Seeing Myself Reflected by the Town Drunk

I live in a very small town, and like all small towns, we have a town drunk. He’s a guy who does odd jobs around the village all day, and can be seen staggering drunk at the gas station at closing time.

The gas station has a little coffee bar and you can also buy beer there. Our town is so small that the gas station coffee bar is the only place outside of your own kitchen to “get a drink” at night . I used to routinely pick up my second bottle of wine at the gas station after quickly finishing off my first. I drank so quickly that I was barely visibly buzzed after the first bottle. But he would be there slurring his words, talking with the cashiers with great familiarty.

I often felt terrible watching him. I felt like it would be kinder to cut him off because he was so obviously hurting himself.

But there I was

Picking up my second bottle of wine to go home and get black-out drunk, quietly alone on my porch swing.

One day I was walking my dog and passed him in the street.

I thought  “Oh there’s my friend.. !” I smiled and waved and then took a double take as I remembered where I knew him from …….

I had actually never spoken to him.

We weren’t friends.

But I knew him because we were really, honestly, both the town drunk … it’s just that I was a closet drunk and he was out there in the open for everyone to see and judge.

People often tell me that if someone wants to be a drunk, if they’re happy that way, or if they have some dark burden that I cannot understand, I should accept that that is what they are going to do and leave them to it.

I thought about that this morning when he and I were the first at the grocery store checkout … me with two cartons of eggs and he with two boxes of wine.

I thought … he’s happy … he likes to be drunk.

BULLSHIT! He’s been drunk so long it’s all he knows ….I will of course leave him to it. I would never in a million years preach sobriety to him … can’t imagine it.


I was looking at him and thinking, are you choosing this or is this choosing you?

And I believe it’s choosing him.

Once I was addicted there was little free will involved after the bottle was in my hands.

It is hard work to choose sobriety and stick to it but it is worth it.

If you woke up this morning swearing not to drink tonight, but get to wine o’ clock and think that you are choosing to drink, think again.

Take a deep breath, hold it, and let it out slowly. Choose NOT TO drink today and head home WITHOUT the bottle that just tried to choose you …. win today!

It is YOUR Choice!

Guide to Your First Month of Sobriety How and Why to Quit 

Alcohol is the only addictive drug that people will question you for NOT using.

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