The birthday party she’ll never remember 

As the title suggests, my daughter will never know what happened that day. But I will always remember it because it was a really heavy situation – one of many but this time it was in front of friends and family. 

I was already six-deep by the time family and friends arrived. I had been “running errands” all morning simply to sneak in some drinks where I could. After about an hour I was noticeably drunk, making a mockery of my skills grilling burgers and hotdogs. This was really the last thing I remember clearly yet I was surrounded by people for another three hours. 

I hate reminiscing about this former me but writing this brings back the realities that were part of my existence at the time. I purposely avoid “war-story” meetings because that was a different time and certainly a different me. 

The next morning I had to sit and listen to my parents recount the afternoon, it was yet another lecture from mom and dad except I wasn’t 18, i was just a middle aged man still jack assing around. Of course that set me in motion to deal with it the way I always had, to stop drinking on my own. Attempt #26… it didn’t stop me however, after a few days I felt better and as always it was a justification to myself that this time would be different. 

Looking back I realize how this disease had such a profound hold on my brain. How everything I was doing somehow revolved around drinking or trying to drink. 

So then started the “pretending not to drink” era of my addiction. This is when it got ridiculous. I was hiding it, filling in my spare time with stops at bars and just tempting the gods to eventually take me away. 

More to come… 

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It got bad 

My daughter was born in 2014 and from that day forward I went from being a person who overdid it once in a while with alcohol to an everyday drinker. 

The beginning of 2015 is where things really began to get out of control. My daily routine was to leave work as early as possible so I could sneak in a beer and shot or several. (Jim Beam and Dales Pale ale) I’d make excuses -everyday – to my wife as to why it was taking so long. 

The craziness of this way of life is baffling to me now, lying and making up stories EVERYDAY. Who has the time and energy to do this other than an alcoholic? 

The daily problems always stemmed from me trying to hide the fact that I was drinking. She developed an anxiety because of it and would always question me, “you’re acting weird have you been drinking?” “No!” I’d scowl. And on with the evening we’d go. Dinner and TV – what a fulfilling life. 

My wife carried this anxiety even after I was sober for a while. (Totally normal I’ve come to find.) She recognized well before my daily habit, that I didn’t drink like normal people. I never stop, ever. No consequences, no limits, nothing was ever a good reason to stop. Frankly, everyone I know well enough recognizes this in me. You can only get “a little too drunk” so many times before that’s who you are everyday drinker or not. 

Looking into my past I was always wanting more alcohol, cocain etc. so I could “feel” differently, more relaxed, more at peace with others, more conversational, more funny. But I also know that I really fucken love having a beer buzz and the first time I did coke and ecstasy both hit me like lightening. I also surrounded myself with people who felt the same so nothing ever seemed wrong. 

My parents didn’t drink but my uncles were heavy drinkers and obvious alcoholics. Looking back I wish I had been a little more scared of becoming them – which I did. My daughter will be fully aware of what she’s made of and the very certain possibility of an issue if she’s not fully aware that it can happen. 

Even with my drinking habits at an all time high, I continued working out like a madman. My goal was to get to the CrossFit Games and I was in the best shape of my life somehow. I was working out in the mornings and during lunch, it made happy hour everyday justifiable given my heave regimine. It truly added to the torture of my life, my favorite day was Thursday because it was a “rest day” and I rested alright to the tune of drinking at lunch and through the rest of the day. 

I was very fooolish about life and I had never learned one of the most important lessons I live by now. Enjoy the present moment, live it fully and beautifully and the future becomes what it is supposed to be. I was focused on obtaining things, status, objects. (This is how I trained, I forgot I loved CrossFit and only thought of getting the prize.) It contributed heavily to my rock bottom. When I got sober, I realized I’d never be happy living this way if everything I did was based on fear! …more on this later

Somehow I worked hard, continued to stay in shape and fit things in when I could. I was very lucky to have the natural ability to keep ahead of others even given my drinking. I would never eat bread, pasta, sugar or anything “bad” for me but I would drink three beers and three shots anytime. It’s hard not to shake my head at the flawed logic in my mind. 

So I continued living in my own little world without incident for the first three months of 2015 and then I began to overdo it on my rest days and little did I know my wife and others were beginning to worry. It all became very clear, when we hosted a party for my daughters first birthday, that I was certifiably out of control. 

My story will continue next time, thanks for reading and following my journey. 

The Morning Gargoyle 

Stop the Chaos 

Oftentimes I take on projects and because I am a dreamer, that simple plan evolves from a task into a large-scale production. I was reminded of this yesterday as I was simply going to clean a rug with our carpet cleaner, next thing I know I’m re-arranging the living room, cleaning the couch and all the rugs in the house and polishing the wood floors. That’s me 

In my not-so-distant past I would be doing these things while periodically drinking in the garage so I could keep a cheerful demeanor while doing “stuff”. Additionally, I would eventually lose concentration and toward the end do a shitty job just to get it over with. 

Well, today was different because I was into it, I was living in the moment. (And let’s be honest, I was not Drunk either! So there’s that) I thoroughly enjoyed what I was doing, I put my heart into it and it was actually joyful and it brought me some peace. 

Chaos in my mind was a major problem before I found recovery and some of the concepts and ideas that I have In my life today are only possible when I am able to think clearly and to focus what I’m doing singularly. 

I’ve come to discover that thinking is the speech of my mind and by doing it right it must be clear and beneficial. Most the time I was doing one thing but thinking of something else That leads to me not being unified. 

A good friend of mine operates float tanks, they are clam shell pods filled with epsom salt and it allows for extreme boyancy so basically you lay on your back and bob like a cork, it’s incredible! However the first time I did it it was a nightmare, why? Because it’s dark and absolutely dead quite. After only a minute or two my mind was racing with a million thoughts, the past, the future, my list of things to get done etc. I could not stand my own mind it was a harsh reality. 

After that session I chalked it down as “not for me” not knowing of course, that my unteated mind-chaos would be a contributing factor to my alcoholism and my eventual rock bottom. 

In order to think right, I learned that I first had to address being okay with the person I am. Being okay with my thoughts and realizing that they are neither good or bad they just are. Everything is exactly as it should be and the only thing I can control are the choices that I make right now and every moment henceforth. It’s simple on paper but takes a lot of time and patience to master, I’m still not there but it’s so much better than a year ago, a month ago, a day ago, a minute ago.

Most of this came awareness came from starting meditation and sticking to it. Always realizing my breathing as a way to “bring me back to reality”. To be as happy as I can doing nothing. This is freedom I tell you, freedom. 

I’m looking forward to telling the long version of my story and thank you for reading, I hope this helps anyone reading it, it helps to write it for sure. 

The Morning Gargoyle 

Let’s begin 

Without and end in sight, I’m going to recount my struggle with addiction and my fall from “having it all.”

I use that term loosely “having it all” because I may have possessed achievements and objects, but that was my complete misconception of life. What I have learned through a rough go at 43 years is that chasing symbols is exchanging your spirit for symbols of your spirit. 

It took me getting stopped and booked for the latest in a 23 year string of drunk driving arrests and being sentenced to 60 days in the Denver County Jail, to discover that my true spirit and the happiness I was hoping to discover was in front of me all along – it was everything I could see, touch, taste, smell and feel. 

During that 60 days I began to discover that success in life was really about having an expansion of my own happiness and that the goals that I set forth in my life should include enjoying the process not the attachment to the final product. 

What I began to develop was a relevance to the true nature of what success is to me and to keep homeostasis in my life I must strive to have the following: a strong and healthy body, freedom from mental torment, peace and happiness, and overall well-being. When life leads me astray from these boundaries I will nurture the seeds of divinity inside of me to bring myself back. 

That’s hard sometimes!

It all started for me with one concept and that was to appreciate the life I have, period. My daughters smile, my wife’s caress, watching a bird fly by, a warm sunny day in February. When I began to experience my life as a wondrous creation – just for me, I realized that true happiness is always present and part of that comes from how I choose to perceive it. 

This blog will detail that journey as well as look at life lessons I’ve learned as an avid CrossFit athlete (CrossFit Games – 2015), A coach, an alcoholic, a daddy, and a husband. I hope you will join me as I detail my story. 

The Morning Gargoyle