I laugh sometimes when I think back to the first few months of my sobriety. I seriously thought that just getting off the drugs and booze would be enough for my brain and body to start working correctly and I would get back on track immediately. I swore I was going to be back in Colorado in six months, a year maybe. I can remember applying for all these jobs back then that I was in no way ready to do. A lot of those first few months is really hazy. I remember being angry, guilty, sad, depressed and every other feeling one goes through when getting sober after twenty two years of mass consumption. Now, at sixteen months clean and sober, I can say that those feelings are long gone. I have even managed to fill that big gaping hole in my heart that left me feeling lonely and low for so long. I remember what it was like leaving a meeting high from recovery and crashing rapidly because of that emptiness. It is quite amazing what a year and four months and a lot of hard work can do for a person. I look in the mirror now and I do not recognize the person in the reflection. This person is new to me and new to the world. This brings me a huge level of excitement and motivation.
Since I graduated from high school in 1992 I have had moments of motivation. I chased a culinary career around for years. I never did challenge my self to move up the ranks how ever. I stayed where I was comfortable. My sales career went about the same way. I have never been interested in a management position of any kind, most of all I just wanted to make my money and be left alone. This cycle has been repeated over and over for twenty years. All that time I never thought to myself that maybe the whiskey and cocaine were sucking the life out of me. This was also the same story for school. Every time I have gone back, the first semester or two usually goes pretty well, and then partying would quickly move in and become more important. Within a few months I would withdraw from my classes or just quit going. Now, when I look at my transcripts, all I can do is shake my head in amazement at the track record of dumb shit, year after year.
This year I am going to attempt finishing my degree. I have a friend that keeps asking my why I am doing this and what is going to be different about it this time. My answer to him is that, I don't get fucked up any more and I have a program of recovery that I work diligently. And to add to that, I know what direction , finally, that I want my education to go in. I now know with out a doubt what I want for a career and what I need to do to get there. For the first time in my life, I know it is going to be hard, and I am excited about it. I no longer have any excuses. I am no longer the lazy, druggie, dumb ass, I have been in the past. Now it is my time to shine... Heck, I have even been thinking about grad school. But one thing at a time right!
Along with neglecting my career and education, I neglected my body all those years as well. I knew I wanted to change that about myself, but I never had the balls or the drive to make any sort of commitment and stick with it. Hell, its pretty hard to quit smoking or exercise when I was wasted all the time. At the end I was eating so poorly it is amazing that alone did not kill me. The real funny part is that I knew better, I just did not care. Fuck it, I am a junkie is what I thought. These thoughts today are long gone.
I am taking these few months before school starts to focus on my health. I do not want to have a heart attack at forty and both are right around the corner. Now, I have had brief moments of motivation in this part of my life, but not like it is today. I have never been so sick of smoking cigarettes the way I am today. When I do look in the mirror, I am disgusted with what I see from the neck down. My goal is to have a really good routine set by the time school starts in May. I spend everyday day watching what I eat, and I am exercising six days a week. Hard. I am so sore right now I cannot sit still. Once again the question pops up in my head. What is going to be different this time? One big difference is that now I have a niece that needs me to be healthy in every aspect so I can be the uncle to her that I am suppose to be. Heck, she wears me out now and she just started walking. I will never keep up if I don't take care of my body. I definitely do not want my sister to have to explain to her daughter that her uncle is gone because he was to selfish to take care of himself. I will admit, there is a little bit of motivation coming from the ex. For all the times she bitched about my weight, I'm healthy now so fuck you too! Ha!
It is nice to have finally rounded the corner in my recovery and be heading forward, and not looking back for a minute. I am a completely different person today and I am happy about that. I am slowly getting to know my self, finding new hobbies, and getting involved in some that I never could or would have living that other life. Today, my heart is full with love and gratitude. Everyday is a new adventure with new goals that keep me busier than I have ever been. So for today, I am going to to continue to keep doing what I am doing, because it is working. Thank God! I am a lucky man, not many people get to live two lives!