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Kofi Carmichael

We all have our secrets, some of them harmless little ones and some of them can be big horrible ones. It’s no secret that I’m a recovering alcoholic and an ex drug dealer, part of the reason for this blog is to purge my secrets as a form of therapy. It all started when I was still a teenager living in my mother’s house in Montreal. I used to drink a beer called Red Bull that would come in the 710ml tall cans. At the time I had dropped out of junior college, I would pretend that I was going to school and go to my weed base where I would sell weed all day and drink multiple cans of Red Bull. When I was home I would sit in my room drinking beer while watching TV. I would keep the beer can next to my chair out of sight from my mother when she would come into my room. In hindsight I think to myself she must have smelled the alcohol in my room but when you’re a drunk you think that you’re real good at hiding when in reality I wasn’t fooling anyone.

I remember the amount of times that I hid my drinking from my fiancé. Sometimes I wouldn’t let her come and spend the night at my apartment because I wanted to stay home and drink by myself. I would try to make my time in the liquor store as quick as possible just in case she called while I was in there. I didn’t want her to hear the cash register because I knew she would ask where I was. When she did spend the night and I was supposed to be drinking just a little bit, I would be drinking a lot. Before she got there I was only suppose to be buying a mickey of vodka and drinking only half of it. Instead I would buy a mickey and the bottle one size smaller. Then I would drink half of the mickey for show and finish the other bottle on the low. Some nights when she stayed over and I wasn’t supposed to be drinking at all I would have a bottle stashed somewhere and sneak sips when I was in the kitchen or when she went to the washroom or fell asleep. There was so many times when I was supposed to be sleeping and I would sneak out to the afterhours so I can drink until 7am.

When I had my first try at Alcoholics Anonymous I had secrets at a place where we are supposed to not worry about our secrets. I was still dealing back then so when I went to the meetings I would keep my phone on silent or vibrate but not out of general respect but because I had customers that would make it ring more than the average person. While we were sharing and I would listen to people’s stories of alcohol and drug abuse I had current drug abusers trying to get in contact with me to bring them drugs. It made me feel like such a hypocrite that after a month I left the meetings and started drinking worst than before. Things got worst in my last year before sobriety. I was even hiding from the liquor store staff, I would go to about 4 different liquor stores throughout the week so that the cashiers wouldn’t see me buying liquor every day. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of upper class people that hit the liquor store everyday in their business attire. The difference is that it’s “okay” for them because they buy wine and they’re upper class so it’s suppose to be socially acceptable. Now I meet some of those same types of people in my 12 step meetings telling their stories of drunker times.

While I was drinking I was also what people affectionately call a man whore. I would drink and girls that where 5s would turn into 9s. Every girl that I ever had a serious relationship with I cheated on multiple times. I would have no inhibitions when I got drunk and I thought I was quite the charmer. I had to always make up a story and keep lies going because of my whorisms. Things would just happen while out on the scene partying and I would find myself bring home a straggler or end up in parts of town I never planned on going to before I left for the party. Then I would have to tell my girlfriends some story of where I was or why I wasn’t answering my cell phone. One Carribana weekend back in 2001 I met this girl while I was driving my truck and we exchanged numbers and made a plan for later that night. My girlfriend at the time stayed home, mainly because I was an asshole and didn’t invite her out to party. I met up with my new fling and by the end of the night I was at the Days Inn on Jarvis. The whole time I was doing the dirty deed my phone was blaring. When I finally left I got in my truck and called my girlfriend. She was freaking out asking me where I was and why I couldn’t answer my phone. I told her that my truck got towed and my phone was in it. I came up with that lie right on the spot and I thought it was the smoothest lie in the world. Now when I think about it, my story was paper thin. What hustler leaves his phone that makes him his money in his vehicle?

Thank God times have now changed. Now when I go to meetings I have nothing to hide. Now when I share I can tell the whole story. I have been able to be a guest speaker at people’s sobriety anniversaries along with important functions like the F-You (forgiveness) project. I hide nothing no one and I’m able to tell you the readers the whole truth. When I was out there getting drunk I thought I was good at hiding things but now that I’m 3 years sober I realize I was only hiding from myself.