Read my earlier post for the intro to this story, please follow me to hear the whole story, and any tips are greatly appreciated.
My normal days consisted of waking up after the sun had set to work my 3 shift at a local grocery store prepping all the deli meats and cheeses for the display case. I would work from 10pm to 6am. I would then make my way to my local bar that opened at 6am. Yeah I know, this is Wisconsin, we love our drinking. In fact my city is in the top 10 drunkest cities list every year and Wisconsin as a state usually has more than half (link below). I would spend the better part of the day time there playing songs on the jukebox and ordering Budweiser and Windsor. I had a long time crush on the bartender here, so some mornings I would bring her breakfast or flowers we would chat and I would drink. At some time around noon the bar would start getting busy and it would become apparent I was the only one in the bar on a whole different level of drunk then the rest of the customers. Time to go home. I would limp home slowly by any means possible including driving and eat anything and everything for about an hour or two because I had neglected to eat anything for the last 16 hours. Once sufficiently stuffed a few more shots that I had saved to pass out. Wake up at 9pm rinse and repeat.
Well the day, or night of the 21st was not a normal day. This ever depressing grind of a shitty existence was building up. Staying this drunk had become a job of its own. My house of cards grew shakier by the day. I went in to work as normal and during one of my 15 minute breaks I went outside to smoke a cigarette and just couldn't bring my self to walk back in. Sitting in my car still drunk from the night before and sobbing tears of anxiety, frustration, and general depression I decided right then and there I needed help. I went home without punching out and immediately googled alcohol treatment centers and placed my first call at 3am. Someone answered!! I kind of hoped someone didn't but I knew I had to do something. My attendance at work was looking pretty shitty in the last 60 days and I had just walked out in the middle of a shift. I spoke with this person for a while and discussed my options, I had never done anything like this before. Having shared my insurance information they said they could help. They were willing to get me a plane ticket from Minneapolis to Fort Lauderdale, Florida and pick me up from the airport to bring me to detox. I said lets do it. This is now about 4am on January 22nd. Well I did something and had a plan, time to get real drunk. My last few days of drinking so lets get it done. About 6:30 am I get a call from my department manager wondering what happened to my last night and why I left work unfinished. I for the second time time ever, the first only being a few hours ago with the treatment center; told someone that I was an Alcoholic and I needed help. She listened and said she would call back at 8am when our HR lady arrived at work.
Any real addict will know that feeling that something is absolutely killing them but that's all that will make them feel better in the moment. Addiction is a real fucking crazy thing. It a 2 part problem that's very misunderstood by society. There is the mental and physical side to this one medical problem. Dual diagnosis. I didn't want to drink, I had to drink. Alcohol is one of the few things out there that quitting cold turkey can actually kill you. Yes you heard that right detoxing from booze can cause seizures and death. The treatment rep even told me to continue my normal habits to assure I made it to treatment.
So 8am arrives I've now had enough drinks to have calmed the anxiety and crippling fear of my incredibly unstable life. The phone rings and it is now the HR lady, and my manager on the phone. I explain my dilemma, my anxiety, and my depression. I also explain how I had contacted a treatment center just a few hours ago and I have a flight to Florida at 6pm on January 23rd. I had no idea what the response would be. I was absolutely shocked when they said the suspected something was up with me and that they were glad I made the decision to seek help. They said they would hold my position and put me on personal leave as I haven't been there long enough to qualify for FMLA. Holy shit I thought this is really happening. Then the question of my last shift before departure. I assure them I will be in that evening to work my scheduled 10pm to 6am. That's exactly what I did. Now at this point I don't think I've had a blood alcohol level of zero for a few years. Just a couple more miles to work and home. No legal issues or I wouldn't make my flight. No drinks in the car. Lets go.
The morning of the 23rd my mother was supposed to pick me up to bring me to my local physician for mental health issues. Depression and anxiety runs in the family and she knew that I would not get to the appointment if it was up to me. She had no idea how far my drinking habits had progressed. She arrives at 8am and of course I'm reeking of whiskey, my rooms a complete disaster and I'm stuffing some bags full of clothing packing for my trip. She asks "What are you doing? We need to get to the doctor's appointment." I explain to here that I'm not going to the doctor, I've decided to check in to a 30 day program and address my mental heath and my addiction all at once. I ask instead if she could bring me to the local gas station to get a carton of cigarettes' and drop me off at the local airport shuttle bus station. She agreed. I could see the fear on her face, fear of the unknown but the hope for relief. I had finally come clean about my addiction. The hope that she wouldn't have to worry about her son on a nightly basis.
Off to the gas station we go. Of course I get a bottle of whiskey and a carton of smokes. Fuck it I'm not driving and now it is actually happening. Well I was hoping she wouldn't see the booze but I honesty had to. I had too many hours left to board that plane and not enough alcohol in me to hold of a early detox. She brings me to the shuttle service, we have our good byes and she takes off. I pack my duffle in the back of the transport van and keep my backpack on me. Can't be without that bottle. I sit in the back of the shuttle so I could drink unnoticed. On the way to the airport I started a transfer of my meager Acorns account to my checking account. This is January 23, 2020 I had about 5% growth in the account and a total balance of only a couple hundred dollars. I was going to need every dollar. The stock market is at all time highs and the Covid-19 crash had yet to happen. I feel in my story there are many god moments. This being one of them. Those insignificant things that are so easily overlooked but in hind sight I feel something greater than my self was there the entire time. I order a few more drinks in the airport and get on my scheduled flight. A few more drinks on the flight and land in Florida.
Next post I will share the treatment part of my story and Covid's involvement in this weird adventure I call my life. Thanks again to all the readers. If there is anyone in your life that could use some help know you are not alone. It ultimately has to be their decision. If there is anyone you miss, love, or just haven't talked to in a while. Call them, sometimes a call could save a life. Trust me I know. Spread the love and hold the assets. This journey will get more into the investments shortly but I feel these are all important parts to my story just to show that anybody can start working towards their own financial freedom goal. Nothings impossible until you give up.
Investment services I use and that are worth checking out. More will be added as my story progresses.
Acorns. Round up every card purchase and send the change to an investment account. The easiest way I've found to save money and it is automatic. My Acorns account has got me out of several cashless problems and I don't even have to think about it. Everything is automatic and easy.