An Ordinary Day

It was a day like any other day.  I woke up with a headache and a very upset stomach.  An Alka-Seltzer was the magic trick most mornings, along with a Diet Pepsi.  I liked coffee at this point, but did not have immediate access to it in my dorm room.  Like most mornings, I had to clean out my garbage can from the night before, having thrown up at some point the night before, like most mornings, I had no recollection of doing so.

On my way back from the pop machine I saw my neighbor’s door open and decided to stick my head in and say hello.  I wasn’t just being social.  I was trying to piece together the events from the night before, especially after the bar.  At the bar, things followed a pretty normal pattern.  I’d sit and get drunk, hang out for a while with friends and leave sometime between midnight and two.  It was when I was alone that things got bad.  Even before cell phones drunk dialing was a thing and I managed to do it on a fairly regular basis.  As much as I can remember, I was in a particularly foul mood that night; pissed at an ex-girlfriend, pissed at myself, and the feeling of absolute worthlessness was overwhelming.  Even after all this time it’s hard to write, but I don’t think there was ever a time before or since that I was as close to suicide as I was that night.  I had settled on a method after much thought and was trying to decide between actually going through with it or hitch hiking to California, that night.  I decided to call my friend Melissa to say goodbye, one-way or the other.  To be honest, I have no idea what I said, what she said or even when I hung up.  The next thing I knew I woke up.

I got a few details from my neighbor as it turned out.  For some reason I was pretty loud that night, or made a scene coming home, which was much more common than I was aware.  He told me I was in pretty bad shape, which for me was saying something.  We were talking a bit more and then he said something that I’ve never forgotten, “Have you ever thought of quitting drinking for awhile?”  I have no idea if he had a relative in AA, or knew someone who was sober or was just an observant guy.  To be honest, I can’t even recall his name anymore, but every year on this day I’m grateful that he asked that question.


It’s been a few years since I wrote about getting sober, but for me anyway, it is still worth writing about, still a moment that I need to remember.  Remembering that ordinary day and how, twenty-two years later (holy moley!) it was never an ordinary day again.

One thought on “An Ordinary Day”

  1. We are all thankful for that “ordinary” day, Kevin. I’m impressed that IN COLLEGE you were able to pull yourself together instead of just say “Oh, this is what I’m supposed to do in college.”

    Most of my great days began as very ordinary days.

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