Morning Walk – The First Day
March 7, 2016
Tomorrow is an anniversary day for this writer. Not the usual type of anniversary; not a wedding one, a birthday one, or other type of anniversary most people associate with having an anniversary. This one is different.
It is to commorate something that never occurred again. It is not a celebration, there will be no party, no invitations, no ‘break out the funny hats and whistles’ type of occasion. It is one of those days that happen in spite of a particular type of behavior. The only celebration will be a simple “Thank you,” and the acknowledgement of quitting an activity before it was too late.
You know what I mean; if someone had not stopped this writer from doing a particular activity, I’d probably be a dead guy; a long time ago. But someone had the courage, had enough love, to hit this person over the head with a proverbial 2×4, and brought me back from the brink, to reality.
At that time this writer was well on his way into the abyss; heading down a deep dark tunnel from which many people never return. Had I not been stopped the repercussions might still be echoing through family, and some friends. For some people it is a long slow process to the end of the road. For others, someone like me, for example, once the slippery slope has been taken, the trip is usually a short one.
The reason for that is because there are those like me who grab hold of the behavior, and once firmly in its grip ride it hard and fast to the end of the line.
Some people are fortunate, in that they get the message, read the writing on the wall, and change their lives, in a good, and positive way. Happened to me. This writer got the message, stopped the behavior, and changed the course of many lives in the process.
So why celebrate this particular day? Because it offered a different route. I was given a choice: either do this and live, or continue on your current path and watch your life slip away. It literally saved my life. It is not something one has a party for, one celebrates it as being grateful.
So what are we talking about here? Perhaps some of you have already taken a stab at what one celebrates quietly, without bells and whistles. It is the last day of being an alcoholic, and the first day of sobriety. That day occurred on March 8, 1980.
Even though this writer was in a drunken stupor that night, I sobered up pretty fast when the change came and remember many things about that night with crystal clarity. It took me almost 30 years, before I could write about it. When I did write, that evening spilled out onto the page quickly, simply, and with a clarity I had not ever experienced before.
It was a defining moment in my writing. What had been bottled up for so long kinda wrote itself, because it had been in my mind for such a long and silent time. Tomorrow, this page will contain the original writing: “A Sobering Incident” detailing my release from alcohol. After writing such a personal account of this nature, writing became a flow of words, and not such a struggle to write around the problem and not detail what really happened. Writing has become the major focus ever since, and photography has taken a back seat, where it belongs, actually.
Tomorrow is my day of sobriety. An anniversary, and quiet celebration of being drug, and alcohol free for these last 36 years. There are still days when this writer would like a cold beer. That does not happen often, but it does still enter my mind.
I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.