Later that night, I found the nearest meeting to my house. I sat in the back of the room and the chairperson asked, “Is this anyone's first meeting?" I raised my hand and for the first time in my life I said out loud..."Hi my name is Greg and I'm an Alcoholic...this is my first meeting." Everyone in the room started clapping and smiling and giving me the thumbs up. You have no idea how confused I was. Why are all these people applauding me?
All the people that night simply told me "Keep coming back". I thought they wanted to get money out of me, even though I had nothing. I couldn't fathom random strangers wanting to help another random stranger. My mind was going 100 mph and I really had no idea what to think, but I decided to listen because I was so desperate for help. On my way out an older woman grabbed my arm and said “hey kid I’d clear my bank account to be 25 and in these rooms. Keep coming back." That's all I needed to hear.
I said to myself I might as well just listen for a change. I did go back; then again after that and again the night after that but I was still so confused by everything.
When I had around 50 days without a drink I started talking to a man after a meeting about baseball and this guy knew his stuff inside and out. I asked him what he did for a living and he said he's a TV producer for one of the local baseball teams sports network. I almost fell over. I kept saying how jealous I was of him and how I'd kill for an opportunity to work in sports television. He gave me his number and said, "Stay sober and call me every night. Maybe I can help you out." I didn't know what he meant but I was surely willing to find out.
I called him every night and I did stay sober. He told me he believed in me. I never had anyone say that to me before. I was always called an idiot (which I was) or a loser (which I also was). He wasn't lying about helping me and he eventually got me an interview at the MLB TV Network. I looked at that interview as the moment I've been waiting for my whole life. I had to pinch myself to remember this is actually happening. It took weeks for them to finally hire me but on July 28th at 4:47 p.m. I received an email from MLB saying I was hired. I've never shed tears of pure happiness until that day. Four months before that I was a keg on two legs, and now I'm working for the league I’ve watched religiously? This can't be true, but it was true.
The rest is history. I stand here today in the heart of MLB Network with almost one year of sobriety under my belt. I am an alcoholic and that will never go away. I admit that the next drink is the only drink I'm interested in. I stand here today to raise awareness on how serious drinking really is. I tip my cap to anyone who has years of sobriety under his or her belt because it is not an easy task. This post is for anyone out there who is struggling with addiction like I was and doesn't know how to go about it. You can do anything you want with a little luck and some self-motivation. For the first time in over a decade I can finally say I know what it feels like to be happy.