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Fit Recovery: Fun Facts about My Recovery.

February 2016
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I’ve been sober for 732,240,000 seconds, give or take a second or 2,000.

That’s 12,204,000 minutes.

203,400 hours.

8,475 days.

278 months.

23 years.  And some change.

I was 22 when I quit.

I have never relapsed, though I was close a time or two.

In the three years before I quit I was arrested four times.

In the 23 years since I haven’t been arrested once.  I did get two speeding tickets though.

I still avoid the liquor aisle at grocery stores and gas stations.  I won’t even look at the coolers directly.

I haven’t been in a bar, except for a lunch with my wife on a 40 mile bike ride, in more than a decade.  It was the only place within 15 miles that served food.  We were out in the boonies.

I can still get antsy when I’m around people who are drinking so I make sure I have my car parked in a place where it can’t be blocked in, just in case I have to make a quick exit.

Most of the friends I ride with don’t drink.  All of my other friends are sober.

I can still remember the hopelessness I felt the day before I quit (actually that went on for about two years but it came to a head that last day).

I quit drinking before Ice Beer became popular.  Before Zima was even thought of.  Sam Adams was just becoming popular.

I was prescribed Tylenol 3’s (with Codeine) for an injury about a year into sobriety…  I took one pill and threw the rest in the garbage because I could see myself relapsing on it.

I was prescribed pain killers one other time, for oral surgery.  My wife (then girlfriend) administered them so I wouldn’t abuse them.  I spent that weekend stoned out of my gourd.  I call it my freebie weekend.  That was a little more than two decades ago.

My car was hit in a car accident five years ago or so.  The impact was so violent it bent my driver’s seat back.  I hit my head on the headrest hard enough that I blacked out.  I was prescribed pain killers for that but got a second opinion and had my back and spine cracked back into place instead.  I never filled the prescription.

The day I quit drinking, a doctor estimated that I had about 7 years before I died of liver failure, based on a liver enzyme test.  A little more than 2 decades later and I’m perfectly healthy.

Assuming I maintain my sobriety, I should live to a ripe old age.

If I relapse, that seven year clock starts up again.

That clock makes it a little easier to maintain my “want to” when it comes to staying clean.

It’s a well known fact that if an alcoholic chooses to start drinking again, they pick up where they left off.  If I were to pick up again, I’d be a raging drunk and lose everything I’ve worked for in less than a month.  This isn’t a guess, it’s a fact.  I don’t do much half-assed in case you didn’t notice.  If I didn’t end up in prison, which would be likely, see the clock above.

I always was, and always will be a two-fisted drinker…  A drink in either hand and the bottle (or case) between them.  As they say, to thine own self be true.  The only thing that’s changed is that I choose not to act on that today.

Since I quit, in 1992, my life is a reverse country song… and it is good.

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10 Comments

  1. That’s an amazing turnaround. Good for you. My brother is a recovering alcoholic too, and I have seen how much of a struggle it is for him to stay sober. 22 years? I give you mad props. Keep on keepin’ on 🙂

  2. Paige says:

    Thank you for sharing. I can’t even imagine struggling with something for that many years. You make my issues seem minor. BTW, thanks for that. Lol! Here’s to a lifetime of healthy and happy.

    • bgddyjim says:

      Thanks Paige. I wouldn’t say I’ve struggled with it for that long… Once I fixed the wreckage of my past (which didn’t take all that long, I was only 22) the struggle was lifted. Thanks Paige.

  3. tamsynsmith says:

    Well done and thanks for sharing. I rarely drink and often get questioned about it by friends. My reasoning is that I have an ‘addictive personality’ and think that it wouldn’t take much for me to end up on the wrong path. I find it frustrating that other people seem to believe they know better than me and try to persuade me to drink when I’m perfectly happy as I am.

    • bgddyjim says:

      You should try walking in my shoes! Being in construction and not drinking at all! I lie if someone makes a fuss. I tell them I’m allergic. Technically, that’s not untrue. 😉

  4. Archetype says:

    Congrats Jim! Way to keep on truckin’ brother

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