Health Magazine

The Neighborhood Drunk . . .

By Dreamchasa101 @dreamchasa101

The Neighborhood Drunk . . .

This is what I kept asking myself.

I still remember taking that drink after I got out of jail and wondering, "What am I going to do?"  I was more than likely going to loose my job because I had signed a form acknowledging that If I got another D.U.I., I would be terminated.  I couldn't drive at the time because the police had my car towed and it was going to cost $1,500 to get it back - since it was my 2nd D.U.I. offense.  I didn't know what to tell my mother seeing that she had tried to let me know that my drinking was getting out of control.  I didn't know what to tell my friends seeing that half of them had told me that I drank too much.  I kept thinking about how this was the most down and out I had ever been in my entire life; I had "really" messed up this time.  I was 24 with two D.U.I.s and very scared about what my future had in store.

The Neighborhood Drunk . . .

If I didn't resign, they were going to begin the termination process.

I borrowed the $1,500 from a family-friend and got my car out the impound.  Some information had been given to my job about my arrest - from an anonymous source - so after returning to work I was put on restrictions.  After about a week of restricted duties, I was called into the boss' office to explain myself.  I was told that due to my 2nd D.U.I. arrest, I would be fired, but since I was honest with them and they didn't have to find it out in an annual background check, they would give me the option of resigning.  I was told that if I didn't resign right then and there, that they would begin typing up my termination papers and I may not have the option of resigning later.  I remember looking out of the office window, taking a deep breath and thinking to myself, "I'll be alright."  "Through it all, I've been able to keep myself above water and even through my worst times God has been there for me."  Then I told my boss that I resign.  He gave me a paper and pen and said that he needed me to put it in writing.  I wrote, "I, Vernon Allen, Transportation Security Officer for the Transportation Security Administration, do hereby resign my position as Transportation Security Officer."  I signed, dated it and gave him the paper.  Due to my alcoholism, I was now unemployed after working 4 1/2 years with the U.S. federal government.

The Neighborhood Drunk . . .

I dropped out of school.

At the time, I was also taking classes for a bachelor's degree at a nearby University - 4 days a week.  I continued to go to school after my 2nd D.U.I. but the State sent me a letter in the mail stating that my drivers license would be suspended within a month.  It was to be suspended for a minimum of 1 year.  I knew that this was coming but it was just happening so fast.  I had just spent $1,500 to get my vehicle back, and now I can't even drive it?  My life was just getting worse by day.  I continued to drive on a suspended license until one day a voice told me, "Vernon, you're in enough trouble.  If you get caught driving with a suspended license you'll be in more."  When I drove to school I was constantly looking over my shoulder for the police.  Not only did I have to worry about city police, I had to be on the lookout for campus police when I was driving around my school.  That being said, I dropped out of school.  Within two months of catching my second D.U.I., I had lost my job and dropped out of college.
I was able to maintain my apartment and lifestyle for about a year after my job loss.  I had money saved in the stock market so I took all of the money out and paid my rent and some other bills in advance.  When I think back, I believe part of the reason that I risked going out the night I was pulled over was because I knew subconsciously that if I ever lost my job, I had enough money saved to live comfortably for a years time.  After loosing my job, dropping out of college and having a suspended license, I became confined to my apartment and began to live like a hermit.  I only came out to walk to the liquor store and back.  I still had money to support my addiction so I began to drink everyday.  I didn't have to worry about being caught drunk driving because I wasn't driving anymore.  I didn't have to worry about getting caught smelling like alcohol at work because I didn't have a job.  So I started drinking from morning until night and tried not to think about how bad I had messed up.  I just couldn't face the reality that alcohol had completely taken over my life, and ruined it in the process.  It was to the point were I spent more time drunk then I did sober.  I just continued to drink, and the more I drank the further away from reality I got.

The Neighborhood Drunk . . .

What will it be today, Gin or Vodka?  

I got in a routine of walking to the liquor store every morning, coming back to my apartment and drinking all day.  Most of the time I would play video games, surf the internet, watch TV, talk on the phone or text while I drank.  I also met other people who drank like me around my apartment complex and we began to drink together.  Some of my friends who drank would come over and drink with me and I was still having numerous women over; so I was never really lonely or anything.  Even though I wasn't supposed to be driving, eventually I still did at times.  I continued to frequent strip clubs - sometimes even driving drunk in the process.  At this point in my life, my drinking had gotten completely out of control.  When I took out my trash, all I heard were empty liquor bottles rattling in the garbage bag.  When I went to the liquor store, the employees knew exactly what I wanted when I came to the register.  I remember one of them asking me, "What will it be today, Gin or Vodka?"  That kind of hurt my feelings so I simply started going to a different liquor store.  Eventually, people began to know me as the guy who was always drinking.  If anyone wanted to drink, they knew they would be in good company by coming to my place.  I remember seeing one guy who I met through an acquaintance flagging me over outside of my apartment building one day.  He said, "Hey bro, I heard you be getting f-ed up.  I gotta come over there and pop a bottle with you one day."  I think it was safe to say that I had developed a reputation as the neighborhood drunk.

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