Since I married my husband, I have become a bit of a golf fan. I won’t watch all 4 days of a tournament, but if it is on at 5pm on a Sunday afternoon, and I am sitting there, I will pay attention.
My favorite part of golf is the Irish announcer, David Feherty. He has a fabulous sense of humor and actually makes a serious game funny. He is actually so funny, The Golf Channel gave him his own show. He interviews various pro golfers and other notables who enjoy the game of golf.
David Feherty is in recovery. He was a raging alcoholic and drug addict. He suffers from debilitating booze filled depression and depression fueled booze. He was misdiagnosed and treated for bi polar disorder. When he won the Scottish Open in 1986, he promptly went on a bender and lost the trophy, the oldest trophy in golfing history. It has never been found.
At his worst, he was drinking 2 1/2 bottles of Bushmills a day, and taking up to 40 Vicodin.
“I would go for my annual physical once every three years [arched eyebrows] and my numbers were all right, until the last one. My doctor was looking at the chart, and he said, “How much are you drinking?” And I thought, Oh god [slumped shoulders], here we go. I said, “Well, you know, one and a half, two and a half bottles a day.” He said, “Of wine?” And I said, “No, Irish whiskey.” The doctor said, “My god [mouth agape], these numbers should be in Cooperstown! They’re Mickey Mantle’s! Have you ever thought about getting help?” And I said, “No! [bewildered look] I can drink it all by myself!”
In 2005 he got sober. The turning point was when he woke up from a drunken bender, his then 5 year old daughter climbed up in his lap and asked him if he needed another bottle. His wife threatened to leave him if he didn’t get sober. So he did.
“There’s a stigma in Northern Ireland about anyone who gives up alcohol,” Feherty said, noting that it’s not like he was getting sober because he was just an unskilled drinker. “I drink two and a half bottles of Irish whiskey a day. And I’m functional. I’m not giving it up because I’m a bad drunk. I’m giving it up because I’m spectacular at it.”
He had a drink with his father, and that one drink led to a three week bender.
“I told people I got drunk once, but it was for three weeks.”
The reason I am relating this story is because I come from a family of heavy drinkers, I would say alcoholics, but who am I to judge.
I am now in the planning phases of a trip to visit my mother, an alcoholic, and my brother, an alcoholic. They know nothing of my sobriety, AA or my sponsor, as I haven’t shared. Not because I am embarrassed, but because it is mine, and I am not ready to tell them yet.
Even thinking about interacting with these people, my family, makes me get butterflies in my stomach. Our family gatherings have always revolved around drinking. A LOT of drinking. I can’t fathom spending a couple of nights with them.
I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize my sobriety, as fragile as it is. I also don’t want to disclose my personal business to them.
I am in a conundrum.
I am also glad it is only the planning phase. I hope I will feel more grounded in my sobriety when it is time to take the actual trip.