A letter to John Daly from a fellow traveler
Dear John Daly,
We’ve never met but I know you. Like you, I am an alcoholic. So when I saw the story of you being arrested at a Hooters for public intoxication, I thought I’d write to you. Because in a few months, I’ll celebrate my sixth year of sobriety. I have been on the journey to the bottom, and I am still and always will be on the journey back.
Calling you an alcoholic may be presumptuous and even rude on my part, but having been there, I am very aware that those who knew me were very much aware of my own alcoholism long before I was willing to own up to it. So John, I say this with complete confidence - I feel your pain. I spent many years as a functional alcoholic, often waking up with that terrible hangover that’s accompanied by the guilt that comes with knowing you’ve done something shameful like making a fool of yourself in public or upsetting a loved one. And I know the feeling of what it’s like when the functional part leaves you, and all you’re left with is the alcoholic part.
I know what it’s like to have weekends disappear in a drunken haze. I know what it’s like to lie about why your work is suffering and why you take more sick days than anyone else. I know the feeling of waking up at 2 a.m. half-drunk and half-hungover and being unable to go back to sleep because every fiber in your body feels tensed and stressed and wrong. I know the downward journey that you are on, because I traveled it.
But I know that journey can be turned around and lead to a good place. Because with the help of a loving wife and family, I was able to stop. That was and continues to be a journey of its own, but more than five years into it, it is a journey of love and happiness. It is a journey that has given me restored confidence and a comfort in my own skin that I never had experienced prior.
John, like you I have felt terrible humiliation and shame. But those feelings in me are gone now because I was finally honest with myself. Because I knew the journey I was on would end in tragedy. And because, more than anything, I wanted to be better, I wanted to stop drinking.
Now, I recognize my past but I feel no shame for it. And I cannot be shamed or embarrassed for it. Over the years I have taken full responsibility for my alcoholism. And the shame and fear has been replaced with pride and hope. And no one can take those feelings away from me or make me feel bad for traveling this road.
John, your golfing career and personality has entertained and thrilled millions of people over the years. You are not a laughingstock, no matter how many try to make you one. And you are not alone. There are millions and millions of us on the same journey as you, on various stages of the path. And you have it in you to change direction.
Speaking as someone who turned around, let me tell you that it’s obviously not easy, but it is possible. You just have to honestly recognize which way you are heading and embrace it with every aching and tired fiber of your being. It can be done. And trust me when I tell you this - the road back is truly a journey worth taking.
Your friend and fellow traveler,
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Your message of hope and empathy is probably just what JD needs right now. I hope he reads it...or somehow gets the vibe.
Yes it's a laugh riot until one realizes that the other two Johns- Belushi and Candy- are no longer with us.
who literally drank themselves to death despite family/friend support and attending programs paid for by our employer. They were simply not able to overcome their addiction.
I wish I held out stronger hopes that John Daly
would be able to make the same journey as you, but I doubt he has the self-discipline or support to do so. All those fans wanting to buy him a drink, his choice of partners, etc,. We don't know what his friends and "friends"
are able to do to help him. I wish him well.
I shall think of you and your family at Thanksgiving & Christmas and the difficulties you have all overcome.
But on a much less serious level, it does sort of explain your extreme liberal looniness, K. Don't addicts often replace the addiction with an equally crazy obsession that's hopefully much less dangerous to themselves and others.
Some guys find religion. You found the Huffington Post.
It's obviously working for you, so keep it up. Would it be insensitive to wonder if that's how Al Gore found most of his campaign volunteers?
In a good way I hope he finds that part where he finds himself in the state of mind that is pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization.
Only until he reaches his bottom will he be able to see the light. You can't see until you can see or you can't hear until you can hear.
Good luck John and yes beer drinkers can be Alcoholic, maybe even the worsed of them.
Congratulations on kicking the booze addiction. Stay with it, old buddy.
In my humble opinion, you should now start working on your other insidious addiction, that of ultra-liberal left-wing political ranting. Once you kick that addiction, you'll really feel a lot better.
Alex USMC 1969-73
I started my long road back from Alcoholism in 1990. I was an 'executive" with 2 beautiful kids, taught Sunday school, was the designated driver who could always be counted on. Then, I went over the edge, and it took me 8 years, 4 treatment centers, 3 halfway houses, living at the YMCA,detox centers 4 times, getting fired from many jobs, losing all I had, right down to everything but the clothes on my back.
When I finally had enough, and with the help of AA and other friends, I quit for good. Today, almost 10 years later, I have no desire to have a drink or a drug and life is good. I am married again, have a good job, my own business and children who love their dad.
I try to be honest with myself and others, and not to take life too seriously :) But, John, you will die, a long, slow death, if you don't get honest, not with us, but with yourself.
A couple of AA sayings come to mind, "The quality of my problems is much better today, than when I was drinking" and "you can turn a cucumber into a pickle, but you can't turn a pickle into a cucumber" Once you have crossed the line, there is no going back.
And, AA is not the only way to get sober, there are plenty of good ways. AA helped me to get started and I am grateful, but in the end, I had to want to stay sober.
You, and only you, can decide that you are sick and tired of feeling the way you feel when you wake up from being drunk. I hope you do just that, and become a sober useful human being again.
It's Friday afternoon in Charlotte, NC, 60 degrees, the sun is shining and I am taking off early for the rest of the day.
Life is good John, Join in. Reach out, and ask for help. You have to make up your own mind, but as soon as you do, honestly, there will be many hands there to walk along side with you, on the road to freedom.
Wonderfully stated. Been there, done that. Nothing like coming out the other end and realizing there is a whole new world out there.
Too bad. He seems like a hell of a decent guy - just a boozehead (don't take offense; I'm in the same crowd as the author of the original post, and glad for it) who can't come around and stay around.
I hope for the best for Daly, but am realistic in anticipating his obituary long before it's due.
P.S. Robert Jones of Charlotte, NC is suspect. As AA has a tradition of anonymity at the level of press, he must be an imposter. Certainly any AA member sober for 10 years or more would know this and the reasoning for it.
I really didn't go the AA route (though basically went through the steps), but I don't think RJ wrote anything that could be construed as being wrong or breaking any codes as far as I am aware. Sharing your own experiences publicly helps others and becomes much easier to do the longer you're sober.
RonMon: I think you're over analyzing it a touch. As for resisting, that's not even an issue. I just don't drink now. It's part of who I am, not something I have to struggle at all with or yearn for in any way at all. I have to resist drinking the same amount I have to resist snorting coke or shooting heroin, which I have never done and was never tempted to do.
But my past is not something I try and close the door on or pretend never happened. Sort of a "those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it" sort of thing.
As for Daly, when a 40-something, long-time drinker is showing up publicly intoxicated, they've got a problem. Some people can drink responsibly their whole lives and even get quite drunk on occasion yet be in control. But they don't show up drunk at Hooters when in their 40s.
You, however, not being involved in that outfit, would be free to say whatever you please.
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