Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Year of Living Madly

What a horrible night last night. My legs hurt so bad that it actually brought tears to my eyes. I don't think I have ever had that intensity of pain from neuropathy before. I had to take painkillers and lay in bed all night. Still a little pain this morning but at least I can bare it.

My brother-in-law Paul was in town this weekend and built a wall in the unfinished bathroom in the basement. He also installed a toilet. Now I don't have to go upstairs if I need to urinate.

Scott had a tooth break apart and just fall out of his mouth on Friday. He gets to see a dentist on Monday so he is in pain until then. When both of us are in pain at the same time it's not a fun household to be in.

My life: That first year of getting sober I was filled with anger. I called Bob Ball everyday and started to work for him once a week for a couple of hours cleaning his house. He and his partner never cleaned and the place was a mess. Random fact: Bob was the only son of Football coach Herman Ball. His dad worked with the Redskins for a while and a couple of other teams. Bob fast became my best friend.

I still went to therapy once a week and it was getting easier. I would talk about everything and get it off my chest. My anger was so bad at times my face would turn bright red. Everyday I would think about suicide.

My first day of sobriety was August 13, 2000. Each month at the AA meetings I would get a chip to celebrate another 30 days of clean living. There were people in the meetings that had years and years without a drink. I never thought I could be one of those individuals. I really disliked them too because I thought that no one could be that happy all the time.

About 6 months sober and I had to have another operation. It seems that after they removed my appendix I had a hernia. I spent another week in the hospital having that repaired. My scar was getting bigger.

Around eights months sober the one thing I knew was coming, happened. They say that it is the hardest thing to go through without slipping and taking a drink. Death. I took Stryker to the vet and was told he had cancer and he was in a lot of pain. I stayed with him as they gave him the shot. He died in my arms as I cried. I am crying now as I write this. It is still a very painful thing. He loved me unconditionally and never wavered. Ken tried to be supportive. It was a lonely house without Stryker but I did not drink or drug over the loss.

My one year anniversary was coming up soon. It was my nephew's birthday and he was going to have a big party. I was going to have breakfast with Bob at the Cowboy Cafe in Arlington. Just another ordinary day.

I was in the office when I heard Ken yell from downstairs to turn the TV on. I stood in shock at what I saw. One of the Twin Towers were on fire. Then a plane flew into the second tower. What the hell was going on? I heard a loud noise and went to look outside. There was a plane flying so low that I thought it was going to crash into our home. It passed us over and exploded. Smoke was everywhere. We lived only a few blocks away from the Pentagon and heard on the news that what I had just witnessed was that attack. It was the end of the world, I thought.

Within minutes, people were scrambling everywhere. They were climbing over fences and cutting through yards to get home and away from all the chaos. I kept calling Bob and there was no answer. I tried his cell, no answer. I had to make sure he was alright so I got in the car and drove to the cafe. Bob wasn't there. The place was packed with people who didn't know how they were going to get home. More chaos. Outside people were everywhere crying and looking like they were going to die. I realized Bob would not be coming and I would talk to him later. I had to do something now. I was overwhelmed by what I saw. I offered my driving services to anyone who needed them. One lady told me should was going to stay put until she could reach her husband. The next guy I asked was very grateful and said he needed a ride to Annandale.

Here I was in my car with a complete stranger giving him a ride home. He was employed at the Pentagon and told me that everyone was evacuated from the building and that they could not get to their cars. It took an hour to get him home in all the traffic that day.

That day, I began to feel something other than anger. I had done what I could do. It wasn't a heroic act or anything extraoridinary but it made me feel good about myself. I was finally on the right path. The road to recovery.

Love & Peace,


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