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24 (HOURS)


24 (HOURS)

Kofi Carmichael

So, what do I do after celebrating 5 years of sobriety? Say I'm cured and go to the bar and have a drink? Maybe hit the liquor store and grab a bottle of Smirnoff? I've accomplished a lot over the years and I have and had more than my share of problems. Some may think I should "reward" myself with a drink. Some may say, 'Dude, 5 years is a long time. You're good now, have a drink.' When I tell people that I haven't had a drop of alcohol in 5 years I get mixture of congrats and side-eyes. I meet people who also do not drink but just out of preference. However we are not the same.

Yes, it's been 5 years and this is a celebration, so what do I do next?..... I start another 24 hour without drink and at the end of that(hopefully) I live another 24 hours without drinking. This is because this is how I've lived for the past 5 years and the same goes for the millions of alcoholics that live on the sober side of the fence. We don't make long term future projections, we live 1 day at a time. The day that we get too far ahead of ourselves is the day that we can lose. I've mentioned before in previous entries that there is no such thing as 'cured' for us. We wake up everyday and just try to be better people than yesterday. One of the ways we do that is by not drinking alcohol because we know that from the first drink things will get worst. Whether it's fast or a slow, it's a guaranteed process. Thankfully I've been blessed with the lack of desire that many of us alcoholics possess.

I haven't wanted a drink since that faithful day 5 years ago February 17 2010 when the vice squad kicked off the door of my downtown apartment, just steps away from the Toronto Eaton Center. When I lay on the metal based cot in my cell in the don jail, the desire to drink alcohol left my physical and the will to live took over. Over the years I've shared in these blog entries, all the trials and tribulations that I've gone through as well as my victories. I went through 3 years of parole under the supervision of the CSC (Correction Services Canada). I've tip toed around them and went to the clubs even though I wasn't allowed to due to conditions. I hosted several nights at clubs as well as judged hip hop battles and done several stage shows pushing my music and my brand. Even though there was alcohol everywhere I stayed unaffected. All these circumstances were usually accompanied with a bottle and/or glass of Hennessey and/or Vodka. Now, this is something that is a foreign concept to me. There has been numerous times in my dating life that I tell women that I don't drink and it equals out to me not getting to the next step. I've been asked why by women as well as pressured to have "Just one drink" with the light of a set of open legs at the end of the tunnel, but I still said no to the drink and ultimately to the open legs.

I've been battling the underlying pain of having a mother with Alzheimer along with all the tremendous responsibilities that come with that. I've gone through relationship turmoil, financial problems and all the things that make one want to sit back with a beer or a shot at the end of the day. But I don’t. Not out of resistance but out of the lack of desire. Part of the things that keep each 24 going is this blog, as well as the opportunities that I've had to speak and tell my story. I've spoken at 12 step meetings for the anniversaries of other alcoholics like myself celebrating their milestones. The numerous times that my dear friend Tara Maldoon invited me to speak at the F-You (Forgive You) Project.

These are places that I've able to speak freely about my crazy experiences with alcohol, the streets, sex, incarceration and all the twisted and wonderful things that make me who I am. In conclusion I am extremely grateful but I always keep in mind that I'm different. We all have a list of short and long term goals. Maybe getting that dream house, or your favorite car, getting married, getting a diploma. As alcoholics we have all the same goals as the o called 'normal' folks. However all alcoholics have one common goal, that's making it through another 24 hours sober. To all my brothers and sisters across the world living in sobriety, have a happy and sober 24(hours).