Posts Tagged ‘alcoholic’

Just A Beer

December 18, 2013

Sunday December 15th, 2013 – Kenosha, WI

I have a friend I have known for probably thirty years who is unfortunately an alcoholic. He’s a nice person and we get along well, but after all these years he’s still drinking. He’s tried to give it up countless times, but he always goes back. It will probably end up killing him, and he knows it.

On one of his attempts to dry out years ago, he made a point to let everyone know how he was bound and determined to quit once and for all, and it was the most gung ho the rest of his friends and I had ever seen him. We all hoped he would be able to turn his life around and quit boozing.

About a month later I saw him at a restaurant with a beer. I couldn’t help seeing it in his hand, and he saw the puzzled look on my face and tried to explain himself. “Oh THIS? It’s just a beer. Those don’t count.” I didn’t say another word, and he has since slid back into his old lifestyle.

It’s not up to me to judge him or anyone else, but from where I sit I don’t see him ever making a permanent change. He might stop and start and pretend as if he is going to give it up once and for all, but he always goes back. He may be able to fool a few people, but never really himself.

That’s how I feel about my addiction to the Green Bay Packers. I go weeks without watching a game, but then I get an invitation to a friend’s house and I’m right back where I don’t want to be. It kills me when they lose, and despite all my attempts to not care I can’t help it. They’ve got me.

Everyone has left them for dead this year, and I see why. They have had devastating injuries to several key players including star quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and they have been humiliated by several teams they likely would have ground into soup meat had they been playing at full roster.

My friend Mark Gumbinger lives in Kenosha, WI and has one of the best man caves anywhere. He’s got a basement that has a huge screen TV with Surround Sound, and there’s a fridge packed with food and drinks behind the bar. There’s a bathroom within 20 feet, and he’s a fabulous host.

That’s about as good as it gets for football watching, and he always sends out invitations for all his friends to show up whenever there’s any kind of sporting event going on. It really is a blast to hang out there, and I often go just for the company. I’ve grown to know and like the main core of guys that tend to show up, and it’s laid back and relaxed. Any guy would feel like he fits right in.

I spent the night in Milwaukee after two performances of “Schlitz Happened!”, and had to pass right by Mark’s house on my way home so I decided to stop and say hello. It was a late game and I ended up getting there right on time. They were playing Dallas in Dallas, and that’s a team they have traditionally had trouble beating. I didn’t hold out much hope, nor did the rest of the guys.

The first half was beyond our worst nightmare as the Packers got smoked like a picnic ham. It killed us to watch, but we’re all hooked so we sat there like idiots and stewed. I intended to leave at halftime, but we started talking and before we knew it the second half was starting so I stayed.

It was like two different games as the Pack came out like gangbusters and took it to the Cowboys from the start. They ended up winning by one point, and it was one of the most exciting halves of football any of us could recall. Just when I thought I was out…I’m IN. It’s “just a beer”. Right.

Any time the Dallas Cowboys and Darth Owner lose in humiliating fashion it's a good day - but it's especially sweet when it's the Green Bay Packers. This is a game for the ages.

Any time the Dallas Cowboys and “Darth Owner” lose in humiliating fashion it’s a good day – but it’s especially sweet when it’s courtesy of the Green Bay Packers. This was a comeback for the ages.

Dez Bryant is another smug punk I couldn't enjoy seeing it get stuck in his face any more. He walked off the field early - good riddance.

Dez Bryant is another smug punk I couldn’t enjoy seeing get it stuck in his face any more. He slithered off the field early like a crybaby. Good riddance!

First it was "The Ice Bowl" in Green Bay. This was "The Ass Bowl" with Jerry Jones and Dez Bryant. What a comeback! It was one for the ages.

First it was “The Ice Bowl” in Green Bay. This was “The Ass Bowl” with Jerry Jones and Dez Bryant. The villains get foiled, what a happy ending.

One Man Bind

October 1, 2013

Sunday September 29th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

I’m working about as hard as a one man band can, but it’s becoming very obvious I need to put a functioning team together if I’m ever going to rise above my current level of achievement. That can be a challenge for anyone, but it’s especially tough for anyone with deep rooted trust issues.

Dented cans share the unfortunate common experience of being deeply scorched emotionally at an early age – usually by those closest to us that are traditionally supposed to be our most trusted and biggest supporters. Are there any strippers or porn stars that don’t have some daddy tweak?

What about serial killers? Do any of them come from healthy and productive homes? There are almost always exceptions to every rule, but try as I might I can’t think of even one example here. I highly doubt Ted Bundy’s pop took him fishing every summer or his mom baked him cookies.

I realize nobody’s life is perfect and we all have humps in our past we’re trying to get over, but some of us have had to go through certain levels of hell that were simply not designed for a child of any age to endure. It’s not our fault, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have to live with the pain.

There are only a precious few I can talk about this with who truly get it. My cousin Brett is one and my friend Max Bumgardner is another. Most others will casually say “Get over it,” or “Let it go.” That’s like telling an alcoholic to “Stop drinking” and expect that to be a one time cure all.

It didn’t help that I chose the career with the biggest failure and rejection rate of all, but maybe it was because I’m so used to disappointment it just felt comfortable. At this point I don’t have a clue other than I know I need to do something other than I have been doing. That isn’t working.

If I’m ever going to have a chance at the big prize, I’m going to have to trust someone – even if it ends up grinding my heart into confetti as it has so many times before. That doesn’t sound very appealing, but it’s a risk all winners must take. It’s just harder for dented cans, as we’ve felt such severe pain when everything blows up. It clouds our thinking when it comes to picturing success.

I wish I didn’t have to talk about this at all, but it’s very real and I put it out there because I am by far not the only one dealing with it. I know for a fact it has held me back in many areas of my life from business to personal relationships, and if I don’t overcome it soon I will never succeed.

Today I went through all the projects I’m working on, and came up with a list of the top dozen people I think could help me most right now. That would be a great place to start practicing what I’m preaching, and throw it out there. I have a rock solid list of contacts, but I am often reluctant to ask for anything because I’m afraid I’ll owe them or something. I don’t know, but it’s a quirk.

I read an article recently that talked about the way to get over one’s biggest fear is to look right down the barrel of the gun and do it anyway. It takes a prodigious pair to pull that off, but I have rarely backed down from challenges in my life so it’s either get it done or live a life unfulfilled.

I need to be the head of several winning teams for all my projects to succeed. Period. I can’t do it myself, and I’d be stupid for trying. As much as it scares me, I need to trust some other people.

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