A SOBERING PHONE CALL
It’s not what my wife said. It’s what she didn’t say.
That’s when I knew I had a problem.
Specifically, a problem with alcohol.
People ask me all the time how I became successful. They never believe my three-word answer.
“I stopped drinking.”
I’ll never forget the night I stopped for good. I was just kicking with my boys after I left the barber shop. We were drinking, and next thing I know it’s 11:00 p.m. And I was too drunk to drive.
I called my wife. “Yo, I’m not coming home.”
I repeat myself. “Hey, did you hear me?”
Her one-word answer – “Yeah” – let me know I was in deep trouble.
For the first time, I realized how close I was to losing everything I cared about.
When I thought my wife was done with me, I was done with the bottle.
Not like the dozens of times I had “quit” in the past.
I was for real this time.
That phone call literally sobered me up.
Mouthing the words “I need to stop drinking” is easy.
Taking the steps to stop is a different beast.
I knew the C.A.R. framework – character, accountability, responsibility – and now it was time to apply it to my drinking habit.
For the next 30 days, I stopped drinking. That was the character piece.
After a month, my wife noticed.
“Yeah, I’m trying to stop.” I told her. Now I’m accountable to one other person.
Thirty more days pass. My kids see me at a social gathering. Everyone else is enjoying an adult beverage. I have a glass of water.
“Pop, you ain’t drinking?”
“Nope. I’m stopping.”
Not I’m trying to stop.
And now I’m accountable to both my wife and kids.
Thirty more days pass, 90 days in total. The fellas at the barber shop ask if I want to get I a drink.
Now, I’m ready to own it.
“I don’t drink.”
Those three words gave me freedom.
I gained two additional gifts with my sobriety. First, I stopped making so many stupid decisions, especially with my finances. In a sense, you can say my wallet sobered up right along with me. The second thing it gave me was the confidence that I could loosen myself from something that had a such a strong grip on me.
It would be years later before I could admit it.
I had an alcohol addiction.
And If I could stop that, I could start anything.
It made me a better husband.
It made me a better father.
It built up my confidence.
That’s literally how I’ve been able to sustain and grow.
That’s why I attribute my success to cutting out alcohol.
When I gave up the bottle, I got everything else.
What do you need to give up to get everything else?
Kendall (Coach K)