make our addiction go away like in a make-believe world but we can make steps in the right direction. A doctor cannot make the problem go away, but he can make the problem tolerable and get you set off in the right direction. Maybe with a little professional help you can be the Hero of your own life. You can’t kill wastelanders drunk anyways duh.