One night in July, as my life continued to collapse with great rapidity around me, I went out drinking with some friends of mine. I wasn't an alcoholic but I was a rather heavy drinker, and like most drinkers - heavy or otherwise - I thought that I had control over alcohol. I was to find out just how much control I had that night.
I don't remember returning home. I don't remember anything that followed other than a few hazy images, until some time in the morning I found my bedroom suddenly filled with policemen and I knew I had done something terrible. Within fifteen minutes I was in the police station. Five hours later I was behind bars, locked up with rapists and drug pushers and murderers like an ordinary criminal.
I found out a little later what I had done. I had torn up my house, smashing some of those very symbols of prosperity I had been so proud off. I had hurt my wife so badly she had to be taken to hospital. And I had pulled a knife on her threatening to kill her and my little daughter. I love my wife and my children beyond my own life and it was unfathomable to me that I would do anything like that, but in one of those rare flashes of brutal honesty, I realized that in a rage - especially a drunken rage - I just could have. The thought was horrific.
When I spoke to my wife later, I told her that I was sorry and but she wasn't interested in accepting my apology. She said she was going to take the children and leave me. And I knew she meant it because I could hear the fear in her voice and knew she was scared witless of me.
And I knew my life was over.
In less than a year I had lost my business, my job, my freedom and my family. In all honesty, I didn't give a hoot about losing my business. I didn't care too much about losing the job either. I could even live without my freedom. But I wasn't prepared to live without my family. And I knew that when they let me out of there, I would go for a swim one day on the beach and keep swimming. It was all over for me.
Next: Jesus, do you exist?