I work in a format of radio and in a profession where drinking is celebrated in song and in lifestyle. I used to be really good at drinking. I could do shot after shot of Southern Comfort and fist-fulls of beer. I was a varsity level drinker. I thought that was what a country music loving broadcaster was supposed to do. One night me and couple buddies overdid it on Apple Pucker and beer, and I almost ended up in a diabetic coma. It was through that night of drinking that I found out I was diabetic. You would think that would have been enough to get me to watch what I was doing to myself alcohol wise but it wasn't.

I have not been a drinking man in nearly 15 years now. I will do my yearly shot of tequila but nothing more. I was not an alcoholic, but I sure loved to drink and it led me to many bad decisions. I think getting over-served with booze is very dangerous. You lose your inhibitions and no longer are in control of what you do or say. I don't want to wake up explaining what I did the night before or trying to figure out what I did and apologizing to the proper people. I want to know what I say and everything I do. I don't want to let anything control me but me.

My moment of realizing I was too deep in the bottle came at a live broadcast about 15 years ago. I was boozing it up with a couple buddies and was getting quite hammered when a mother of a young lady came over and asked if I would play a song for her daughters birthday the next day. I said "Ssssssure I would." She turned to my friend and asked if I would even remember the conversation or if I was too trashed. It was that moment that I realized I was projecting an image I did not want. I want people to look at me with respect and being publicly trashed was not the image I was after. I have wanted to thank that lady for 15 years now. She made a huge difference in my life, and I am a better person today because of her comments. I am all for having a cold one now and then, but don't let it become your identity. Any dough head can be a drunk; it takes a brain to just have a drink.