As the sun began to set, casting a warm glow on the buildings outside, I sat on the edge of the mattress, contemplating the state of my life. My marriage was crumbling under the weight of my addictions, and I could feel the disapproval and disappointment radiating from my wife, Brenna. We had fought countless times about my drinking, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I needed it to cope. Deep down, I knew she deserved better, but the fear of facing life without the numbing embrace of alcohol was overpowering. I picked up the remote and began binge-watching Ray Donovan, the story of a Hollywood fixer who seemed to be able to handle any situation thrown his way. I couldn’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia as I watched the show, reminded of the days spent at Storm’s house, enjoying Entourage in his home theater. The thought of better times made me yearn for a life I knew I could have if I managed to defeat my demons. As the episodes played on, a particular song from the series caught my attention. “I Heard” by Young Fathers filled the room, and the haunting lyrics seemed to perfectly capture my emotions. “Inside I feel dirty,” the words echoed, mirroring the guilt and shame that consumed me. The song continued to play in my mind even after the episode had ended, forcing me to confront the reality of my situation. I knew that I needed to change, to find a way to break free from the destructive cycle I had found myself in. It wasn’t just about me anymore; it was about Brenna and our life together. The thought of losing her and the love we shared was a terrifying prospect, and I realized that I couldn’t keep allowing my self-destructive behavior to dictate my future. But my dreams of fame and fortune remained a thorn on my side, and as I became increasingly anti-social, alcohol became my voice.

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