My Army Life & Alcoholism (Part IV) – By Rick W.

Read part I of Ricks Story here

Read part II of Ricks Story here

Read part III of Ricks Story here




Each time that I left Portland, thinking that was the last time being with Joseph alive, something would happen were he would be just fine and go out to Burger King or to a rock concert or something spectacular. I was given the opportunity to be with my sons on Joseph’s 23rd birthday. He was bedridden and semi comatose, but we had a birthday party for him anyway.

“I drank no matter what.”

He passed away February 26, 2001. After my son’s funeral, I lost total control of everything. I had no feelings other than extreme anger. I really didn’t care for or about anything except myself and the pity that I felt. I drank no matter what. I hated even the mention of God. He didn’t exist, and if He did exist, He sure wasn’t a Loving God.

From the time of Joseph’s passing, until February 2007, Karol and I lost my dad in November 2006, an uncle, December 2006, and two aunts, January and February 2007. I was there through all of this, but I was also very drunk.

At the beginning of my story, I mentioned a life changing event that happened to me. On March 20th , 2013, Karol and I went to Kalispel to see our new grandaughter. Hana was born around 2:30am that morning. On the drive there, which is ninty or so miles,we had to stop twice because I was sick. I blamed it on car sickness.

At about 9:00am we arrived at the hospital and went into the room where my son and his wife and new baby were. Soon after we got to the room, my son asked me if I wanted to hold the baby and I said sure. He placed her in my arms and I sat down immediately. After about thirty seconds, though, I gave her back to my son. He asked me if everything was alright and I said “Yes.” My wife and I then went outside for a walk and to smoke a cigarette.

“I was shaking so damn bad that I thought I was going to drop her”

When we went back to the room, we said good bye to them and headed for home. On the drive back to Plains, we never spoke more than about a dozen words to each other but Karol knew something was wrong. She asked me why I didn’t hold the baby for very long and I told her that I was shaking so damn bad that I thought I was going to drop her and if that had happened, I don’t think I’d been able to live with myself.

The rest of that two hour drive was in silence. For the next three days, Karol and I spoke very little. She knew something was bothering me, but she didn’t know what. She just left me alone and figured that when the time was right, I would talk. On that third day, I called my primary care doctor and asked for help by leaving him a voice message. The next day he called me back and Karol saw who had called, but said nothing at that time.

My doctor thanked me for calling and asked why it took so long for me to ask him for help and I asked him what he meant. He said that he had known for over four years that I had been lying to him about my drinking and that I had a serious problem. After this phone call, Karol asked me what was going on and I told her, “I need help”….I replied. She then asked, “With what?” I answered “With my drinking. I need to quit.”

“That was my last drunk….to date”

I was then scheduled to see an addiction therapist and the process of getting me into detox and rehab treatment began on or about April 15th, 2013. I continued to drink and get drunk until July 10th, 2013. That was my last drunk….to date. I spent five days in detox and was then transferred into the alcohol treatment facility where I spent the next ninteen days. July 11,2013 was my first day of not drinking or smoking voluntarily, in over 40 years.

I attended my very first AA meeting on July 16th, 2013. I thank God everyday for my new found sobriety and the life changes that I have been experiencing. Each day is a new learning experience and life just keeps getting better and better. I was never told that it would be easy, but I have been told many times that there is a solution and it is a simple solution.

“God grant me the serenity to except the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” God bless and know that there is life without alcohol.

About Anonymous

The Anonymous contributor represents a group of people who wish to withhold their full identity. Their work will be identified at the end of their articles using first name and an initial.
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  1. Thanks Rick ! We all make mistakes and bad choices, they are called learning from our mistakes, its whet we do with those lessons learned that people will remember and talk about long after we are gone. But its also when directs us as we are still here to enjoy the good from those hard lessons learned.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story Rick.

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