Posted on November 2, 2018
by Steve Janowick

I knew a guy, a very good friend actually, who decided a few years back, on a rainy October day, that he wanted to meet his maker.  He laid a plastic cover over the couch then carefully maneuvered a cast iron skillet behind his head, so he wouldn’t damage the sheet rock.  After writing a short note and taking off all his clothes, he put the barrel of his nine-millimeter Beretta between his lips and pulled the trigger.

The note simply read: I can’t live with the demons anymore.

Six months earlier, he and his fiancé were having a fun night out at the local watering hole-letting off some of the week’s steam.  She was the one he was marrying, but it was the liquid inside his glass that was his true love. And, of course, after it started steadily flowing, the usual issues started rearing their heads.  My buddy was a good guy deep down. He was also a hard-living, hard-drinking, hard-ass sometimes. And behind the tats, the intimidating scowl and the barrel chest was a very insecure, scarred man.  We all know the type. Hell, it could be you. The type that has to prove his manhood every chance he gets to make up for all the shitty, pent-up pain he keeps deep down inside.

And on this night, he didn’t prove it with his fists.

This young blond had been shooting him looks from across the bar all night, and instead of just ignoring her, like he’d probably have done as a sober man, he reciprocated her flirting with his own. When his fiancé came out of the bathroom a few minutes later, she was crushed to see this girl’s arms playfully around her man’s shoulders, and him seeming to enjoy the hell out of it.

After an ugly confrontation that almost turned physical, his fiancé took the keys and stormed out in tears.

“I’m going to my mother’s!” She cried out.

“I guess I’m walking home!” He drunkenly yelled back.

Instead of chasing her down and trying to make things right, he kept his ass planted on that barstool, continuing to drink and flirt with the blond.

He didn’t get the news until 10:00 the next morning.  Still hungover, he was awakened by four, loud thuds on his door.  He opened it to see two patrolmen staring back at him. His fiancé evidentially had a stroke and hit a guard rail on her way home.  The officer said, however, that it was the stroke, not the impact, that killed her. He said that if someone was with her she could have been saved.

My friend crumbled to the floor at that moment … And he stayed there for the next six months.

Man, I know this is a hell of a downer! And I apologize for hitting you with it.  I’m re-living it now as I write about it and it stings like hell. But I guarantee there’d be two people still alive today if one of them hadn’t succumbed to the lure of the venom.  Show me a man with no demons living inside him-and I’ll show you a liar. Each and every one of us has them! And it’s how we fight them that determines the paths of our lives. But if the drink and the drug are your weapons of choice in that battle…you’ll lose.  

Eventually, you’ll lose.

Find another way, brothers.

Peace.

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