4. Rodney - The World's Most Obnoxious Man - Why I Quit Drinking

I’ve dodged the Rodney subject for a few chapters now but I guess like in real life I have to confront the elephant in the room – Rodney.

Rodney was my drunken alter ego, the asshole in my life that had actually been given a nickname. You know the one when your friends say “Rodney’s here” They actually mean oh fuck here we go again Paul’s drunk.

You’ll get by now I’m huge on feelings, how the world makes you feel and how I make the world feel is a priority in who I am, it affects me, it affects all of us. When you’ve been called the world’s most obnoxious man more than once then it doesn’t feel great.

I have a list in my head of the worst things Rodney has done and I cringe and feel awful every single time I think about them. I don’t always blame him/me I know what was going on in my head at the time of doing these things and it was generally not a happy place. So I forgive myself and Rodney for being a dick I just didn’t want to be a dick anymore.

For those of you who don’t know me here’s some Rodney moments that stick in my mind. Most were relayed to me by other people after the fact.

  • Calling an elderly woman “a purple haired old git” when she asked me to sit down.
  • Being at a wedding and telling everyone it wouldn’t last.
  • Telling all my friends they were losers.
  • Saying “better looking than your wife” in reply to some comment.
  • Dropping a cigarette into an expensive brandy and declaring “that’s your life” to a close female friend.
  • Running through a Latvian McDonald’s screaming your head off when it’s full of kids.

General drunken bollox and beyond in the name of “banter” no you were a twat. And I know no matter what people would say horrible to be around, or if not horrible worrying to be around because you just didn’t know when the red button would be pressed that introduced the world’s most obnoxious man.

Trust me there’s much worse that I daren’t even write down. People who know me will know what I am talking about.

Rodney was the 10 pints me. The change, the Jekyl vs the Hyde. He was so far from who I am or who I want to be I cringe every time I hear the name. I know what it means to me.

Needless to say I don’t remember a lot of Rodney actions and by other people naming him I also gave myself an out to pretend it wasn’t me who was doing these things. When I woke up in a fog I knew I’d been an asshole again and I knew I’d pissed more than a few people off. I knew Rodney was me but I would hide behind his actions if I could, but nobody was buying that.

So do I hate Rodney. No not really, I know people are doing their best. I know drunk is just drunk, that what people say isn’t what they mean. I know he/me was trying to make people laugh and that would have been the main reason to act up. Funny to obnoxious is a fine line to tread, what starts funny eventually tip toes to obnoxious.

When I see other people’s Rodney’s I smile. They are having a good time. They are not trying to hurt people whether they do or not is a different story. They’ve just had a few too many that’s all.

Rodney had a 20 year run, he made some people laugh and he made some people cry and for that I will always be sorry. I had taken steps to be a better me though and sadly for Rodney the new world has no place for him.

Thanks for reading. I hope in some way this helps you or a friend if you are having issues with the booze or other substances.
Ask any questions or leave a comment below I’ll happily answer anything I can help with.
Cheers
Paul

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