Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Do You Feel Lucky?

I feel lucky to be alive today. I hope you do, too.

Because chances are, if you've had a drinking problem, you've also had some close calls in your life. Maybe you've driven drunk. Maybe you went home with an unsavory stranger. Maybe you took a tumble down a flight of stairs. A lot of things that could easily have ended in catastrophe. 

I'm relieved that no matter what other mistakes I've made (and survived) when I was drunk, I never got my driver's license ... so at least I've never driven drunk. Right?

Wrong.

Because as I was thinking about it, a distant memory came back to me for the first time in years ...  

I did drive a car - once. And I was drunk when I did it. 

I was at a bar underage with my friends. Some people told us about a party at the local university. Did we want to go? Sure, we wanted to go. But how were we going to get there? The other group had a car but they were clearly very drunk and my friends were all leery of letting them drive. I was drunk, but not stumbling - and I had taken Driver's Ed a couple of years before - so I piped in, "Let me!"

My friends knew I didn't have my license, but they were game anyway. The others just assumed I could drive. So I took the keys and slipped into the driver's seat. Everyone else piled in where they could. 

I don't remember much of that drive except a long, lonely stretch of road that curved ahead of me, glowing in the streetlights. I just kept my eyes where I wanted to go - as I remembered my driving instructor telling us - and we made it safe and sound. Thank God. I had so many young lives in my hands - including my own. 

But there it was. I have been a drunk driver. And I have the nerve to call Reese Witherspoon's hubby, Jim Toth, "dumb" for his DUI in yesterday's post?

Anyway, my point is ... if you have a drinking problem, and you're reading this ... you should feel lucky, too. We should all feel lucky that we're still here, we're still (relatively) healthy and we're safe. It's so easy to make dangerous mistakes when we drink too much ... So remember everything you have to feel lucky for ... and do what you have to do to get control before it's too late. Whether that means quitting, cleansing or some other miracle of your own. 

And remember, no matter what, to feel lucky right now. Right this minute. For your life. For your health. For your family. For whatever else is important to you. Friends, work, your pet, your garden, your bank account, your car, your smokin' hot bod, your glass unicorn collection, whatever! Feel lucky for the things you love ... and for just being alive.

If nothing else, feel damn lucky Dirty Harry isn't pointing his Magnum at your head.

(Though I just realized, being an alcoholic is sort of like having Dirty Harry point a Magnum at your head - 24/7. So just feel lucky he hasn't pulled the damn trigger yet. Punk ;)