Pete is 515 days sober
515 days sober. It all began, like most things do, with saying goodbye. When my wife walked out, the choice was simple: Kill myself or dig deep inside to find something that would merit my existence. If it weren't for the miraculous accidental dropping of a pile of papers, one of which, a picture drawn by my son depicting him and I holding hands, I would have likely followed through with my plans of swallowing a bottle of sleeping pills with a rum chaser. That picture, gracefully falling onto my left foot was the first of many miracles that have been bestowed upon me. With a shovel in my hand, sweat on my brow, bloody, blistered fingers and a broken heart, I dug desperately to find any small piece of me that would be worth salvaging.
After withdrawing, in the days that followed the excavation of my shallow grave, when the initial tidal wave of tears dried, I noticed a peculiar sparkle in my eyes. I still maintain that I lost my mind, just enough to find myself. The self constructed walls of crippling fear and anxiety began to crumble as the addiction began to lose its hold on me. The more I felt the sunshine on my face, the more I wanted to experience life beyond the confines of my little box.
With each day that passed, I began to notice the sun speckled dew on the grass, the brilliance of the autumn leaves and all of the silly, wonderful little things that had been muddled by peering through the thick, milky glass at the bottom of a bottle. My mind and body were changing. It wasn't long until I had outgrown the life that I had pigeonholed myself into. My addiction to alcohol, my marriage and my self hatred were cyclical factors contributing to a life completely stifled and devoid of growth. In their absence, all of the creativity, passion, zeal, and energy that I once thought alcohol amplified began to resurface and I realized that I had a lot to say, and I could say it, with freedom.
I became a better father, brother, and friend, quite simply because I was learning to finally treat my body and spirit with respect. There were times that I had to really convince myself that I was in the midst of the greatest year of my life. Looking back, without question, I now know, that it was.
Thank you, Recovery Rockstars, and all of the countless, amazing individuals that I've met along the way for having the courage to tell 'our' stories.