I Can’t Believe What I’ve Done | Sober and Unashamed

Matt Salis
4 min readOct 19, 2022

I’m a big horror movie fan. The beginning of October marks the start of the three-month holiday season for me. Up first…as many scary movies as my eyeballs can consume in 31 days. I like some of the slasher movies, most of the psychological thrillers, and the best of the classics. One thing I have no time for, however, is a movie centered around the old and tired plot of someone who turns into a despicable creature and does unspeakable things that he can’t later remember. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde , An American Werewolf in London , and any movie featuring the Incredible Hulk don’t do anything for me. The concept is boring because I’ve lived that plot. I’ve transformed into a monster who could do or say things I wouldn’t dream of in the light of the next day. Add a little toxic elixir, and the results were unpredictably terrifying. I don’t need to watch a movie to see the diabolical transformation. Been there, done that.

You see, I was an alcoholic.

Looking back on my time as a drinker, now almost six years clear of the compulsion to poison my brain and body, I am shocked by the cognitive dissonance I suffered. Now, if anyone insulted my wife the way I used to scream at her when I was a drinker, I would be livid. I used to fight over the car keys when I was almost too drunk to stand. I used to go from jolly and laughing to angry and irrational in an unanticipatable split second. I could be passed out one moment, then be groping and demanding sex the next.

The further I get from my alcoholic behavior, the more unconscionable my past tolerance for my alcoholic transgressions becomes. I carefully locked the doors at night to protect my family from the dangers beyond our brick walls. The locks weren’t very effective, however, because the evil was already on the inside. And I let the situation deteriorate for over two decades. I can’t believe what I was willing to accept just in the interest of keeping alcohol in my life.

That’s the point, really. The longer I go without a drink, the less likely I am to ever consider bringing alcohol back into my life. That’s good in an exponential number of ways. But something else happens, the further I get from the scene of the crime. The fact that I ever behaved in such a cruel and inconsiderate way becomes…

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Matt Salis

I live in Denver, Colorado, with my wife and four kids. I write and speak about addiction and recovery. Please follow my blog at SoberAndUnashamed.com.