It has been too long, but just long enough. I have been through some shit, my friends. I haven't run a race in a long time. When I broke my fibula two Februarys ago, I got broken in more ways than I know how to count. I have always struggled with drinking off and on, peaks and valleys. I was sober for 3 years when I was at my peak. I didn't even think about it, until I went to my first meeting. I had an occasional beer, two at the most. I was always looking for my next run, next race, next trail. As far as I was concerned I was on top of this shitty thing. Many people can drink a little and stop. I am not, nor have I ever been, one of those people, barring the previous mentioned period when I had a handle on things. When I broke my leg, I checked out, and kamikaze banzai motherfucker, here I come. I knew damn well I was an alcoholic, always have. I just never gave a shit. It was easy to drink. Life was hard enough. You want me to stop drinking? Fuck that noise. The only thing holding me together and finally putting my mind and spirit in the black was running. When I broke my leg that had been ripped out from under me. I have always been shitty at a few things. Giving and receiving complements, taking assistance when offered, and asking for it when I know damn well I need it. Anybody that knows me knows that I'll be the first to help you, sometimes to my detriment, but my stubborn ass will not let you return the favor. This does a couple things. First it further isolates my extremely introverted ass. Secondly, it robs you of the joy of simply giving. There is gold in that moment. By shutting all of those people down over the years, I have robbed them of one blissful moment. I can't take that back.
So, very quickly I found myself at the bottom of a bottle I couldn't keep full. If I had money, it was going to my bar tab. I was calculated. I knew I could stay out for 6 hours on this night or 8 on that one. The only reason I would stop drinking at the end of the night was because it was bar time, or it was the end of the after bar. I went to work with two hours sleep because I simply did not give a fuck and my priorities were set. Of course smoking and drinking went hand in hand. I figured I'm 40, if I can't run, fuck it. Well, there came a point where I realized I guess I'm not quite ready to die. Which, with my massive alcohol intake that I successfully hid from everyone except the regulars and bartenders at my neighborhood bar. By my calculations I would last another 10 years at most. At my age your body changes and people who don't shape up do indeed ship the fuck out. This time around, my heart was broken, my spirit squashed. I realized my prideful, arrogant ass is not getting out of this funk on my own. Not this time. This time is different. I asked a friend who has struggled with recovery for a long time for help. It was a game changer. She came through for me magnificently and I am eternally grateful.
So....what now? No need for sympathy. Just letting you in. I'm a shot caller which means have no problem calling shit what it is. I'm on the right path. My body is in pain in all the right places today and I love the hell out of it. It hasn't been so long as to forget what sobriety feels like. My problem was I had one thing holding me up, and when it got swiped from under me I went back hard to the one thing that had always been there for me like my best friend, but not. So, I'm running again. Not ready for anything major yet, won't be as fast as I was ever again, but I have my eye some big stuff to come. I've got a far better support network, I'm eating a little crow, and of far more use to my community when I'm not drunk, hung over, or chacing my next drink. Who knows? Maybe I'll still make North Face in October. Maybe. But if I don't, I won't beat myself up too bad. Now I'm waiting to get off work to get miles in again instead of my first taste. Anyway it's good to be back.