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Are You A Drunk?

Updated on October 9, 2013

Did I Get Your Attention with That Title?

I am the homeless guy on the street corner guzzling from a paper bag.

I am the loud, obnoxious bar fly who never seems to leave the stool.

I am the unwashed and half-starved lump of flesh, wallowing in my own vomit and excrement.

I am the hopeless, the one you avoid, and the nightmare you have in the middle of a dark, stormy night.

I am a drunk!

Do not preach to me or I’ll tell you where to shove your God.

Do not pity me for I’ll ridicule you for being an unfeeling hypocrite.

Do not try to reform me for I’ll break your resolve.

Do not love me for I’ll break your heart.

I am a drunk!

But look at you, you say. How can this be? You are a writer, a father, a husband and a respected member of this community? How can you be a drunk, a despicable character with decaying morals and the jackal’s appetite for flesh? It can’t be so you say; there is no way we could have made that error of judgment. You must be mistaken you say.

No, I am not mistaken……

I am a drunk!

A recovering alcoholic in the flesh
A recovering alcoholic in the flesh | Source

There but for the Grace of God

Yes, I am an alcoholic. I am no different from that bottomless “loser” you passed on your drive to work this morning..I am one drink away from becoming a person you would not recognize, and the transformation would happen in less than two days. Think Lon Cheney as The Werewolf and you’ll have some idea of the changes that occur in this alcoholic when he picks up the first drink. Hide the women and children for we don’t want them watching this horror show. Put away the valuables because you never know when I’ll need some money for another bottle. Fortify your feelings and barricade your heart in a safe place because I’ll go for the throat and hurt you emotionally and psychologically.

I am a walking, talking nightmare. I am the man no father would want his daughter to marry. I am the man no parent would want teaching their child and I am the man no employer would want to hire.

Or…..

I am a loving husband and father. I am a trusted friend who can be counted on to lend a helping hand whenever needed. I am a respected member of the community and a highly-regarded teacher of eighteen years.

I am the man any father would want his daughter to marry, and I can be trusted to keep your children safe and your valuables untouched and protected. I have compassion and empathy for all and I feel it is my duty as a citizen to make this world a better place.

I am three-times a business owner, the holder of three degrees and the best partner you could ask for in Trivial Pursuit. I laugh freely and often and my heart is open for love any hour of any day. I will respect your opinion, value your counsel and never harm you physically, emotionally or psychologically.

I am a recovering alcoholic and my name is Bill.

I did not plan on being an alcoholic when I was twelve
I did not plan on being an alcoholic when I was twelve | Source

Flip Sides of the Same Coin

I am all of those things mentioned above and so much more. Which will you meet should we ever run into each other? The answer lies in the bottle and my willingness to never again pick up that bottle.

Make no mistake about it: the choice is mine and mine alone. Never in my life has someone forced me to drink. The past is mine to accept and I am responsible for it all. I cannot blame my genes, passed down from grandparents and parents. I cannot blame my parents or friends, neighbors or enemies. I am a fluke of nature, a jumbled menagerie of misfiring DNA, a break-down of physical processes that does not allow me to drink as normal people do. I am nothing more and nothing less.

However, knowing all of that, I do have a choice. I can choose to once again be that stumbling, bumbling, incoherent drunk, or I can choose to be the man you all know now.

I Have a Message for Two Sets of People

First my message for the alcoholics reading this article….there is always hope! If this man can pull himself out of the gutter of society and become a functioning and productive member of the human race, then you can do the same. All it takes is a willingness to change and a willingness to reach out for help. Never give up on yourselves. Where once there was a functioning being there can be a functioning being again. Where once there was peace of mind there can be again. Where once there was love of self there can be once more. Never give up on yourselves.

As for those of you who are not alcoholic, my message is simple…..alcoholics are human beings, and as such deserve compassion and love. You would not turn your backs on a cancer victim or an Alzheimer’s patient, and an alcoholic deserves the same measure of humanness. However, that is all that they deserve.

Cancer victims seek help in an attempt to find remission of that deadly disease. Alcoholics must do the same, and there is very little you can do to help them on that quest. Help is available for any alcoholic, but they must be willing to seek out that help. Until they do the nightmare will continue and may well lead to death.

There is a good life awaiting you
There is a good life awaiting you | Source

My thoughts on alcoholism

Who Will I Be Tomorrow?

Well, again, that is entirely up to me, but if I were a betting man I would lay it all down on me being sober tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. You see, I love my life and I see no reason to return to that street corner. I love my wife, love my son, love my friends and love myself.

Why in the world would I give all of that up?

Well, the truth is that I have done exactly that in the past.

Why you ask?

Simply because I am a drunk…..

And a recovering alcoholic…..

And I always will be.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Shanmarie!

    • profile image

      shanmarie 2 years ago

      Sure, courageous. Courage is more than overcoming fear of being hurt.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for taking the time to read this, Shanmarie. Courageous? I don't know about that, honestly, but I thank you. I've always believed that nobody could hurt me as much as I've hurt myself, so any negative opinions or comments I might here really can't harm me. If this helps someone else then fantastic!

    • shanmarie profile image

      shanmarie 2 years ago

      Yes, you did catch my attention with that title. Actually, I didn't even really have time to read a hub right now. I am simply working on one that might take some time with some research, but a topic caught my attention and so I want to learn more about it. What better way to do that than by creating a hub about it?

      Anyway, this hub was at the top of the feed when I signed in so I read it. Good for you for relying on your strong sense of self and love of life. I am a believer that there is always hope for change, but you are right in that it has to be a person's willingness to do so. Very courageous of you to share so much of yourself with the public so that others might be encouraged to be their best selves as well.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you again, Liza!

    • lawdoctorlee profile image

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 2 years ago from New York, NY

      Amen, Bill! You are an incredible teacher.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Liza! What good are the bad experiences if we can't learn from them and teach others through them? I hope I've done that. Bless you as well, my friend.

    • lawdoctorlee profile image

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 2 years ago from New York, NY

      Raw and inspiring. Thank you Bill. Especially your video. God bless you always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      khmazz, this is who I am, warts and all. If people don't like me because of it, there is little I can do about it. However, I just might be able to help others by sharing my story, and that is my hope.

      Thank you for your kind words.

    • khmazz profile image

      Kristen Mazzola 4 years ago from South Florida

      Just absolutly amazing! Thank you for sharing something so personal and being so honest! Fantastic work like usual!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Toknowinfo, your comment touched me. Thank you for those words. I hope you are right. If I help one person who is struggling then I'm a happy writer.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 4 years ago

      Hi Bill, Your hub touched me so deeply. You write with honesty and with a fundamental lesson for anyone who reads your writing. I am so glad you chose the path that led you to be a recovering alcoholic. Your words and your story is a gift to humanity, and is surely influencing someone's choices.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Anna my new friend, welcome to my site. First, thank you very much for your kindness. It is a pleasure to meet a fellow traveler on this sober journey. I hope you do share your story, whatever it may be. I learned long ago that nobody can hurt me as much as I hurt myself, and maybe by telling my story I can help others who are not as lucky as I am. That is my hope! You humble me with your words. Thank you sincerely.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      stuff4kids, you don't need to say anything more. I am humbled by your acceptance of me as a writer and a human being. Thank you very much for your kind words.

    • stuff4kids profile image

      Amanda Littlejohn 4 years ago

      I don't drink and never have but I have seen some family and friends destroy themselves by drink.

      I am humbled and grateful for your courage, your clarity and your wisdom. I think you're amazing and I am so sure that you have come through this for a reason, to help others.

      I'm so moved by this. I can't say more. God bless you always.

    • Anna Sternfeldt profile image

      Anna Sternfeldt 4 years ago from Svenljunga, Sweden

      Alcoholism is a very just disease, it effects all social classes. And it doesn't bother about what you work with or what position you have in society. Great and powerful writing! And the title was good! Your honesty and straightforwardness is inspiring. I really feel..I have been on my way..and maybe it is time now..that I as a woman share something as well...I am thinking about it. Lots of compassion to you from another sober/recovering alcoholic.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, I hope that as well. I am tired of burying friends. :) Thank you!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      The title did catch my attention. Your hub reminds everyone that alcoholism can hit anyone, anywhere and in any walk of life. I hope anyone reading this that is an alcoholic chooses your path. Powerful message.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      klidstone, I really appreciate your kind words and compassion. It has not been easy but the end result has been unbelievable. I am a very grateful man. :)

    • klidstone1970 profile image

      இڿڰۣ-- кιмвєяℓєу 4 years ago from Niagara Region, Canada

      This is one of the most touching and honest portrayals of someone coming to terms with things in their life that was not okay. I could feel a raw emotion in your writing and you lifted me up at the end - rooting for your success. Thank you for sharing. It was moving.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      superfly, there is no other way to face this disease but straight up and head on. Thank you!

    • superfly47 profile image

      David McKenzie 4 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for sharing and being so blunt.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Graham, I have experiences to share so I must share them. Hopefully they will help someone who desperately needs it.

      Thank you for the kind words my friend.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Another soul bareing hub Bill. Always you try to help and explain and always the message comes across. Yes you did get my attention with your title. Coming from you I was half afraid to read on. First class as usual.

      Voted up and all.

      Graham.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, thank you for your kind words. I love it here and have no plans of leaving. :)

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      This hub should and will inspire a lot of those who think they cannot get out of this rut as well as make others think about having a more compassionate view of those who have lost all control when drunk.

      I'm glad you are here today and we want you here, my friend.

      Voted up, useful and shared.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You betcha, PS! Anytime, anywhere, I am responsible.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      I will tell her Momma; I am not supposed to KNOW.....thank you, Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, you and I both know if she is drinking in the morning before heading off to work she is headed down a dead end road that will lead to serious consequences. If you think it will do any good, give her my email address and have her contact me. Maybe I can do my AA thing. holland1145@yahoo.com

      Thank you my friend. Send some angels her way as well.

      hugs and blessings, today and always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rosemay, I hope that is true. Thank you my friend.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      O, Bill, the Pandora's box is open now. I knew all of this as I have read about your journey to the Bill I know today here on HP. But the flood gates opened for a number of reasons when I read this

      Right now, as we speak, someone I know and love is in the bottom of a bottle, drowning. She had sworn to her Momma she was not drinking. That she had gotten the monkey off her back. That life was good. And she was able to hide it because her Momma, another lovely person in this story that I love, lived in another state and did not know what condition her daughter was in. She hid her drunkenness well. She functions reasonably well at her job as a supervisor for a major company. But we know that can't last. She is drinking before she goes to work now, at seven in the morning. It is a disease. I know that. Her Momma knows that. She knows that. But the link, the desire, the conviction to stop is absent. It really is a matter of time before something horrid happens to her or to those around her. She has surrounded herself with those of like mind who care not about anything but crawling in the bottle with her.

      It is up to her.

      Thank you, Bill, for being willing to share these thoughts with us. Hopefully many will read and feel the truths you have shared. I am thankful that you are the YOU who is willing to reach out to others.

      Sending you many, many Angels and hugs this evening ..:) ps

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      Bill great messages here to both drinkers and non-drinkers. You offer inspiration and courage to both.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Seafarer, thank you for sharing your painful story. That is why I tell my story, in hopes that I can prevent some other little girl from living those nightmares. I am sorry for your loss....several losses. :) Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pagesvoice, that is as candid a comment as I have ever received. I thank you deeply for sharing that with us all.

      Of course I can tell you that you did not fail him, and logically that is the truth. I also know that no words can erase that kind of guilt and if that is true then alcoholism has claimed two more people, your friend and you.

      I am truly sorry you had to experience that and that it has affected you in such a way. I have heard the story many times, and that is why I will continue to tell my story, in hopes that we can lessen the number of people who have to live with guilt over alcohol-caused nightmares.

    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen A Szklany 4 years ago from New England

      Very heartfelt experience reading this hub, Billy.

      My father was an alcoholic, and he drank so much that he destroyed his health and peace of mind, and allowed the woman he was dating at the time to abuse him...to death. Very sad that his last days were so painful for him. Though we were estranged (he tore me apart verbally when I was young and we were living under the same roof, and I needed the distance to gather my own senses), I did not wish the type of end for him that he experienced.

    • pagesvoice profile image

      Dennis L. Page 4 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

      You have written a brutally honest, hard hitting, candid and a "message in a bottle" article. I have been both blessed and cursed by knowing many "friends of Bill." My very best friend battled his demons as I drove him to counselors, visited him in jail and chauffeured him to AA meetings. Too many (myself included) have a cavalier attitude when it comes to alcoholism. I know I did with my best friend and I failed him miserably.

      I introduced my friend to his wife. We were extremely close and yes, I guess I was an enabler as I tolerated his relapses and the days I would spend baby sitting him. When he was sober there wasn't a finer person to be with. When he was drunk it was a nightmare of nightmares.

      Although my best friend was a multimillionaire, owning almost 40 service/retail outlets, his alcoholism was his ultimate demise. For you see, many stories are told , but the only ones that really count are those we have personally experienced.

      It was 2001 when my wife and I moved into our new home. I kept asking my friend and his wife over, but his addiction had reared its ugly head. Just like yesterday, my phone rang on a Saturday. It was my buddy, my pal, the guy I ultimately let down. He kept pleading that he couldn't stop drinking. My naive response was to "STOP!" I kept repeating myself telling him to "just put the bottle down!" He repeated how he couldn't and the conversation kept going on and on. Finally, I said I couldn't talk any longer because my daughter and her husband were coming to visit. Those were my last words to my best friend in the world. You see, two days later he died from his pancreas rupturing. To this very day I am riddled with guilt for feeling like I failed him.

      Thank you again for your candidness.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I was a functioning alcoholic like your husband for quite a few years. Then one day I crossed an invisible line and could not longer function. It is an ugly disease for sure my friend, and I'm just grateful I survived it so I can help others. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      thewritingowl, I agree. Each and every day is a new opportunity and we have to make the most of it. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, thanks for sharing your experience and as always, thank you for the visit.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, thank you! I want others to understand there is no shame in being an alcoholic, and that there is hope.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      It is difficult for me to ever think of you as an alcoholic. You painted a picture of the down and out alcoholic, but you left out the kind of drunk my husband was. He was successful, owned two dealerships, ( I'm talking about my first husband, the father of my son. ) He went to work everyday, just before leaving the house in the morning, he went to the frig. took a big drink of seagram 7 and functioned all day. I know other people who are the same. I never pass a drunk man on the street without feeling sad, and i know when i give them money they will buy a drink, but i also know that they probably need that drink more than food at that time. We are in dire need of more medical facilities for treating alcoholics. Thank you Bill for sharing your knowledge..

    • thewritingowl profile image

      Mary Kelly Godley 4 years ago from Ireland

      Thanks for this, its very honest and that's what I like. We are all only human and can only do our best. Life just 'aint easy but everyday should be viewed as a chance to live.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this, my brother. I was at a pint of brandy a day.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Your determination is very inspiring, Bill. Sharing your experience and understanding is generous and is also encouraging for anyone suffering from any kind of addiction or for someone who knows a person who has an addiction.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, I am thankful too. I am an incredibly lucky man. I cheated death once and now feel like I need to make the rest of my life count in helping others.

      blessings and love to you, today and always,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gail, we are all complicated creatures. The alcoholic just has an extra stimulus that makes them more complicated. Thank you for your kind words.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Reba, thank you so much. If we do not share what we have learned then what good is it. Nobody can hurt me as much as I hurt myself, so I don't feel vulnerable when I write hubs like this one. I know that people are inherently good on this site, and I have received acceptance each and every time. That makes it much easier to write like this.

      You are a special lady and I appreciate you greatly.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, in all honesty I don't realize what a gift I am. I just feel like a normal person struggling through life and sharing the experience with my friends. It always surprises me when someone says I am special. :)

      However, I will gratefully accept your kind words, and I cherish our friendship.

      Thank you dear lady!

      love and hugs coming right back at you.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathryn, we are complicated creature for sure, and I don't think we are even close to understanding what makes us act the way we do. Thank God we are capable of self-reflection, and we always have a choice about changing who we are. I find comfort in that. :)

      Thank you my friend and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Dearest Bill,

      Thank you for sharing your heart here with us all, which is always so refreshing when one is so very honest. I praise God for your sobriety and I am thankful too that you are still here to write and be the man you are today . . . taking it one day at a time.

      Voted up +++ and sharing

      Hugs and love, Faith Reaper

    • Gail Meyers profile image

      Gail Meyers 4 years ago from United States

      Interesting read, Billy. Recovering alcoholics with a few years of recovery under their belt account for some of the best people I know. They are okay with themselves, confident with little if any pretense. Since they are okay with themselves, they are usually okay with others and letting them be who they are, too. An active or relapsed alcoholic can bring the house down. No question about that. Congratulations on your sobriety, facing your demons and having the courage to pass it on.

    • Dancing Water profile image

      Dancing Water 4 years ago

      Bill, as usual, you open up your heart and allow yourself to be completely vulnerable. That is one of the aspects of your character that is so endearing. I know that your hub has already helped many, and will help many others who struggle with addiction, and those who do not experience it. We all need insight into it, and you have brilliantly provided it for us, your admiring readers.

      You are such a precious gift and blessing to us, Bill. Thank you once again for your infinite generosity and loving spirit, which shine through in all of your hubs.

      With deep respect and affection,

      Reba

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Dear Bill, my friend ~

      Do you realize what a gift you are - just for being you? Dr. Seuss has a quote that I just love. "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." Your remarkable hub reminded me of this quote.

      Bill, you have touched so many lives in ways that you may never know. Your courage shines in this message. You are a genuine and caring person. It is folks like you that really make a difference...that invoke change for the better.

      When I count my blessings...I count you twice!

      Hugs and love ~ Audrey

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thanks for sharing this part of you with us. I like the side that we see, but it is refreshing to see someone admit being a different man altogether when alcohol is involved. My closest childhood friend's stepfather died of liver problems because of drinking too much, and I saw how hard it was for her. I also saw how he was when he was drunk, and it wasn't pretty.

      I am glad that you have managed to stay away from the bottle, and I hope you always have the strength to keep it that way.

      I have never been a heavy drinker, but it is amazing how someone can be completely different under certain circumstances. There was a time in my life when I was acting in a way that was contrary to everything I had ever believed in, and it horrified me that I could be like a different person altogether. Sometimes reinvention is good, but not when it is negative. It wasn't even alcohol that influenced me, which is the scariest part for me. I guess sometimes it takes different things for some people to let out the bad.

      I hope a lot of people get your message, and realize there is hope.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, it is unbelievable and frightening. Thank you for sharing your personal story.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I know precisely what you are saying, for I saw my father when he was sober, but mostly drunk. It was like Jekyl and Hyde. They were both the same person, but the transformation was unbelievable.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alise, I understand where you are coming from, and I appreciate greatly the kind words. It is important for an alcoholic or any addict to remind themselves that they are never cured and they are always one drink away from oblivion. In my mind I am fully aware that I am recovering and I am a new man, but the day I forget where I came from is the day I'll once again enter the darkness that almost killed me. :)

      Thank you again for your compassion.

    • profile image

      Alise- Evon 4 years ago

      Dear Bill,

      Do you really have to still label yourself a drunk when day by day you are making better choices? How about, "I once was a drunk, but now I am a new man by the grace of God?" You have been weeding the garden of your life, Bill, why not label/describe it more how it looks now instead of how it looked in the past? But please do not take this to mean that you should stop writing and sharing about all of your life. Keep writing and sharing! This is a wonderful hub; it puts me on the verge of tears. Many will be blessed by your sharing your life in this way.

      Voted up and beautiful.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, thank you! I have a hard time admitting pride for doing the right thing, but I understand what you mean and I am grateful for your words of friendship.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vicki, I'll take a Canadian hug any old day. :) Thank you my friend. I've been given a gift, and now it's my job to give it back to those who need it. If I help one person then it has all been worth it. Courageous? Thank you...maybe closer to desperate. I never want to return to those earlier days.

    • profile image

      Vickiw 4 years ago

      Hi Bill, you are such a courageous and talented person. I can only applaud you for your willingness to acknowledge your disease, and deal with it day by day. It must be very challenging, and even a little scary to know how close you are to becoming your other self. You are wonderful and I send you a warm Canadian hug for strength.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Bill, in reading some of the other comments it is clear that your message is definitely reaching and helping people. You should be very proud of where you are in your life today. There are clearly many of us out here who are listening. Great job.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      A double wow....I'll take that review any old day. LOL Thanks Sha!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Wow! Powerful, direct and to the point. Again, wow!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pamela, it is either be honest or go back to drinking for this boy. I have no other options after twenty years of trying to do it my way and failing miserably. :) Thank you for sharing your experiences and of course for the visit.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      I like you because "what you see is what you get." No pretenses. I am quite familiar with living with alcoholics and have lived with long term sobriety also thanks to AA. My first husband has never gotten sober and I think he is unable to be honest with himself. My father passed away sober after forty five years of sobriety. Your honestly is refreshing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Chris, thank you Sir! That means a lot to me and I want you to know I respect you very much and what you stand for as well.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carter, you are too kind, but thank you. I'm just a man. I have made mistakes and now I'm trying to spread a message of redemption and love. I have a lot of work to do and little time left. :)

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      Chris Merritt 4 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      Excellent Hub Bill, thanks for sharing. YOU are a good man, and I appreciate you and what you stand for.

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      Mary 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Others so need to read these words written by a truly strong and courageous man..I take my hat off to you Billy and admire your strength and will share this every which way..and now you are a very good writer..well done to you my friend..VUUAI..cheers

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Barbara Kay, thank you! Alcoholics are scary; I don't blame your kids for hiding. There have been many days I wish I could hide from myself. LOL Now there is no hiding. I tell my story so that others out there know there is a chance at a good life.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning David!

      I am honored by your words, and very, very grateful that my words have helped you.

      I think all alcoholics share a connection. Who else but another alcoholic would understand what we have lived through and what we continue to live through....and yes, there are functional alcoholics. I was one for years until I somehow crossed a line of no return....then I didn't function at all. :)

      I am proud to be your friend, David, and anytime you need to reach out you know where you can find me.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, there you go touching my heart again. :) I am the second person, Eddy, but I can never forget what I once was. As for repeating the story my goodness, I have new followers daily, and who knows when one of them will need the message I deliver? With a subject as important as this one I don't believe it is possible to say the message too many times.

      You have a story that needs to be heard, and I am proud of you for working through the pain to tell that story.

      You are a dear friend. No, we may never have met, but I trust you completely and love you as the dear friend that you are.

      love,

      billy

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      Barbara Badder 4 years ago from USA

      My husband's best friend is a recovered alcoholic. He's been off the bottle for almost 20 years. I can remember him visiting when he drank and my kids would hide under their beds, because he scared them. He didn't do anything, but talked loud and they weren't used to people drinking. Because he is a good guy that would do anything for you, we put up with him arriving at all hours drunk. Best of luck and I know you can stay sober.

      I didn't have the sympathy I should have had for alcoholics until I tried quitting smoking. It was awful. Now I do.

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      David Warren 4 years ago from Nevada

      Good Morning Bill,

      I am a drunk. I am a functional alcoholic if there really is such a thing. Today, and god willing many others, I am attributing my sobriety to having run across you here on Hub Pages. I had read several of your hubs and felt as though I was reading my own writing. I must wear blinders because I didn't see the connection until several hubs later. You are indeed a lot more educated than I am as well as a more experienced writer but nevertheless I knew instantly that there was some strong connection between you and I. That sounded creepy so let me add that connection likely exists between millions of us drunks. Anyway I could NEVER thank you enough for being here on Hub Pages and sharing what you have. I don't believe, actually there is no maybe, I wouldn't be sober today if it weren't for running across your writing here on HP.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jim, thank you! I'm just trying to spread the word and keep people from making the mistakes I made....if that's possible. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, I hope you never go there again too my friend. Keep on the path you are on; it seems to be good for you. :)

      Thank you!

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      Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Bill, you have a message here for everyone, non-drinkers and alcoholics, that goes right to our hearts. I hope this is widely read, am sure it will be on HP.

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      Carol 4 years ago from Greenwood, B.C., Canada

      Ooph! I got the shivers reading this hub! You took right back to where I once was - and hope I never go again. Thanks for the reminder Bill. Every shiver counts!

      Carol

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      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Yet again another hub straight from that heart of yours!!!

      We may have never met in person but through our writing I believe we know each other pretty well. Your honesty I applaud;and this is what will also help others ;honesty and gut wrenching truth.The Billy I know is the second Billy but I can also understand how you were once the former!!

      You have helped me so greatly in one aspect of my life and that is to assure me that it is alright to repeatedly tell our story!

      My heart was telling me it was right but this other voice was saying "They are going to get fed up of you repeating yourself ;they will think that you are just attention seeking!"

      These past couple have weeks have seen me search my heart and soul and I have many more followers ; two of which have told how my life story is helping them. If I had just left it at a few hubs at the start these newly found and very dear friends may never have read my story.

      I suppose what I am trying to say is that no matter what you were before today you are a courageous and gentle person who will go out of his way to help others,to care and to inspire!! I am also certain that your many friends on here also feel the same.Your strength and honesty are an anchor for others.

      I wish you my very dear friend well in all you do and here's to a long time to come of friendship and hub sharing on here.

      Lots of love from my little corner of the world.

      Eddy.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thunder my friend, I am so sorry for your loss. I have lost far too many friends over the years to this damn disease.

      Thank you for your comment. I get pretty emotional over this subject, as I'm sure you do too. If I can help one person by writing about my journey then it will have all been worth it.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, thank you so much! I think you know I respect you as a person and a writer, so that means a great deal to me.

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      Catherine Taylor 4 years ago from Canada

      Oh Bill, this hub really touched my heart. My father struggled with alcoholism his entire life and reading your very really account of the two sided monster that alcoholism creates reminded me of the good and bad. Life is full of choices, some harder to make then others. I commend you for making the choice to live life to the fullest and putting the bottle down. My father was unable to and died at 57 as a result.

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      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      Bill, this is amazing and powerful and I am going to share it all over the place. Bravo!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Annacia, thank you my friend. You are a kind and compassionate human being.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Elizabeth, the more I hear from you the more I like you. I hope you do write about the psychology class and what you learn. Your insights will be quite interesting and possibly revealing. Carry on my friend and enjoy your day.

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      Annacia 4 years ago

      Yes, you got my attention, but I also knew that I would be presented with a great writing. You are able to reflect every single action throughout the hub. Thank you for sharing with us.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kindred, that brought tears to my eyes. Now stop that! LOL Thank you isn't enough for comments like yours...or Mary's, or Yvonne's, or Elizabeth's....or...or Carol's....sheez, you guys humble me and give me warm fuzzies. :) Thank you Linda...thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, if you got it you have to share it...that's what I was taught and that's what I plan on doing. If I can be an example for someone else who is struggling then I'm happy to do it. The opinions of others who may not like me for my alcoholism means nothing to me. I am surrounded by friends who support me, so I never travel this path alone.

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      bizarrett81 4 years ago from Maine

      Thank YOU Bill. Addiction definitely needs a spotlight. I am taking a psychology class right now, so I'm sure I will have my two cents put into Hubs here soon = )

      oh, and TILLSONTITAN, your quote of Sartre, that is an amazing quote and something I live by, I discovered his work in my early twenties and while I did fall into an existential depression for a while, I have come to love and embrace my responsibility as a human condemned to freedom. "Condemned to freedom" is such a true statement..

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      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      What a caring and compassionate drunk you are. I am so proud of you for making the choices you have made. We might never have been friends had you made a different choice. It is so difficult to separate compassion from enabling when you are living in the shadow of this disease but it can be done. This piece is beautiful Bill. It shows both your vulnerability and your strength. Yes you are a drunk but you are a beautiful, loving, and generous man who deserves the happiness you have found. One day at a time but something tells me that you have made the choice of a lifetime. Hugs!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, that is one of my favorite quotes. You have touched me with your words and that is a gift I will cherish. Thank you! If you don't mind, I'm sending you a big hug from Olympia.

      bless you as well

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, I am sorry about your friend. Like I have said before, alcoholism takes no prisoners. The harm that it causes is wide-reaching, and it is incredibly deadly. Thank you for sharing and caring.

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      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Thank you for sharing what is really in your heart. And your realizing the danger you face everyday is so real. As I have said many times I know many alcoholics..some are sober today..but most of them don't take sobriety seriously...It is hard for me to understand in some ways..not the addiction but I hate feeling sick so that alone is a reason to stop. I do have the greatest of admiration for you Bill...your ability to share your real self is a daunting experience. Thank you.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Yvonne, thank you! I truly do appreciate your words and your attitude about addiction. Bless you my friend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Elizabeth, I would like that very much if we could be internet pals for a long time. Thank you for the tea toast, but more importantly thank you for sharing your own personal story. We need addiction out of the closet. It can no longer by hidden and whispered about. This is too big of a problem to hide it.

      Thank you kind lady!

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      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      “Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. It is up to you to give [life] a meaning.” ― Jean-Paul Sartre...you dear friend, have stepped up to the plate and taken full control of your life and found the meaning. Though it is unfortunate you suffered for so many years, you are now an example and model for so many. Your writing is a light for many, not just those suffering from alcoholism but those who live with alcoholics. Understanding...for yourself and for others; love...for yourself and for others.

      God bless.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jami, thank you so much! It's nice to have you as a new follower, and I promise to stop by soon to see your work.

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      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Bill, I was reminded today why overindulgence can be a very bad thing. A very good family friend was hit and killed by a drunk driver while walking home yesterday. I grew up two doors away from this wonderful man and at 76 years old to have this happen to him is just horrible. I am definitely in shock this morning and can tell you that if more people who had problems with drinking would get help, maybe others would be saved from being harmed by them whether physically or emotionally. Great article as always and shared all over.

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      Yvonne Spence 4 years ago from UK

      Bill, I think your sub-title "There but for the grace of God go I," sums up my feelings about this hub. Any of us could have made the same choices at any moment in our lives, and to my mind it's impossible trying to work out exactly why some do and some don't. You are so right when you say alcoholics are human beings and deserve compassion.