The disease of alcoholism is the flagman. I don’t realize his alluringly, addictive voice is lying to me.
I’m blind to the warnings of caution from others as he waves his dark lantern.
My eyes meet his. The train stops.
In the engine stands my ex-wife and a bottle of vodka.
The disease has taken over.
I’m too far gone to see or feel the disease.
Why is the bottle in my hand?
It appears to others as my choice.
Drinking was not a choice.
The disease is wicked.
Transforming my ex-wife and me into its dark servants. Both of us powerless and out of control.
Sobriety is a choice, but my mind doesn’t see that it’s even an option.
I’m too far gone.
Raising the bottle to my lips, it lies to me again.
I feel its warm comfort, as its evil penetrates my body.
Tossing the empty fifth into the fire, the train of the drunk races forward.
I move from the engine to the coal car.
For a moment, through my blurred vision. the disease shows me my oldest son and a bottle of vodka.
I could not look at him.
Father needs help.
Impossible to stop.
No longer my choice.
I can’t explain.
I don’t understand myself.
God, help my son! I can’t. It’s taking me down.
I let go so that my son can escape from the disease. Harm already inflicted.
My heart explodes as the next, once full bottle, quickly empty, leaves my hand. Shatters in the fire.
Love — ripped from me by the disease — gives way to an endless abyss of pain.
Moving even faster now, the disease delights in its power and control. It pushes me to the next rail car.
There stands my middle son.
I could not look at him either.
“Love me, Dad, be normal.”
He hates me, doesn’t see the disease.
I can’t explain it to him.
I’m in the grips of it, but don’t realize it myself.
The next empty bottle of vodka explodes as it hits the burning coals, shattering our lives.
The disease of alcoholism is winning.
It’s happening right in front of all of us.
No one understands, but the disease knows it is right on track.
Darkness likes ignorance.
Nothing gets in its way to stop it.
Wants everyone to believe it’s my choice.
I even believed it, although I know its not true.
I want to stop.
Killing myself seems to be the only way to be freed from the hands of the disease.
Appears the only choice I’ve got.
I am out of control. Powerless over the disease and its resulting addiction.
Speed picking up.
Forcing me in the next rail car to face my youngest son.
Tears in his eyes.
“Why do you do this daddy? You are going to kill us all with your drinking. Please stop!”
Gut wrenching pain for both of us.
Bottle in my hand.
Out of control.
Going to crash.
Taking all with me.
The disease wants me shattered.
Drunk so it can kill me.
Can’t find love or light within myself. Only dark, unending depths of pain.
I can’t even think of my loved ones. Only what I have become.
Once a strong man. Father. Protector. Provider. Husband. Lover. Soldier.
Now a good for nothing drunk.
I want my boys. But more than anything, I want them safe from this disease controlling me like a puppet on a string.
“They are better off without you” is the only reasoning the disease will give me.
I believe and comply, although I don’t want to.
Crushed. No longer human. No other option.
My final action to bring my deathly end.
Protect my family from the disease.
I scream to God, “Help me save them.”
On the fast track to death, in the darkest abyss of my escaping life, the light flickered.
It was a long way off.
I pushed my loved ones to what I thought was safety from me.
They were safe, but shattered, overwhelmed with pain and terrified of what would become of me on the train of the drunk.
For a moment, I wonder myself. What will become of me, Dave the Drunk?
I cried out for one last time.
Panicking for God to guide me.
I saw his hand.
He told me to hold on.
I did and was pulled from the darkness of the drink.
I walked with God.
He understood the disease.
He gave me the energy, faith and path to rebuild the train of my life.
Gave me a life of recovery.
Personally experiencing Him always with me.
Guiding me to continual recovery from the disease.
Giving my loved ones and I our lives back.