Why am I so lucky? I take the time to contemplate this now and again.
I’ve been active all but five years of my life. Not “I broke five bones and had seven operations” active – in fact, I’ve never broken a bone (knock wood). My level of activity is best described simply as, “I get my ass off the couch and move” active. I don’t live paycheck to paycheck, but I’m not that far off, either. I have decent genes, but I’ve got heart disease on mom’s side and Alzheimer’s on dad’s – they’re not great, either.
My brother-in-law once said that it was spooky how much I looked like my dad. He’s right, too. I am a chip off the old block. My mom happened to be there, we were helping my sister and brother-in-law move to a new house, heard him say that and chimed in, “You do, but you’re a much healthier version of your dad. You look much better than he did at your age… because of all of the alcohol, I think”.
I am, without question, a much healthier version of my father in terms of pickling and fitness….
I don’t live in any physical pain anymore. Cycling fixed almost everything that ailed me on that front, including an unrelenting bad back. I don’t have knee problems, feet problems, or disease problems (now that I’ve been in recovery).
On one hand, I often think I might be some kind of freak because I haven’t aged like a lot of other people. On the other, I don’t put much stock in the whole “freak” angle because, in truth, I lead a simple, clean, healthy (relatively), happy life. More important, I have a happy outlook on the life that I’ve got – I excel at staying positive. Combine that with no smoking, no alcohol, zero drugs, an actual program of recovery (not just white-knuckling it), a relatively diet, and a veritable $#!+ ton of daily physical activity… Well, looking at it that way I don’t think there’s much luck to it at all.
Nor is my story special…. In fact, I’d say I’m run-of-the-mill in terms of recovering folks. Maybe slightly above average, but not by much. Everything good in my life started with recovery, and that’s why I keep coming back.
Modern treatment and what is now deceptively termed “evidence based” recovery is often based on something other than recovery. It’s based on managing a decline, or slowing the spiral to the drain. It’s based on the kooky notion that a person like me has a hope of drinking successfully at some point. That’s all good enough for government work, but as far as I’m concerned, I’ve touched the burner on the stove enough to know the f***er’s hot and I don’t have to grab it anymore.
That relapse-based decline management system may work for some, but not this guy. I’ll take happy and healthy over a managed swirly. Any day of the week and twice on Sunday.