Eleven, the morning after.

Not nearly as sore as I thought I would be… I’m thinking about a few miles today on my way home. I wonder if I could still become able to do this for an extended time. Attitude good. Enough time, are you kidding? Wife ok with it? Depends who I go with. Looks like it’s only about my physical fitness. I can do this.

I don’t know when it happened, but I’m now in the realm of the now or never. I’m running out of time. I do not feel panic or sadness about this. Only a sort of urgency now that wasn’t there a few years ago. Not selfish urgency either. I need to do all these things I want to do with consideration. There are others in my life that have become very important to me. My wife. My daughters. My brother. My good friends. These people have become more important than my needs. When did that happen?

I was so wrapped up in me for so many years. It wasn’t just the drinking. The selfishness was always there, building. I was unable to be a grown up. As that fact became clear to me, I became angry. I was really stuck in the “Why me?” “How did I get myself into this?” Helpless and hopeless. Then the drinking really took over and I could see no way out of the mess of a life I had created.

It didn’t happen fast that I got to that point and it didn’t happen fast that I got out. 10 years I was in that place. I knew I couldn’t drink anymore but I also knew I had to drink.

I was the kid in HS who had it all going for himself, or so it seemed. Captain and Quarterback. Always a smile. Even then I knew something was wrong. It wasn’t anyone else’s fault. Ever. It was inside me. A hollowness I felt. Happiness, success, and emptiness coexisting within me. A sense of doom growing. Maybe from age 11 to age 17.

Then I went on automatic pilot. 18 to 36. Full speed ahead. The teacher everyone liked. The successful coach. Straight into the wall.

Panic. 28 days in the psych ward.

Hmmm. Stopping there. Whoa. I had hoped this would become a journal of sorts. Something for my kids to read at some point if they want to. My life on paper.

Maybe this is it. The writing I’ve always wanted to attempt. I was terrified of a blank sheet of paper for most of my life. I suppose the urgency I spoke of earlier is affecting me in this way as well.

Hiking and writing. Is this how people do this? I can not sit and write. I think maybe I can hike and write. More coffee.

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