In July 2011, I weighed 278 lbs. On Mar 12, 2013 I made the decision to qualify for the Boston Marathon. This was my journey. Now I'm a recovering alcoholic, this is my new journey. I'm still running a marathon, just a different type.
One month ago today I began my current journey into this new phase of my life. I chose to keep drinking through the day before and then just head out and get this new life going.
I have writing many times here is my time in detox, but I still I feel it was the best part of this journey so far in the sense of forcing me on this path of sobriety. Although I didn’t know that it was a mental health hospital, it was really perfect for me. I had 4 days of living a routine where everything about my life was decided for me. And after the initial shock, I loved it. I never thought of having a drink, I had doctors to talk with everyday and people that I could observe and talk with and as much time to sit and do my Sudoku as I wanted. Looking back, even a month later, it was awesome for me. Now had you asked me ahead if I wanted to go, I would have said, “No”.
Today is the 16h, my month long anniversary of sobriety. Yay, one month. I have never had the urge to drink so far. There were times that if I hadn’t taken the measures I did, I would have probably wanted a drink. Mainly those measures are that my lovely wife gives me my meds every night that prevent me from drinking. If I take these meds and then do have a drink (within a week) I get violently Ill. Out of the desire to not puke my guts out, I choose not to drink. I told my primary care doctor our arrangement and he agreed that our arrangement was best. He said that those who give themselves their own meds have a much bigger temptation to stop at some point and get back to drinking. He said if you have someone to make you accountable, you will stick with it up to and including forever.
So now I’m at 1 month on and soon 2 months and then a year and then 10 years. I never plan on drinking again as there will always be a question of where it would lead and I never want to get back to where I was.
Time is too short
In many ways time is too short to drink. While I used to drink each evening, I didn’t have a care in the world. I’d watch news or some show that was mindless because it really didn’t matter what I watched. I really didn’t have the need for social interaction, so my relationship with my lovely wife got much less attention, unless she initiated it. But time is too short for that now. Quality of life is important.
There are many changes coming up. I begin back at work full time next week. It has been nice only working half days, but those are coming to an end. It will be interesting to see how things progress once I get back.
I want to fill my afternoons with more than sitting around the house, especially now the Fall is around the corner. I’m hoping for walked and runs, etc and time outside with our doggos and my lovely wife.
There is more to life than what I have planned. I’m excited to see what is around the corner!
I head out Monday for detox in a hospital. I am NOT looking forward to it. I do not like the unknown, but have no choice as I am going to do this. I’m tired and know things would not go well with my health if I keep this alcohol thing going.
What am I looking forward to on the other side?
I’d like to start running again. Probably not a marathon, but maybe a half marathon.
I’d like to get back to that 178 lbs, the weight I was at when I started this blog. I’ve been on a diet and have gone from 227 to 210, so I’m getting there. I assume I’ll lose 10 lbs after I stop drinking, so when I return home, I may be down to below 200 lbs.
I really like the outdoors, but my lovely wife can’t do much outside due to migraines. I hope that we both can enjoy time outside when I return home.
I’m really going to be interested in what my work looks like when I return. I am totally cut off from work now. No emails, no alerts, nothing. That was of my own choice and it has already helped. I spent the past two days with my lovely wife and didn’t have to worry I’d get a call, email or text that something was down and I needed to step in.
This I do know, life will be different when I get out. I hope it will be a major change!
I have not written on this blog in a long, long time. The reason is because one day I was at home right after a run,, trying to get my dog to come inside. My backyard had a fairly long, and one foot deep ravine going through it. I didn’t pay attention and hit the ravine and as my lower body fell forward, my upper body fell backwards. The end result was that my quad was totally separated from my knee.
Thus the end of my short lived running career and I have come up for a new use for this blog (at least until I might start running again). I’m about to begin a journey that will change my life forever and so I’d like to use this space to document it.
This 30 day journey isn’t something I’m proud of. It isn’t anyone else’s fault but my own. I hate that I’m in this place, but there is nothing I can do about that.
The hidden truth
I’ll being by explaining what I didn’t write in the first paragraph of this post. One reason that I fell that day and had to go through months of pain, surgery and therapy was because I was drunk. Somehow (and I don’t remember why) I had begun to drink after my afternoon runs. Years before I used to have a drinking problem up until my sophomore year in college. That summer I had a major change in my life as described under the “Faith” tab above. Now I had gotten myself back into drinking and the end result wouldn’t be pretty.
Fast forward to today. I am a alcoholic. It is hard to admit this . I have been drinking every evening for 8 – 10 years. I never drank during the day, but that doesn’t change the fact I can’t stop drinking on my own. My lovely wife has known I’ve had an issue for years and was always worried about me. I did hide it from her and everyone for a while, but that didn’t last long.
No one knew I had a drinking problem other than my lovely wife. No one knew I drank vodka every night for the past 8 years. No one knew this was a problem that I begged God to remove from me. No one knew…
About 2 weeks ago was the first time I told an someone that I had a drinking problem (not using the alcoholic word yet) and he said he would pray for me. Last week I decided to go to my family doctor whom we have gone to for 25 years and let him know that I have this problem. He gave me some meds that would prevent me from feeling the effects of the alcohol. The next morning I took the meds and went through my day. That evening (by the way, my evenings went from 6:00 to 5:00 to 4:00) I drank 8 ounces of vodka and felt totally sober. PANIC ATTACK! For someone who has needed alcohol to get past the stress of the day, this was actually a bad idea.
I knew then that I had a real problem.
The red pill
I had been lying to myself for years. I even told my family doctor that I drank about 8 ounces of vodka a night. Suddenly my eyes were open to my own lies. I realized that I was drinking from 16 – 20 ounces or more of vodka a night, 3/4 of it straight. It was like I took the red pill from Morpheus in the Matrix. Everything became clear.
My lovely wife decided to look up tapering off alcohol and came across a site for substance abuse and rehab. She called them and talked for an hour to a very nice woman about my problem. They said they could help…
Over a period of time last weekend I went from denial to getting admitted into rehab. I knew I had to come clean with my work as I was going to be gone for a month. I could have just said it was a long vacation or come up with some excuse, but I knew that I had to finally bring my problem into the light. Fortunately I have a secure position at work and am well respected and liked. That is also the worst part… No one knew. No one had a clue. How would they reacI began by telling my staff. I actually cried when I started telling them. Their eyes were wide open in shock when I began to explain, “I’m going to rehab”. We have been so close and they had no idea I had a problem.
An hour later was the big reveal to the chief officers of my company. I told them about going to rehab and they were very gracious. I told my whole story about my hidden addition. They said they respected me for making this major step and that they would support me in any way they could.
Next was telling my colleagues… I called each one ( about 6 people) and said the same thing to each, starting with, “I am just going to tear off the bandaid, I’m going to rehab for alcohol addition”. All were shocked but all were very supportive. Some had stories about themselves I never knew and about people in their family with the same issue.
Finally, I wrote an email to the entire staff. I explained my problem and said I’d be gone a month. It is a big deal to tell people I’ll be gone for a month and will have no contact with anyone or email.
I have no idea of what my future holds. Since I began this matrix moment, I have had so many thoughts going though my head.
What will it be like trying to sleep without alcohol after 8 years?
Will I be able to sleep?
What will detox be like? I’ll be in a hospital for 5 days detoxing and then off to rehab.
What are the health implications to drinking 20 ounces of straight vodka for 8 – 10 years? What about my stomach or esophagus?
No one knows what the future holds, but God alone. He is going to be by my side. He brought me to this moment and will take me through it with the faithfulness He has always shown me. I haven’t been trusting Him and that needs to change.
I hope to write daily of my experience in rehab on this site. My hope is that somehow I can help someone else who is in a similar situation. I am scared of the what the next month holds as it will be a life change that I wasn’t planning on going through. Going from denial to rehab in two weeks is overwhelming.
I know I have to do this, and hopefully I will be able to help at least one other person by being transparent about my decision to move on with my life. Struggling in silence isn’t a solution. Bringing your bad choices and decisions to the light and moving to a better place and future is a solution.