Monday, May 17, 2004
Let me tell ya...when I first started this blog I never thought I would ever let it get too personal. I mean sure, I'd share some stuff, but I was planning to keep it obscure (like mentioning things about my friends, but never mentioning them by name in order protect them). Never did I think that one of the things I would end up sharing with the whole world was the fact that I am a recovering alcoholic. Yet there I was last month discussing my friend Shane, and out it came. It was hard to tell Shane's story and not share that, and I felt it was important because it allowed me to show how much he had helped others, myself included. Besides, it's nothing I am embarrassed or ashamed of...where's the shame in overcoming demons? I generally don't share it because it makes OTHER people more uncomfortable than it makes me. Suddenly they are terrified to have a beer in front of me or to talk about funny drinking stories. In fact I was out on a date once with a guy and when I said I didn't drink he actually said to me that he "didn't trust people who didn't drink". I laugh now at how shallow and insecure that statement really was.

Anyway, today I am very quietly celebrating my 5 year birthday. On May 17, 1999 I chose life over death and walked away from booze for good (maybe one day I'll bore you with the whole long story). In Alcoholics Anonymous this is usually a pretty big deal and your group usually throws a big party for you including a cake and a medallion. These medallions are given at different intervals in your recovery (1 year, 5 year, 10 year, etc...) to help mark the occasion and achievement, and it gives you something shiny to look at on the tough days (yes that's a picture of my actual 1 year medallion you see there). On the back you usually have the date and your first name engraved, and maybe a quote that you have chosen that means something to you. This year, however, I just haven't felt like making the acknowledgement for some reason. My parents don't even know it's my birthday today (they've been trying to guess for days when it is) and that's fine...they haven't been all that active in my recovery. Those that have been are either gone or have also forgotten. So really....would YOU want to plan your own birthday party?? Besides, I haven't always been comfortable with being applauded for doing something I shouldn't have been doing in the first place. lol.

So I am just going to make this my day to reflect on things. There's no need for fanfare or pats on the back...that's not why I'm writing this post. I just wanted to say that today I am grateful that I had great people to help me get through a rough time in my life, and that my achievement was not accomplished alone. There are two people in particular I'd like to acknowledge, Shane (thank you my friend, you are greatly missed) and Mysteron (if not for you there is no doubt in my mind I would not be here today). Toda raba, Mysteron. I love you very much for all that you did.

Some friends have remembered and are sweet in not letting me fly under the radar as I have been trying to do. My sponsee is taking me out to lunch in an hour, and I tonight I'm going to have dinner with an old friend who thinks this is a bigger deal than I do. lol. I'm pretty lucky to have them both around, it means a lot. Thanks, my friends. :-)

"I'm not a perfect person
There's many things I wish I didn't do
But I continue learning
I never meant to do those things to you
And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
and the reason is you

I'm sorry that I hurt you
It's something I must live with everyday
And all the pain I put you through
I wish that I could take it all away
And be the one who catches all your tears
that's why I need you to hear

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
and the reason is You"