One year ago last weekend, cbird65 (aka bird aka peeturd aka the Watcher aka Vigor) unknowingly helped me off the Edge and jumpstarted my quit. It happened in Dallas at a soccer tournament.
This weekend, I so happened to again be in Dallas, at a soccer tournament, and Vigor unknowingly kept me safe again….
Last Friday night, I took a rain check on the usual Excessive Parental Drinking the Friday Night Before a Soccer Tournament get together.
I had other plans.
I had a date.
With Vigor, Rocket, and Bruce (and Angel and Lust, but that is for another time)
Long story short…I was able to officially meet Bruce and Rocket in person. There is something so overwhelmingly profound that happens when you meet your fellow quitters face to face. I mean, on a lot of levels, they know as much or MORE about me than some of my closest “real” friends or family. They know my secrets, my struggles, my wins, my losses. They know me, and I know them, because, we are all the same. We are all addicts. We all drink the “Kool Aid” every day.
So after a few too many beers, one too many shots of Don Julio, some raucous humor, and flirting with the scantly clad wait staff, I left BoneDaddy’s with a smile on my face, partial wood, and a revived quit. Slept awesome that night in the Hyatt. Had dreams of Angel and Lust….
The next day at breakfast, I was asked where I was last night. I told them I met up with some friends (still seems a little awkward to say I met up with some friends who are addicts and who I make a promise to every day on the interweb…). I got the expected jeers and post game report.
“Man, we got hammered last night. Crown Black. We missed you. We even had a cigar for you….”
“A cigar?” I question.
“Well I’m glad I missed that then”, I respond.
“What do you mean?” asks friend. “Oh yeah, youre still all no nicotine arent you”.
“Yep”, I nod and smile, “379 days today.”
Was this some divine direction from some higher power? Was it the essence of L00t? Or maybe the prayers of Chewie and Mule? Yes and no. It was the cumulative power of thousands of nicotine addicts that saved me. Im not saying I would have caved last Friday night. But, I am saying that it would have been a much less enjoyable evening. Probably requiring me to leave the party. Probably requiring me to contact a few of you “just to chat” (man slang for “help me”). I know at least, my connection and daily promise with you all, kept me from a dangerous situation. Kind of like deciding to take one route, and finding out later there was a major accident on the other one. You might not have crashed, but …
Guys, this stuff works. Many of you are struggling today. New and old. Sometimes Life keeps pushing and pushing and pushing. We all sometimes “long” for the “normal of yesterday”. We mistakenly start to think nicotine was/is the magical leygate to that time. But…. It wasn’t normal back then. We weren’t normal. We chose to medicate and ignore Life, vs learning how to be Brave. And Authentic. And Vulnerable. Life sucks sometimes. And we Hurt. And that is OK. But….in all of us lives the Power to Choose. Choose to Push Back. Choose to Reach Out before you reach into a can of cancer. Reach Out so that you don’t have to do this alone.
Yep. I’ll take this flavor of Kool Aid every day.