Five years ago I was very wrapped up in myself and my own things. Understandable for many reasons. I was a wreck, emotionally and physically. I was killing myself slowly and didn't want to see it. I was not an every day drinker. But, I did drink too much. One of the last times I drank I blacked out. That scared the hell out of me. But, still I didn't completely quit. I drank one more time after that. I figured I could have one or two drinks, no big deal. One or two turned in to 7 or 8, quickly. I drove home that night. Yes, I drove home, with two other people in my car. I thought I was okay. I got lucky. I made it home safely. I woke up the next morning and knew I had gotten incredibly lucky. By the grace of God I did not get in an accident and hurt myself, my passengers or anyone else. I always thought I was smarter than to drive drunk. I obviously wasn't. I just thought I was okay. I knew that morning I had a problem and that something had to change.
I have been sober since that day. December 17, 2006. I don't know why that incident pushed me in to sobriety, maybe for me that was my rock bottom. I thought I had seen the bottom several weeks earlier when I blacked out, but obviously not. At the time I was in weekly therapy, I had been suffering from some severe depression, and had started taking anti-depressants. I talked a lot to my therapist about my decision to quit drinking. I talked to him a lot. I talked to him about my depression, my sobriety, why I drank in the first place. I talked to him about whether or not he thought I would be able to drink again (short answer - no). I talked to him about my life choices and the things I had done. We talked a lot. Without him, I think my sobriety would have been much more difficult to maintain. (A couple of months later, after more therapy, I got an updated diagnosis, Bipolar II. The doctor had suspected for some time, but wanted to wait until I had been sober for a bit to confirm.)
I have never been to an AA meeting. I don't have a good reason for never going to one. I know AA is an amazing group and does work wonders for so many people. For me, I just never thought I needed it. (Although, looking back I realize there are many times in the previous five years where it would have been helpful.)
|Then, I would not believe what I have|
|It might have appeared that I was having fun, but really I|
was hiding from reality.
There are many thing about me that are the same now as they were before I was sober. I was and still am a fiercely loyal friend. I am still crazy independent. I am a bit of a homebody. I am still one of the most stubborn people you will ever meet. I still love my family and friends and would do anything for any of them. I still work hard for what I want. I still have a stack of books on my bedside table and love taking pictures of the world around me (and still don't love having my own picture taken). I still have the same attitude and spark. I am still the same person, just changed for the better.
And this girl, me, today, is embarking on the craziest adventure yet. That girl I was before would certainly NEVER believe in a million years that I would sign up for and train for an Ironman. Seriously. That girl probably only had a vague idea of what an Ironman is. That girl definitely thought people who run marathons were bonkers, let alone training for something of the magnitude of an Ironman. Marathons alone were such an abstract thought. And now, here I am, preparing to run a marathon, after first swimming 2.4 miles and then biking 112 miles, all in one day.
Holy shit. I'm gonna do it. I'm training for Vineman, July 28, 2012. That girl wouldn't even know how to comprehend the idea of even considering training for such an event, and here I am, busy training for it.