I am realizing one of the great things about running is-
It is just me, the road ahead of me and my mind.
During these journeys, measured by miles, I have been reflecting on how I got to where I am.
My decision making abilities have greatly improved over the years since I first got sober.
I have wrote about some of them.
“The Chronicles Of The Frame” is a five part dealio about getting into sobriety and eventually getting out of the halfway house and into life.
Please read it, if you are so inclined to do so.
I mentioned one of my better life decisions, in brief passing, during the fifth installment.
During one of my runs it came back to me and has stuck there.
I return to my latter part of my first year in sobriety to revisit a bad decision.
At 10 months of sobriety, I was ready to get out of the halfway house and into the real world where I wasn’t required to sign in and out, ask permission to stay out past curfew, and could have a room without another person in it.
A guy I worked with had a room for rent. $100 a month.
I jumped at it.
I had my own room in a house with 3 roommates instead of 10.
Since I didn’t own a vehicle, it didn’t matter. I worked with one of my roommates, who had a vehicle, and the AA hall, where I attended meetings was a short 2 blocks away.
All my bases were covered. I sat back in my recliner…in my room and thought life begins NOW!
Too bad there was a “crack” in my crystal ball.
It took me less than 24 hours to realize I had moved into a crack house.
Beer cans littered the areas outside my sheltered room.
The smell of stale smoke, sweat, burning baking soda, and various visitors shuffling in and out of the front door at all hours, each with the stench of $20 anticipation emanating from their scratched and scarred pores, was what I was faced with for $100 a month.
2 months away from picking up a year in sobriety, still on felony drug probation for over 3 more years.
I stayed there for 3 months.
I don’t recommend this decision making to anyone.
Great deals ALWAYS have small print that are ignored.
Small print or not, I stayed sober. My new life started with 3 months of locking myself in “my” room while I was at the house.
I was like I chose to pay for solitary confinement rather than move someplace where I felt safe.
I had already spent a month in the psyche ward of county jail in solitary confinement, less than 2 years earlier.
The only difference was the lock was now on my side of the door.
Staying sober during the first months of sobriety are hard and they suck.
Each day, away from the booze, confidence is built.
The mind gets stronger and let’s you know that you will be ok.
One. Bad. Decision.
Is all it takes to test that theory.
By sheer white knuckling it and stubbornness I stayed sober. My sponsor and friends in sobriety talked to me often and begged me to get out of there while I had a chance to.
“If you can find me a place for $100 a month…that is better than where I am at, then I will move.”
Stubborn. Arrogant. Stupid.
Me…in a nutshell at around a year in sobriety.
I finally did get my own place, where I felt safe and could work on the sober life without having to lock myself in a room to keep the elephants in the other.
The whole point of this post comes down to something simple.
Sobriety does not guarantee a mistake proof life.
All it offers is a chance.
Good decisions. Bad decisions.
It is still the best chance I ever took.
On a side note, I shaved 30 seconds off my 2 mile run time .