July 11, 2017 HeSpeaksVolumes

138 Days Alcohol Free (Currently @ 192 days)

It’s been 138 days since I have consumed an alcoholic beverage.

138 and counting since I placed my health and well-being above what made me feel good in a social setting. Having many signs and warnings on when to stop or at least slow down. I didn’t….I promise you that every seriously bad moment in my life has been related to alcohol in some way or another.

Arrested. Fighting. Fighting with strangers. Fighting with police. Not remembering anything without the assistance of others filling in the blanks. The list can go on and on how things would get out of hand for me while I was intoxicated. But somehow I never saw a problem with it enough to stop doing it or slow down. See I was given countless second chances and obstacles to show me that I needed to change. But I didn’t heed the warnings.

Finally I slowed down and started to transform my life into who I am today. Occasionally getting “ripped” with my friends at a house party or something like that. But not to the point were the evening didn’t happen unless someone can replay it back to you. I was in control and just enjoying life the way my peers did. Until one day…

One day, my urine was the color of McDonald’s sweet tea. Now I drink a lot of water and stay clear of all sodas. So I knew something was wrong and went to the hospital. They diagnosed me with Rhabdomyolysis, which is a breakdown of muscle tissue that releases a damaging protein into the kidneys. Confused and scared at the same time, but having five days to stay in the hospital gives you plenty of time to think. All I could think about was my Grandfather going to dialysis treatment as a kid. Watching him get stuck so many times week after week that they began to poke for veins in his neck. I didn’t want that for myself. Upon my release I was told that I couldn’t do anymore protein shakes(What they thought brought on the condition) which was the key to me being in the best physical shape of my life. Nowhere on the release form did it say no alcohol. That was decision I decided to make for myself. See I think all those troubled moments were a sign for me to slow it down and get my life together. But this sign was scarier than anything I have ever encountered. See I felt fine, looked fine, and even joked online via Snapchat. But inside something wasn’t right and I had no control over it.

So upon my release from the hospital I decided that I wouldn’t drink until I got my follow-up appointment or a second opinion. I was told that everything looked good and that my kidneys were functioning fine. Something inside me this time made me listen. So at 138 days and counting I haven’t had a single ounce of alcohol. 138 days may not seem like a lot to some of you, but I have passed up drinks for my birthday, countless social events, and most recently the local wine festival. At first my friends looked at me crazy when I would just order water, but now it’s mostly accepted. Sometimes I have to remind a few of them but it’s no big deal.

These 138 days mean a lot to me…they represent growth and commitment to myself. My health and well-being is a priority and hopefully my story can inspire someone else going through what I went through.

138 days and counting signed May 18, 2017.