This continues my story with alcoholism. Past posts here: https://starandlotus.wordpress.com/2016/06/13/alcoholism-1/ https://starandlotus.wordpress.com/2016/08/04/alcoholism-2/ https://starandlotus.wordpress.com/2016/08/30/alcoholism-3/
While all of this was going on, my work was still going well. The commander of my unit selected me for a competitive job to handle all the personnel issues, basically having delegated command authority. It was a position of trust and responsibility that I was surprised by, but my commander thought that my experiences with drinking would give me a good perspective on discipline issues.
I tried really hard in the job. I wanted to make my commander proud, but I felt like a fraud due to my shame over my history. About this time I had learned that one of my friends, who had been an outstanding officer, had gotten a DUI off a few beers the year prior. He ended up passed over for promotion and forced out of the military because of it. It was a weird situation, but my guilt grew with the sense that I was lucky and no less guilty than he was.
One day, my commander stopped me as he was leaving for the day. He told me that I just needed to be happier, I was a leader and people looked up to me. This really struck me. I had always thought I was a happy person. I was always the energetic one, seeing the bright side of things, or so I thought. Was I really a grouch at work? This didn’t sit well with me.
Soon afterwards, I took leave to visit my brother, another bachelor officer. We had a great time, partying it up. I just drank with abandon, feeling in a safe place. Finally it came time to fly home. Even that I drank for, there was still football to watch! I remember drinking in a wine bar during the layover.
Finally I got home. I started to think about what a great weekend I just had. But then I realized I couldn’t really remember any of it. It was just a blurry haze. That was my vacation, that was what I was striving for? Suddenly I was struck. No. This can’t be me.
Not any more.
Continued here: https://starandlotus.wordpress.com/2016/10/26/alcoholism-5/