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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Long, Strange TRIP

Those who know me know that I don't pay much attention to my birthday. I'll pay attention to other peoples birthday's if they'd like me to but I really have never cared much about my own. 

In the last two posts on this blog I mention my sobriety being 6 years since I've taken a drink or used drugs. That is a day worth remembering and I do. I am really kind of stunned that it has been 6 years...on one hand that time has gone so fast, it seems like it was only yesterday. But then there is also the very real feeling that it all happened so very long much has happened since then. Everything about living and my life is different then it was that day 6 years ago when I quit.

I know I did not think there was a chance in hell that i would be able to stay clean. It had become my EVERYTHING and I could not see how I could live with out it. My entire life revolved around drinking...everything I did included it. That is what I couldn't see happening...changing everything about how I lived my life.

A friend here on the Island had a buddy, a really good friend who went into recovery a little over a decade ago. They were pretty good, drinking friends. Well when this guy got sober, he pretty much avoided people places and things that you associate with drinking...I had to do the same thing. Well this guy was pretty hurt because he wasn't an alcoholic but he really didn't think his buddy was either.."he just liked to drink and have fun" but he worked, ran a all appearances was doing great...but he wasn't.

The funny thing is I know both of these guys today...the guy who quit drinking is a buddy of mine from my recovery circles and the other is a neighbor on the Island. They are friends today but don't hang out together any more. Changing your hang outs and those you drank with is a pretty basic thing that usually happens when we quit drinking. Typically though our drinking friends don't want to have anything to do with us anymore so this a more atypical situation.

I basically have two friends left from my drinking days (they are my closest friends, a husband and wife, Jim and Rhondi of New Richmond, MI)...they never turned their back on me though I know it was really hard, particularly for J because we were such tight drinking buddies. I'd be lying if I said a part of me didn't miss some of that because I do but I know it just can't be...unless I truly want to die.

Kim was the other person left from those days..she was around me only for the last year so she only saw the very worst of me and never saw any of the mellow, drinking me. But when I sobered up, she had essentially disappeared and I didn't really know what had happened to her. We hooked up more then a year later when she came into recovery.

It sure has been a strange trip...A long strange trip as the Grateful Dead would say!

(The picture above was taken shortly after I sobered up and shows a little bit of the wasted way i looked in those days. Today I am 6'1" and about 215 lbs, back then I weighed 145lbs thanks to the Cocaine and Vodka diet I was on)

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