My Real ‘Happy Hours’!

I have been clean for over a year now. I don’t drink alcohol any more. If I am in a party and someone offers me beer, whiskey, rum or any other hard liquor, I politely refuse. I have a stable job and I am happily married. In fact, my wife is expecting our first child and there is a sense of joy all around.

Things were so different a few years back.

Ghosts from the past

I fell in love with my neighbour’s attractive daughter while I was in college and our relationship blossomed with time. I was the more emotional of the two and my need for her turned into mild obsession. I really couldn’t imagine a life without her.

After about five years, I realised I was no longer as significant to her as I was in the initial years. It was unsettling and I brought it up to her multiple times. I tried to understand if there was something bothering her, but she always skirted the issue. Gradually, she became more and more distant until finally, she broke the news in the most professional manner possible. She was getting married to someone else…

She was not the same person who took vows with me years ago. I didn’t bother accusing her of deception, I didn’t ask her any questions. I just looked through her. In less than 60 seconds, I was gone.

 It was a perfect setting for relapse; I had been clean for over 6 years but suddenly, I didn’t have the strength or motivation to remain sober. I went directly to a bar and ordered whiskey . The first sip did the damage and after that, I couldn’t stop.

I was your quintessential ‘Devdas’, sinking deeper and deeper with each passing day. I started drinking in the morning and continued till the darkest hours of the night. My whole life revolved around consuming liquor. I had enough money to sustain my addiction, my alcoholism. Whenever I went to my local ‘theka’, people ridiculed me and called me ‘sharabi’. Sometimes I came early in the morning and waited for the liquor shop to open.

I was so dependent on alcohol that I couldn’t write legibly when I was sober, my hands shook and trembled. I became dependent on alcohol even for the basic functions of life. I couldn’t sign a cheque if I wasn’t drunk, I couldn’t eat with a spoon because my hand couldn’t find a straight path from the plate to my mouth, it spilled.

For over two years, I relived hell. Not a day went by when I didn’t miss her… my life was decaying and I couldn’t help it. Alcohol was stronger than me, the temptation too powerful to resist.

Only when I was sick and tired of being sick and tired did I try to regain the reins of my life. I got help, I was rehabilitated and lived under family supervision for six months. I rebuilt myself from the scratch.

I only drink virgin marys and mocktails. Alcohol is no longer a part of my life, although sometimes, I ask myself, ‘how awesome it would have been if I didn’t have a drinking problem, if I could enjoy just a few drinks after a hard day’s work like most normal people do.

But I have made peace with my lifestyle. It’s healthy and sometimes boring. It’s like I have lost my mojo! But all in all, I am grateful to be clean today.

We became almost one and marriage was the next grew closer and closer and were even thinking of getting married.

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