Sunday, March 17, 2013

SOBER: Nine Years and Counting

Nine Years and Counting

FYI, you too can
beat the bottle...

I turned 38 back in 2000. The fast-paced, happy-go-lucky rock and roll life that I'd known for so long had recently come to a crashing end. My mom’s death in 1999 combined with my 1998 divorce had created the first layers of darkness that now hovered over me.

I turned to alcohol as a means of numbing my pain. After my introduction to an elixir called Jägermeister during my tenure with the band Glitterhick in 1998, I was guzzling the stuff at an alarming rate by 2000. At the time, I was DJ-ing at a local nightclub. A shrewd businessman, the club owner, Scott Kimple, surmised that it would make sound economic sense for both of us if he offered me an unlimited bar tab as part of my nightly wage. However, after noticing the unbelievable amount of Jägermeister he soon had to restock continually, he opted to pay me in straight cash.

A "beast" indeed.
I also developed a similar reputation at another lvenue where I DJ-d frequently — a local hot spot called Siggy’s. In 2000 I had become quite tight with one of Siggy’s nighttime bartenders, a crackerjack pro named Pattie. Siggy’s entire storefront is glass, and from her position behind the bar, Pattie could see my van coming through the parking lot as I arrived at work each night. By the time I could drive around back, park my vehicle and make my way into the club, she’d have a monstrous-size shot of Jägermeister with a Coke chaser and an ice-cold Heineken on the side, already waiting for me in the DJ booth. Hence, I’d begin my night of drinking before even powering up my DJ amplifiers. By the end of the night I’d be stumbling through the bar and screaming profanities over the microphone. On several occasions, I don’t know how I even made it home. But I do recall regaining consciousness one night, sitting at the wheel of my car, which was facing the wrong direction on a major thoroughfare. That’s right, I was now driving drunk on a near-nightly basis.

I was clearly out of control and I had to get sober. But I worked fulltime in the bar business. I really loved to drink. I needed to drink. Plus, I reveled in being the life of the party. I would continue drinking for another four years.

March 17, 2004: I was DJ-ing a St. Patty's day event at Siggy's. Greg & Brian was the house band that night — a piano / drum / vocal duo known more for their drunken onstage shenanigans than for recreating classic frat house party anthems. Still wrestling with my personal alcohol demon, I was an easy target for the marksmanship of the duo's drummer, Brian Arnold who encouraged me successfully to join him in a holiday shot. As I felt the burn of the unknown, green concoction sliding down my throat, I noticed that I was surrounded by a host of drunken characters whose behavior I now found to suddenly be offensive. The "light" finally had come on. "This is stupid," I said to myself. I'd somehow been miraculously freed from the bondage of alcohol — and I was never turning back. In fact, I've not had a drink since. It was that simple. I don't believe that getting sober makes me a better person than someone who drinks, but it has certainly enhanced my quality of life — ten fold! 

Getting sober doesn't make me a 
better person. But at least I don't 
wake up like this guy anymore!
Alcohol is “soul poison” — plain and simple. And be sure that alcohol-related advertisements are nothing more than crafty lies sent straight from the pit of Hell. Don't be conned! But if anyone currently is struggling with this demon and desires encouragement regarding sober living, feel free to reach out to me anytime through my personal email address. Remember, I’m NOT a licensed counselor, but I am a nightclub DJ, which is kinda the same thing.

-Christopher Long
(March 2013)

Don't miss my other
sobriety features: 

- Lucky 13 Edition (2017) -
- A Decade of Sobriety (2014) -



C'MON! -

1 comment:

  1. Amen! Congratulations from the bottom of my heart Chris. You know I know what you're talking about. It’s a beautiful thing.