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I Am Lucky

Old 07-31-2018, 09:22 AM
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I Am Lucky

I am one week away from being convicted of my 3rd OWI. As many of you know, but some may not, it occurred in late February and involved me running my car into a telephone pole with a through the roof BAC.

I'm now 5+ months sober.

And I'm coming to realize that I am one of the luckiest people alive. For more reasons than what I knew - there are new ones everyday. But especially because no one got hurt, it didn't involve anyone else. Nothing done is permanent.

As the date gets closer I find myself caught up in a huge array of ego-centric concern and anxiety. It gets downright oppressive at times.
How will I get to work? What if the judge doesn't approve a transfer? How will I pass the time? Etc. etc. It's endless, and it gets more intense as the date approaches. All of it is driven by the underlying question - what does life look like on the other side of Tuesday?

The simple answer is, I don't know. I won't know until Tuesday. It drives the control freak in me crazy. It drives my mind and my ego crazy as it tries desperately to put me in the center of it all. Those things are natural, I get why. I'm not hard on myself for having those feelings. They are there for a reason. But after journaling this morning I realized this one simple concept is getting lost in it all:

I am extremely, extraordinarily, gratefully, insert superlative here... LUCKY. I have already received my break. I am lucky because:

1. My actions did not hurt anyone permanently.
2. I did not permanently hurt myself.
3. I am clean and sober. I wouldn't be if it hadn't happened.
4. The incident provided me the fuel to make changes to every aspect of my life, to make life manageable again.
5. The seriousness of the incident compels me to deal with my sobriety front and center. I am no longer in denial.
6. I am not exhausted by the continuous need to deal with the wreckage alcohol and drugs were creating in my life.
7. I see now very clearly - and with more clarity each day - that addiction isn't just about the drug. It includes all the narratives, rationalizations, spinning, damage control, etc etc etc going on in the non-drinking moments.

The list goes on and on.

Before the incident life was not manageable. It was a ticking time bomb. I knew this. Not figuratively. I used to say it to myself on the way to work in the mornings. I used to very clearly and cognitively acknowledge to myself that I was one incident away from the whole charade caving in on itself. That the life I was living was a lie. That I was hollow inside. And I was tired. I wanted off the cycle so bad, but I just never found the energy to get past it. I isolated. I kept everyone from knowing the truth. I juggled so many narratives and rationalizations to keep things 'functional....' It's a miracle to me that I was able to keep the marionette dancing for so long. I was tired. I was utterly and completely emotionally spent.

And then it happened. And I'm lucky for it. I'm grateful for it. I'm better for it.

I am fully aware of how reckless my behavior was, I am thankful for the opportunity to live without repeating it, and I fully accept responsibility for whatever comes as a result. There is not a thing they can do to me next Tuesday under the law - no worst case scenario that can happen to me that comes close to comparing with the catastrophe I narrowly avoided. I am lucky and grateful for that.

I've developed a perspective about addiction now that troubles me deeply. I'm aware that some may look at my situation and feel troubled for me, just as in the past I would have done the same. But I just wish they could understand why I'm so lucky. Untreated addiction is terminal. It is death row. The only question is how long will it take and how will it happen? Will it be a decades long, slow, quiet and tragic slog until your body finally gives out? Or will it be a flashy, dramatic, loud, and tragic fireball?

I've come to believe the first is worse. Not that either are pleasant.
And that's another reason why I'm lucky. I came close to the fireball and it got my attention in a big way. I feel troubled for those that are slogging through without some major and all-encompassing incident to kick them in the ass. My fear for others is the knowing first hand of how difficult it is to find the energy, to fight through the rationalizations in our minds, to fight through the self pity, the denial, the fear in the absence of some event that - if only for a second - scares you to your soul and motivates you to DO SOMETHING. Make it the priority it has to be. Cut free the baggage hauled behind us like cars on a train at the engine instead of one at a time or not at all. Stop negotiating with it and cast yourself into the deep end of the pool of being sober with only the faith that it'll be better ever if it scares the **** out of you in the first few moments. You don't have to figure anything out. Just be sober. At all cost. No negotiation.

If there was a way I could communicate the necessity to make sobriety the single most laser focused important above all else values we addicts need to make it so that just 1 person could use it to find that light inside to flip the switch then I would. But I'm terrified and it breaks my heart being fearful that I can't.

To those struggling I beg you, find something, anything. Find a reason. Create it if you have to. But find something that lights a spark, if just for a second, that you can grab onto, use as an excuse, and with zero negotiation tolerated make sobriety the single most important thing you have to do today. You will not regret it.

To this day, and I suspect for the rest of my life, no one - not even my friends who are able to drink without problem - has been able to answer this one question: "what, exactly, am I missing by being sober?"

The answer is clear. I am missing nothing. More than that, I gain everything.

Rant done. Thanks for letting me share.

-B

PS - See you peeps on the other side of next Tuesday.
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Old 07-31-2018, 09:31 AM
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Your story will continue to speak to people the more you repeat it, so thank you again.

You are saving someone else's life right now. I hope you'll keep posting. So many insights.
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Old 07-31-2018, 09:38 AM
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Well written and powerful post. Thank you, and prayers to you that the judge does the right thing.
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Old 07-31-2018, 09:42 AM
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Buckley read your previous posts well done on handling a bad situation well. The pressure of not knowing must be hard, but as you say you can get through it. In time it will be a distant memory. All the best in your case.
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Old 07-31-2018, 10:47 AM
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Thank you for sharing that. Your description of feeling that the life you were living wasn't sustainable certainly resonates with me. Moreover, your positive outlook makes me feel hopeful that I can build the kind of life I want, as well. Congratulations on your sober life, and best wishes for Tuesday and beyond.
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Old 07-31-2018, 12:04 PM
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Buckley, it's understandable that, as the court date nears, you are somewhat nervous. I think you have come so far during these past months, and you will get through this, and thrive.
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Old 07-31-2018, 12:10 PM
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Terrific post. Thank you so much for sharing.

Your bravery and honesty serve you well and also provide so much to those of us seeking sobriety.

You have saved yourself in a way that speaks volumes about the self that was defeated and injured by alcohol for so long. Integrity, strength and wisdom my guy.

Proud to be walking this sober road with you.
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Old 07-31-2018, 04:56 PM
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I love your attitude here Buckley - good luck for next week

D
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Old 07-31-2018, 06:26 PM
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Man, if i wasn’t already sober I”d want to get sober after reading that post. Thank you for sharing. Agree with biminiblue. Keep sharing it! And I am happy for you that you have cultivated this commitment and place of refuge in your heart and mind to come back to in case things don’t go the way you hope on Tuesday.
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Old 07-31-2018, 06:58 PM
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My thanks too - profoundly helpful & encouraging.
I've been through this - & I'll never get over being grateful to have my life back. I'm not sitting in jail for vehicular homicide.
Congrats on your 5+ months sober, Buckley.
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Old 07-31-2018, 10:14 PM
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Buckley,

I continue to be so inspired by your story, and how you are approaching this whole situation. I really hope that next week goes well.

Sending so much love, and so many positive thoughts your way.

❤️Delilah
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Old 07-31-2018, 10:30 PM
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Buckley, I appreciate your continued posting while you are processing all of what you are going through. It is so important and relevant and post-worthy.

Like Anna said, it's not surprising that all of this is coming up the closer you get. The more you post the more prepared you will be for what will come.

Best to you.
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Old 08-01-2018, 04:37 AM
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As always, I'm struck by your writing and your thinking. One point bears repeating, or paraphrasing:

Find a reason to quit; find your line in the sand, the one you've crossed and can't tolerate. So often it's a medical emergency, or a car accident, or a ruined relationship, but it doesn't have to be that dramatic or life-altering. Mine was one simple moment of trying to lift a mug of diet soda to wash down a mouthful of cheap vodka: my hand wasn't just shaking, it was wobbling violently back and forth. I used two hands to get that mug to my mouth without spilling...and started making calls for detox assistance.

I totally get your 'gratitude' in the face of legal trouble, Buck. And it's admirable that you can be thinking of others right now, urging them to find a reason to quit. You're a class act, and I'll be anxious to hear the results from your hearing; obviously wishing you the best...Arp
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Old 08-01-2018, 05:09 AM
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I was convicted of my 3rd DWI in January and haven't drank since I was arrested in September 2017. It got dropped to a 2nd 2nd offense so no driving for 3 years and I did my 30 days in county, which seems like a fair punishment for the danger I put everyone in. It sucks but you will get through it. PM if you want
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Old 08-01-2018, 06:13 AM
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You sound great Buckley, keep us posted and I wish you the best.
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Old 08-06-2018, 12:06 PM
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Thinking about you homie. Stay strong, you've proven you have deep wells of strength within.

Good luck tomorrow.
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Old 08-06-2018, 03:12 PM
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You're on my mind too, Buckley.
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Old 08-06-2018, 05:50 PM
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Yeah,man...good luck tomorrow! When I finally got my court stuff behind me, I had no more BS excuses to not get my life straightened out to the best of my ability. Sounds like you already have a 5+mo head start on where I started from. Dumb old 'booze brain' over here had me drinking up until my day in court and several months afterwards,thus zero positive changes in that time for me.

Let us know how it goes..
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Old 08-06-2018, 06:16 PM
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Best of luck tomorrow!
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Old 08-06-2018, 06:42 PM
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Wow. Thanks so much all.

I just opened this up after receiving a text from my boss saying 'know that we are behind you' and a phone call from my best friend who is picking me up in the morning and taking me to court.

I am so incredibly grateful for my friends and inner circle - including SR.

I'm ready. I've placed myself in the best possible situation I can. I feel good about the changes I've made and the work I've done. I left it all on the field as they say. I'll be glad to have something concrete to work from after tomorrow morning.

I'll post when I can.

Onward. Time to remove the 600 pound gorilla from the room.

Thank you SR peeps. I have no words to express my gratitude.

-B
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