My driver is half lit.
This is the real video. It’s 10:48 PM and we’re speeding through the city. I’m putting on my seatbelt, that’s a first since I moved to Haiti.
We have seven people in the five-seat Toyota Rav4, one is hanging out the window and two dancing in the sunroof port. I’m in the back, sober and thinking about Jesus.
Literally. Thinking about Jesus.
If my higher power is for real, where does this mess fit into his will? The music is hurting my ears, I’m carsick, and all I can remember is the golden rule.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
We’re on the way home from a beachside club. Imagine spring break without police, toilets, or lifeguards. Just a dirty patch of sand, loud music, the overwhelming smell of beer and piss. Most everyone there was drunk except me and my girlfriend. She wondered why I was so uptight.
Last month, I almost drunk drowned at the same place. Three days later I finally quit drinking.
I’m glad we’re almost home. I hear the beer bottles crashing around in the back with every twist of the road. The driver has the car swerving with the music. My friends are out of control.
There are big questions in my mind.
- Why the hell am I here? If I’m turning control over to Jesus. Is this really his plan for me tonight?
- I remember my kids 1700 miles away, they pray for me every night. Don’t they deserve a father? Would I want any of them in this car with me?
- I’m the one who paid for this misadventure. What happens if this guy falls out the car window?
It’s too real to feel like anxiety. I’m not afraid, just annoyed. Being powerless always clears my head. This whole episode doesn’t belong in my story anymore.
I start turning the golden rule around a little in my mind.
Do unto yourself as you would have others do unto themselves.
I’m not just letting down other people, I’m sabotaging my own recovery. I don’t belong here.
This looks like a guy who still hates himself.
In December, I moved here with a death wish: one carry-on, $400 cash, and a sincere desire to meet some tragic end.
Addiction had stolen my self-worth and cut me off from everything that mattered. I lost my place in the world.
Death by car accident was one of my favorite daydreams. The other was drunk drowning at the beach. Suicide wasn’t an option because that wouldn’t pay the life insurance. If I couldn’t be a good father, at least I would leave my kids enough money to get through school. I was a coward and looking for the easy way out.
Things are different now that I’m sober.
I’ve learned that my addiction wants to kill me. There is a higher power who wants me to live. It’s on me to choose the life that he’s offering.
I’m learning to love myself again.
Tonight was a mistake. I didn’t relapse, but I wasn’t following through on my step 3.
I’m blogging this now so you know that we made it back to the house. I deserve a Darwin award. I risked my sobriety by going to that club. I risked my life getting in that car.
I’m done with those little adventures. They are too dangerous and simply not fun anymore. That stuff belongs to my old life.
Recovery is about progress, not perfection. I need to learn from this and keep moving forward.