butler raines

Day 220 of Not Drinking: No BS

I stopped drinking 220 days ago. Recently I questioned my decision. I am recounting these events to remind myself why I chose this path; why it is necessary.

By May of 2016 my body was falling apart. After practicing yoga for 3 years, my progress halted. A chronic shoulder injury, tendonitis and weakness plagued me. I collapsed on Peidmont Road sober one afternoon. Blood work showed a major vitamin D deficiency. After some research, I was pretty sure I had alcoholic myopathy. It takes months of not drinking to reverse. If drinking affected muscle this way, what was it doing to my heart?

In September 2016, I read, “A ‘Memory Hacker’ Explains How to Plant False Memories in People’s Minds“. This stood out, “The world as you know it only exists to you, [as you are] right now. Every day you wake up a new person,” with a different brain.” I could to wake up with a new brain! Just feed it goodness not whiskey. It gave me hope I could change.

A few days later, an article, “I HATE saying I’m SOBER,” appeared on LinkedIn. Jenny Schatzle‘s story resonated with me. I could identify. I wrote her. She was very kind to respond. More hope.

I attended a close friend’s wedding in November. I disgraced myself. I got into a heated argument with my friend, the groom, at rehearsal dinner. I got blackout drunk at the wedding. The next morning I woke up sickened with the feeling of not knowing what I said or did or how I embarrassed my friends. I am still ashamed.

George Michael died on Christmas Day. His death hit me harder than any other death that year. I had already been drinking most of that day, and upon arriving back in Atlanta I listened to his music, drank myself into a stupor and cried. He died at age 53. It seemed so young.

At 11:03 that night I text Mama, “How old was daddy’s daddy when he died? He had a problem with alcohol right?” “57, heart damage from alcohol”

“How long had he been sober?” “15 years.”

Will I live to 57?

For me, there is only one choice. Stop drinking.

I never met my grandfather. He died 8 days before I was born. I want to thank him for helping me do what was necessary so I can become the best man I can be. I love you.

3 thoughts on “Day 220 of Not Drinking: No BS

  • Thank you for sharing this short and to the point article Butler. Alcoholism has affected my life in so many ways, and it breaks my heart every time. Then, I get to hear some stories of healing, and also be a part of some of those stories. I am overjoyed that you have prioritized your health and chosen to feed your body goodness rather than whiskey.

  • Congratulations. That is fabulous. I hope you take it one day at a time. I’m sure your story will inspire someone that needs it. Keep it up!!

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