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Wake up.

April 9, 2011
KK & P Union Terminal

Today I am filled with gratitude and love...

Today I celebrate the anniversary of my waking up.  Four years ago on this day, I decided that I’d had enough.  Enough of the drinking.  Enough of the hangovers.  Enough of the sickness and depression.  I’d done enough drinking for 10 lifetimes and I was wasting enough of the one life I had to live.  I had heard it was never too late to start over, but starting over scared the crap out of me.  “Really?”, I thought.  “I’m 40 years old and I’m really going to quit drinking now?”  I had been drinking quite steadily from the age of 15; I suddenly realized that my 25-year beer-run was finally over.  Never drink again?  Ever?  I was seriously filled with fear.

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.  —Eleanor Roosevelt

To allay my fears and begin the walk toward a happy life, I had to come to grips with two very simple ideas. The first was that I didn’t have to stop drinking forever.  I learned in fact that I didn’t have to stop drinking for a year, or a month, or even a week.  All I had to do was not drink *today*.  OK, I thought, I can do that.  The second idea I had to fully wrap my arms around was that I didn’t have to go through this alone.  I was never one for asking others for help, but somehow I found my way into a fellowship of like-minded individuals – people with whom I shared a common problem.  There I found the common solution.  I never looked back.  The drink problem has since been removed from my life.

And then something interesting happened.  Everything gradually got better.

My life today is nothing like it was four years ago.  I was lonely then, today I find myself surrounded by great friends, people I can count on and who truly care about me.  Back then I was out of shape and sick all the time, today I’m training for my first 1/2 Ironman Triathlon and I’m the fittest I’ve ever been.  Toward the end of my drinking I thought I would never know what a healthy, happy relationship looked like.  Today I am engaged to the most beautiful and most amazing woman I have ever known.  Kristine’s love and support means the world to me and I am truly blessed to have her in my life.  Back in those days I didn’t feel like I had much to live for, now I approach every day with excitement, curiosity, and delight.

I was miserable back then, but right now you’ll find me brimming with happiness, joy, and love.  I am this way today because I keep doing those things that were suggested of me; I take things one day at a time and I ask for help.  Funny thing, this life just keeps getting better and better, so it seems the best is yet to come.  I am wide awake now, and I can hardly wait for what’s next!

On this day of celebration I wish to extend a heart-felt “Thank You” to my friends and family and to all of you who have helped me along the way.  I simply could not have done it without you.  I sincerely love you all.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 9, 2011 6:46 am

    To say “congratulations” hardly seems to cover it…….but congratulations, and thank you for sharing your journey. Much happiness to you as you move forward.

  2. April 12, 2011 12:28 pm

    Wonderful, Patrick! You continue to inspire with your story. Stay awakened, except for you need to sleep…

  3. May 12, 2011 10:44 am

    Amazing post! Congratulations on 4 years now. I traveled a similar path, and triathlon has given me the strength to stay sober. I write a blog about training and addiction that you should check out. Maybe I can profile you some time.

    http://thetriathlonjunkie.com/?p=86

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