"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ahhh, to be 19 again!

Today I turn 19 years clean and sober.

My recovery birthday always makes me reflect back on my life: where I have come from, how far I have gone, and where I am headed (ok, so you can't "reflect back" on where you are headed, but stay with me here, people)

The last time I turned 19 I was careening towards an alcohol and drug induced grave and was stomping on the accelerator.

Nineteen years ago on this day I was awakening from my last ever overdose. It was Easter morning. How is THAT for irony?

Nineteen years ago, I was a college drop out, homeless, jobless, skilless, and overall clueless as to how to do life without being fucked up beyond all reason.

Nineteen years ago, to cure the aforementioned homelessness, I moved in with my boyfriend of 2 months, who had just witnessed my catastrophic self destruction and who was now terrified of my bat shit crazy ass. All of his clean and sober friends told him to RUN LIKE HELL, but he, in his own bat shit craziness, let me stay.

In the last nineteen years, I have managed to not scare off this man and we have been married 10 years.

In the last nineteen years, I went back to college, earned my bachelors degree, passed state boards for veterinary nursing, earned 2 masters degrees, and a teaching credential.

In the last nineteen years I also learned a whole lot of things that I would have never known had I stayed numb:

I learned how to be a daughter, a friend, a wife, and a productive member of society. I fall short at all of these titles routinely, but I keep striving to be as good to the people in my life as they are to me. This is a tall order. I have seriously kick ass friends and family.

I have learned I can do more than work and study. I can take time for me and it did not turn me back into the lazy, worthless piece of shit of my disease, like my mind always told me it would.

I learned I was NOT a lazy, worthless piece of shit and, more importantly, how to stop calling myself one.

I learned that I do not have to be good at something to enjoy doing it. This freedom, allowed me to become an athlete (ok, athlete-ish). Five years, nine marathons, 5 century rides, and 11 or so triathlons later I am still enjoying it.

I learned that having opinions does not make me a bitch, but not letting others have theirs does.

I learned that I can love people so much that it feels like my heart will burst in my chest at the very thought of them.

Not one of these things was possible for me had I continued the unending quest to numb myself. I am so grateful to be clean and sober today.



I am working on a hubby update. He is doing well on the hormone therapy. I will post about it soon. Thank you for all of your support and keeping him in your thoughts. :)

33 comments:

WannabeRunner said...

Congratulations! This is quite a feat and you have come quite a long way. You are an inspiration :)

Cassie said...

Congrats RBR! Great post and well wishes to your hubby!

Slomohusky said...

Thanks RBR. You have just become not only one of my favorite bloggers - but favorite person!

Pam F. said...

My respect for you just went through the roof!!! It takes one kickass strong person to do what you've done and what you continue to do every day.

KUDOS TO YOU, RBR!!! YOU'RE AMAZING!!! :D

GeorgiaSnail said...

Congrats!!!That is so awesome!!! I just celebrated three years, stories like your's continue to inspire me!

Julie said...

Wow! Congrats on one of life's biggest accomplishments. What an inspirational post.

Sending good thoughts to your hubby.

Coachhrd said...

You are to be commended. So many people need to run from the demons that you had the courage to leave behind. Congratulations!

Running Through Phoenix said...

I knew there was something different I like about you. I came in the rooms in Nov 88 and have a beautiful life now. Happy b-day, and Keep coming back!

SWTrigal said...

Congrats RBR-that is quite an accomplishment!

IronSnoopy said...

You're too amazing for words. I'm in complete awe.

Lisa said...

Congratulations. And you've learned more in those 19 years than many might learn in their whole lifetime. You are a rockstar. :-)

Running 365 said...

Congrats! That's a milestone to celebrate!

Alisa said...

Way to be continually inspiring!

Congrats and happy 19!

Jo Lynn said...

Happy birthday girlie. You are such an inspiration to me. ;)

I'm looking forward to hearing how hubby's doing. I think of him (not that way) often.

Mule said...

This posts makes me smile. Congratulations.

Diana said...

Wow, congratulations big, big, big time!
Funny how when we read other blogs we just think of that person as how they write. I always just think of everyone as a "athlete" of some sort, and not realizing we all came from "somewhere!" What a place you came from-death. Thank God for all of us you made it!
HAPPY FUCKING BIRTHDAY BIATCH!!!!!!
(I mean that in the most loving way! :0)

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Well, I think there's a consensus that we're all happy you made it for our own selfish reasons - so that we can read your inspiring and funny blog. Congrats on the Anniversary, sister!

That said, if I EVER see you I will PUNCH YOU in BOTH your Fallopian tubes for calling the fucking Beatles - The BEATLES!1! - a teeny bopper band!

On a related note, Ms. Science Teacher: Where are a girl's Fallopian tubes located? And who, exactly, Falloped them? Does it hurt when they get Falloped? On a Pain Scale of one to ten, with one being having to watch a tranny run a marathon and 10 being a kick in the n*ts@ck, where does having your tubes Falloped fall?

Please note: The above is in NO WAY meant to imply that I believe you even HAVE Fallopian tubes, you tranny!1!

Congrats again. Looking forward to hearing the good news about the hub!

Nicole said...

Wow, that was a great post. Love your honesty and humor. Best wishes to you and your hubby!

Christi said...

Congrats! Staying clean and sober is a very hard thing to do and I am so proud of you even if I have never met you! Keep up the great work!

Regina said...

That is awesome, in the true definition of the word! What you have accomplished in that time is more than most accomplish in a lifetime and to overcome addiction on top of it all, well, it's f*cking fantastic.

You did forget one thing; your sense of humor. You are the funniest bitch I know (meant in the nicest way possible). I think humor goes a long way.

I am thinking happy thoughts for you and your hubby!!

Wine Dog said...

Congratulations on your 19th clean and sober birthday. I know how hard it is and I know you struggle with it every day. Good on you!

SteveQ said...

Had to check that this was written on the 31st and not April Fool's!

Congrats! I have my three year medallion from AA. It took another two years to find out that that wasn't really the problem for me (but it sure as hell didn't help!) I still show up on occasion when someone hits a big anniversary - invite me out there for #20 - the longest being 50 years clean and sober.

At 19, I was jobless and living in my parent's house. Now I own the house, but otherwise not much changed!

Roisin said...

That made me tear up like whoa. Congratulations to you, seriously.

Bootchez said...

Joining the chorus of Really Nice Post. I deal with users and addicts on a regular basis . . . it is so AWESOME to hear that there is, indeed, another side, and the possibility for these folks to get there. Congratulations on your 19 years of hard work -- you are an inspiration!

Drs. Cynthia and David said...

And I just thought you were awesomely funny and a good writer. Now I know you're also awesomely strong and deep and sensitive. You had me all teared up here.

Best wishes to you and hubby!

Cynthia

lindsay said...

happy 19th re-birthday rbr! :) i don't know if i already knew this about you or not... but it makes me think all the more of you!

hope the hubs is getting better everyday.

Southbaygirl said...

You really amaze me!!! I know you know how far you have come-so I feel silly saying it! But having lived and dated a person who will probably die in a gutter somewhere because of his drug addiction-I know just how hard you worked to reach 19 again!!! I am so very proud of you! You ROCK!!!

Continuing to send hubby good healing thoughts!!

TRI TO BE FUNNY-Carrie Barrett said...

Congratulations on your achievements!

Athena Misty, aka "GeekGirl" said...

Awesome post. Happy 19th, Stacey. Hope to see you one of these days.

trailturtle said...

Wow, RBR, awesome post...awesome accomplishments. Your students are blessed to have a teacher who has overcome so much adversity and is now inspiring them....and all of us, too! You are a great writer; I hope that you will be given the opportunity to use that gift, too, sometime (besides in this blog:)).
All the best to you and to your hubby in his recovery. Hope to meet you sometime.
Keep the spirit! Ann

Jessica said...

Thanks for sharing such a personal journey. Congrats on having the guts and courage to turn your life around!

Jane said...

You are just freakin' amazing. I love you! I'm in tears. Can't wait to see you in Cali.

Neil Z said...

What up? Glaven certainly has a glueifying quality about him on these here blogs... This post makes my life seem like a popcorn vending machine for the simple issues iv'e enjoyed overcoming, good on ya!

Read ya later...