This is my life. At least for the moment. And it’s a damn hard thing to not appreciate considering a month ago I was rolling around on the plywood floor of a shack, wishing I was dead. I think it’s fair to say I’ve come a long ways in a months time.
No longer do I wake up with bandages, or in jail, or rolled up in a rug, or naked on a beach clutching an empty bottle. No longer do I shake my aching head while turning out the empty pockets which had money in them the night before. No longer do I text carbon copy half shot apologies to whomever I might have pissed off during my blackout.
At least I haven’t for 37 days now. And I hope to hell I don’t tomorrow.
My boat commands the majority of my attention. I’ve just finished replumbing the bilge, and the cockpit scuppers will be next. After that, the battery banks for the solar panels….As far as it feels like I’ve come, I have a very long ways to go yet. Walk a mile into the woods and you have a mile to walk back out. There are no short cuts.
Working on my boat helps. The AA meetings help. Writing helps. Doing literally everything I neglected for the sake of a jug of rum helps. To be too busy partying or nursing a hangover to work on my book is an excuse of the past, and I intend to keep it there. With the ideas, goals and aspirations, I feel like the sky is the limit, and the only thing that can stop me is myself. I still have no idea what I will be capable of sober, but I do know how to find out.
I have to admit I had mixed feelings about writing a post on my sobriety here. But I’m glad I made the decision I did. My father would call it “dirty laundry” and not fit to share with anyone breathing. I don’t see things that way. I know for a fact that alcoholism is romanticized, I myself am even guilty of boasting with prideful stories and ridiculous pictures. I haven’t sat down and crawled through it yet, but I’d be willing to wager 90% of this blog has been created under the influence. I was even drunk when I came up with the name. The scary thing is its true entertainment value (I mean seriously, who climbs light poles?).
So if you must call it something, call it the straight laced ying to the slobbering drunk yang. But the sharing of it demanded to be done as much or more so as the thing itself. And the emails would make Paul Bunion weep. Staggering emails I can hardly keep up with have poured in over the last week and a half. Thanking me or confiding in me their own struggles with substance abuse, or those of loved ones. Damned serious stuff.
It’s said that everything happens for a reason. If this is true, and even one of these emails is legitimate, and even just one person can find value in the experiences I’ve shared to this point, then the last 2 years I have fought the universe to keep this blog alive will not have been a waste. A greater success I could never have dreamed of.
To those who have chosen to share with me in kind: Keep fighting the good fight. Let me know how I can help.