Today, In History
As I drove to work this morning, I had a recurring-realization:
Four years ago today, on September 20, 2013, I laid on a pyre for Death, cursing my very existence and the path that had been taken to birth me. I feared opening my eyes, because I knew what I would find if I did, yet with sandpaper grit, I forced my eyelids open, only to find myself staring, once again, into the cold, black air. My parched lips could barely open as I tried to strip my tongue from the upper roof of my mouth. Every muscle and every joint was stiff and initially unresponsive as I fought to move again. My skin crawled, my head pounded, and I could barely breathe... I was alive.
Initially, I laid confused - but only for a moment as anger, hate, and disgust overwhelmed me. "Why the hell am I still alive?!" I screamed deep inside, "How is this possible? I should be dead!" It was not possible for me to be alive, I was sure of it this time! My anger only grew with intensity as I began to rumble from deep within.
The rumbling, the quaking. Oh God, how I hate the quaking. The incessant, uncontrollable, unstoppable shakes. I'm not talking about the "I'm so cold" shivering; nor the "I'm so excited" energy bouncing; nor the "damn, that was a close one" fearful, quivering... I'm talking about the life-sucking, inner-core strangling, chaotic pounding that happens from the most inner-part to the most outer-part of my body type of shaking. It's the fast, repetitive vibration; the slow, hard shaking; the deepest pulsations to the superficial rippling that gets to me every single time. And this was just the beginning of it. I knew what was coming soon, and I had to find a way to calm the Beast that was fighting to Live just so I could die once again.
Fumbling around, I cursed my life yet again to the God I grew up with, demanding satisfaction with my death - but that god was nowhere around as I struggled one more time to do it on my own. Knocking my clock to the floor, it glared back at me with its red, two-o'clock eyes, hating me with its piercing light. Dryly blinking, I continued my frantic search for the magical potion, but Twitching was already on the prowl, and it was after me... again.
"How can I hide?!" I asked the darkness in fearful desperation, "how can I keep this monstrous beast away long enough to hold control of the flask and keep the demon's beast at bay?"
This was the midst of my rock bottom, four years ago today. It was the eve of my recovery which would painfully - slowly - unfold. I'd wished for death many times up to that point, even planning it to the "T". And at that point, death sounded pretty damn good. So I had a plan. The following day, I would make a single phone call, the one call that was sure to be my last. It was fool-proof, and I knew it.
I couldn't say how long it took me, but I apparently found the potion I'd been seeking, and I ran with its blinding cloak, hiding from the demon's beast one more time. Again I disappeared into the blackest of darkness, evading the inevitable for just a moment more - begging for a better tomorrow, wishing for death now.
Yet somehow, someway, something saw a greater purpose in me than I did. Something found me more useful to Life than I had ever dreamed possible, and something made a promise that - if I did my part and I worked at it - that I would make it through to a life that is happier than where I was currently at.
So today, I'm not celebrating my four year anniversary of sobriety early. No, I'll not do that, because anything can happen - i'm as susceptible to falling as anyone else in the world. But what I am celebrating TODAY is the memory of my Rock Bottom, my D. O. S. Eve. Not because it was a great time, but rather - because it happened, and I survived.
I don't do what I do because I'm afraid of going back there again - no, I do what i do because it's who I am, who I've always been, and who I strive to make better each and every day. Occasionally, I almost forget my rock bottom, and when I am reminded of it, whether of my own accord or by someone else's, I become grateful that I no longer live that life. That I no longer wake up cursing God and the very breath I take. I become thankful that today, I can willingly place my feet onto the ground rather than struggle to stand on it. Today, I can breathe deeply, remember yesterday, and behold the beauty that I know the day will unfold for me - whether or not it's a "good" day.
So tomorrow, September 21, 2017 - my official Date Of Sobriety - will be just another day to most folks. But to me, it's a day that would have never happened if it had not been for this day in history, four years ago.
And for that - I am grateful. Happy Date-Of-Sobriety Eve, everyone. May your Higher Power help you see the joys and blessing you have in your Life while you're still here to enjoy them, no matter how big or small they may seem.