Coming Here was the Best Decision I Ever Made
Hi I’m Chris. I lost so much for so long, but now there’s so much I want to do. The staff at the Boston Rescue Mission have been a great help on my journey.
I started off well growing up, though my father and his brothers were all alcoholics. That led my mother to walk out on my father when I was 12, so I grew up in a house with all men. He taught me a great work ethic, but he also taught me how to drink. At 16, I dropped out and started working full time.
For 30 years I was a functional alcoholic. I couldn’t drink on the job as a heavy equipment operator, but I looked forward to drinking on the weekends. During each of my three working decades, everything revolved around alcohol. When I got married, my wife became my drinking buddy. After having kids, I tried to slow down a bit, but it just got worse. After 4 court cases because of drinking, I still didn’t think I had a problem.
I started going to work hung over, then started to miss days because of drinking. The boss sat me down, and I agreed to take an early retirement. Then I became a daily drinker. It used to be that when the family left the house I would have a drink. Then I got into the heavy stuff. At its peak, I would drink a half gallon of vodka when the family left the house! One day my wife opened the closet door she never opens, and found 35 empty bottles of liquor. I think at some level, it was a cry for help on my part.
With the help of my brother, I went to detox to dry out. Again. And again. Each time, I would pick up the bottle again. My marriage was falling apart. My kids hated me. I remember coaching football and baseball for them, then missing their games. Some days they would be waiting for me on the steps with their gloves, and I would walk right by them with a bottle of vodka.
I never entered a program to help myself before. I always thought that after detoxing, I could get that control back. Now I know—even for a functional alcoholic, once you’ve crossed a line, there’s no turning back. Any control you may have had is lost for good. It became clear to me that if I kept doing what I was doing, I’d be dead.
I ended up at the Boston Rescue Mission. At first, I was pretty hesitant, but I stuck it out and thought about what I had to do. It was the best decision I ever made. The staff has been great, and given me that youthful wonder about the world again. How many people get really excited about their life at 54?
To those whose lives are touched by alcohol, I would say if there’s someone in your family who might be on the same track as I was, don’t wait 30 years! I say no matter what age you are, it’s never too late to get sober.