This week’s HTYH is a continuation of Tim’s story: When my second ex-wife left me after four years of marriage the only thing she took with her was alcoholism and it had stripped her of everything that was decent.


When a chronic alcoholic drinks alcohol they hurt other people too; mostly people who love them. I was able to hold a job after she left for two more years, I was moving up in the company, my parole officer didn’t bother me too much. I went to work every day and never called in sick or late, worked overtime when asked, but then one night I was sitting in my living room thinking about how good I had been. Then I started thinking about how long and hard I worked and yet I still didn’t have a place at the lake, a Lincoln, designer clothes, gold jewelry or a membership at a country club. I busted my butt for two whole years but had little to show for it.

I was drunk again and depressed when I figured all of those material things must be for other people? And, no matter how hard I worked, I would never have those things, so the next day I quit my job.

Why work like a fool since I couldn’t have those things anyway?

For the next two years I stayed drunk and my family wouldn’t have anything to do with me? On holidays I pulled into my mothers driveway and honked the horn; my little brother brought out a paper plate covered with tin foil and that was my holiday meal. They allowed me to sit in their driveway while I ate off a paper plate with a plastic fork and knife, but then I had to leave. My mother refused to let me in her house, not even long enough to say grace and she didn’t want to know about my life or what it was like. They of course, loved me, but every time they tried to help me; I screwed up. This time, they were going to make certain that I was really on the bottom, could go no lower and was ready for help.

Their years of enabling had allowed me to escape the consequences of my actions and I continued to do the same actions over again while expecting different results. Their love and kindness almost killed me before they wised up and said, “Suffer you bum suffer!” I don’t have children so it’s difficult to know what my mother went through.

On June 23, 1982, I finally hit bottom. I was a total wreck, not knowing what to do, or where to turn. I called my mother and said, “Mom, please help me.” She came to my house and found me kneeling on the living room floor uncontrollably crying and shaking from untreated alcoholism and Hepatitis; she made a phone call and took me to the emergency room at the hospital. I was laying on a gurney violently vibrating when the doctor checked my liver and said, “Son you have an alcohol problem.” I said, “No sir, not me, you must be mistaken.” He didn’t buy it and sent me to a psych-ward in Cleveland, OH where they strapped me down. To be continued…

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John Barleycorn

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