Continuing our story of Errol, we find our subject working in positions where drug and alcohol abuse are tolerated. You can read the previous stories about Errol’s life of homelessness and drug addiction here. Once I heard I was getting “kicked loose,” which was slang for being released from jail or prison, I was like a drug seeking missile in that my brain would automatically go into overdrive and start plotting my next move to get the next high. My drug and alcohol addiction was the most important thing in my life…and nothing else mattered.
I wasn’t thinking about how I could start fresh, start clean, or go straight. It was all about the next high. And what was scarier yet, it seemed at that time my best, clearest thinking seemed to be when I was thinking about getting loaded or how to get drugs to get loaded.
Once I became sober I learned that I have an abnormal reaction to drugs and alcohol where I simply cannot stop drinking, I cannot stop doing drugs. Whereas other people know when to say when, and know when they have had enough, or know when they have reached the level at which they are feeling no pain…my brain continually makes me want to cross the line and keep going until there is nothing left to drink or smoke or snort or whatever is being used. And that crossing of the line happened again and again and again.
And to put it another way, whereas others know there limits and know that if they exceed those limits it will start to diminish there ability to function, for me, using drugs and alcohol to excess seemed to enhance my ability to function. That pretty much summed up alcohol and drug addiction in a nutshell. While I was drinking and doing drugs I felt far more quick with a joke, had more confidence, and at times could be far more endearing and charming than I ever could when I was sober. I had the attitude that my use of drugs and alcohol were changing my reality into something I liked, embraced, and thrived upon.
The Perfect Job for Alcohol Addiction
I remember for a while I was working as a car salesmen. The owners of the lot were strict Mormons and did not approve of drinking at all. But the truth was, I was a far better salesman when I was drinking because it dropped any inhibition I had towards dealing with customers and since it was all a big party to me anyhow, I carried myself in such a way that people liked and enjoyed. I was having so much fun partying on the job and carrying myself with that happy go lucky attitude, it seemed to be infectious with those customers I helped on the car lot. When I was drinking I could sell cars to anybody, because I didn’t care and it was all fun. This was most likely another reason why my alcohol addiction escalated to the point that it did. When I was sober however, it was a job again and it wasn’t fun and in turn I sold less cars. As much as the owners were against drinking, they also realized that when I was sober the sales would drop and in turn-my drinking was soon tolerated and accepted. Of course they never let me drink in the open or breach any type of professional protocol, but they certainly looked the other way in terms of my drinking.
Fear Enables Drinking Escalation
It is interesting in that I was actually afraid of driving at times, and would do a couple of “warm up” shots just to get me comfortable to the point where I could behind the wheel. Ironic, that I was still one of their top car salesmen. It is not something I am proud of, but I have come to terms with it and now with years of sobriety under my dealt, I can use those experiences for good to help others and still in my daily battles help keep myself where I need to be.