Second chances in Las Vegas

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by Jody Fuller
For the second straight year, I performed at the Non-Commissioned Officers Association’s annual conference in Las Vegas with my pals The GI’s of Comedy. Our shows usually go pretty well, but last year was a stinker for me. I got really drunk before the show. If Forest Gump had something like 14 Dr. Peppers at the White House, then I must’ve had something like 14 beers before that show, and the first seven were high gravity beers. That was a lousy decision on my part.
I was going through a difficult stretch and often chose to drown my sorrows in beer, but then I’d go three weeks without one. I didn’t drink all the time, but when I did, I made up for lost time. I wasn’t and I’m not an alcoholic, but one doesn’t have to be an alcoholic to have a problem.
I’m not a gambler, but after the show last week, I gambled by going to have a beer with the guys. It was my first beer since February 8. That one beer could’ve turned into one more and then one too many. If that had happened, would anyone back home have ever known? After all, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
The great thing is that I did stop at one and had no desire for another. There was no pressure to drink period, and there was no pressure to drink another, not from me nor anyone else. Along this journey, I’ve always thrown in the disclaimer “not that I’ve quit.”
I enjoy beer or a good glass of wine but honestly feel that it will never again become habit. I won’t let it. I feel too good. There will never be any type of routine. I know guys that only drink on weekends, which is great compared to the alternative, but it’s still a routine. For all I know, it’ll be three months before I have another or it may be next week. It may be never. I don’t know.
Last year, when I was leaving Las Vegas, I was feeling miserable. When I got to the airport, I tried to find somewhere to lie down but then had to go the restroom, because I was sick. My flight was to Portland for another gig. As soon as I landed, I got sick again. That’s just no way to live.
I hadn’t seen my pals in a few months. They all commented on how good I looked. They weren’t saying that last year. But, I do feel good. I’ve never felt this good in my life, and it’s 100{44c616e11cf70d617c8dd92fb0bc15f41001df771f775c6b004238009c89a3f0} attributed to what I have and have not put into my body.
We seldom get second chances at things, so we must make the best of those rare opportunities but have to make better decisions along the way. We can’t possibly expect to improve our situation if we continue to make the same lousy choices.
By the way, the show this year went incredibly well.
Jody Fuller is from Opelika, Ala. He is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier with three tours of duty in Iraq. He is also a lifetime stutterer. He can be reached at jody@jodyfuller.com. For more information, please visit www.jodyfuller.com.

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