By Trent Rosser
Many times I have talked about my past. Especially my past when I was still drinking. I talked about putting a swamp cooler in the back of my conversion van while we cooked out. I talked about chasing girls in the middle of winter in a Jeep.... With no top on the Jeep! Yes, I was very cold. I have even talked about how things are much better now since I have sobered up. How I remember what I have done the night before. How I found a beautiful woman to be my wife, and how a couple of pets have become the free entertainment at my house. I have also talked about being a family and watching my grandson throw a handful of mashed potatoes across the kitchen table during our first Thanksgiving meal at our own place. One thing I have not talked about is that, even though I am sober, I still make some bad decisions. But then again, don’t we all?
Next month, I celebrate 10 years of sobriety. My last drink was on August 16, 2009. The very next day, I went to a detox center. A week later I was in a halfway house rehab center. It changed my life for the better. While drinking all the time, I made some very horrible choices. For instance, why get up and go to work, when there is beer in the fridge. It’s not going to drink itself, so I would not even call in. I just would not go in to work and drink all day long. I am surprised that they kept me for as long as they did. When they finally had enough, I would walk in and quit. Time to find another job and start the process all over again. Work and be a productive employee for a few months then slowly start to drop in attendance and productivity. It was a never ending process trying to drink my life away. The definition of insanity is: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. That is exactly what it was. Insanity!
Another thing I would do while being very bad at decision making would be going to the bar and trying to dance. I don’t care how much alcohol says that you are the best dancer in the room, trust me, you’re not! Not only was I the best dancer in the bar, but I was the best dancer in the Panhandle! Yep, every girl wanted me and every guy wanted to be me! That was when I did have enough to get on the dance floor! So drinking and bad decisions came hand in hand!
So, I get sober and you would think that my bad ideas and decisions would cease, WRONG! The first job I got when I walked out of rehab was with a trucking company changing tires on the big semi trucks. I have done it for many years and even went to a school in Iowa for a week to become an instructor for Tire Industry of America. Needless to say, I knew what I was doing. One of the things that we had to do there, was to jump in one of the trucks, hook it up to the trailer that you need to work on and pull it into your bay.
One of the bad decisions that I made one day was to go ahead and pull the trailer without double checking to make sure it was connected properly. As I turned the corner I looked out the side mirror just in time to watch the trailer slide off the truck and come crashing down. It was loaded with Pepsi and Coke. It took forever to get it back up on the truck. Very minimal damage to the trailer, but my ego was flattened! Eventually I moved into dispatch and was no longer getting dirty and now working in an air conditioned office. I once was able to work from my own house. Bad decision, “Trent, do you want to have to drive to work everyday and work from 8 to 5? Or stay at home and work overnights with 3 days off and plenty of sleep?” I should have stayed where I was at and work from home, but NOOOO, I have to be like normal people and get up early in the morning. That was a big bad decision.
Another bad decision is something I have heard about many times from many people: do not work for family. Sometime I guess I just have to learn the hard way. My latest bad decision: after being in an office for 8 years, I did something drastic. I went from staying warm in the winter months and cool in the summer months sitting behind a computer all day, I started a new job as a tire guy for another trucking company. Sweating in a metal building, lifting 100 lbs tires and hooking up trailers to back into my bay. When I went from tires to dispatch I gained about 30lbs and the last few months I believe I sweated out about 50 lbs! Truthfully though, it is probably the best “bad” decision I have made in a long time.
Please don’t get me wrong. I love my sober life. After nearly 10 years of being sober, I have still made plenty of bad decision, but not nearly as bad as I used to be. Honestly, I believe I have made many good decisions as well. One of the best was my decision to get sober and of course the day I married the love of my life. Going back to doing tires was actually a good decision. I am getting back into shape and it is something that I like to do. No more stressing about late drivers or hearing the horrible call when a driver had an accident. Yes, I still have stress, but that is a part of life. To tell the truth, I am grateful for all the bad decision that I have made, while drinking and while sober. For if it was not for those decisions, then I wouldn’t be the man I am today.
Next time you make a “bad” decision and are having a bad day, just remember what I always say, “Be grateful for the bad days. If there are no bad days, then how can you appreciate the good days?”