Saturday, September 7, 2013


My name is Hal...and I am an addict.

It's been nearly four years since I've worked on this blog. I'm not even really sure why I'm writing now. That may seem like a long time--and it probably is--but I'm not one to judge time anymore. After all, people like me have to live one day at a time. We have to take things slower than normal people ("normies," as we like to call the rest of you).

Until three years ago, Doing The Right Thing or even The Next Right Thing was never easy for me. Maybe it's because I was always so good at being Bad.

The truth is, before Aug. 30, 2010, on any given day, I was more than likely trying to hurt myself. If that wasn't good enough, I'd try to hurt you, too. But hurting myself was always Number One. I was--am--addicted to a myriad of substances--none of which are candy. Though, to be fair, I'm sure I could have managed to turn that against myself if I really cared to try. (Lord knows, Pixie Sticks were what led me to my final downfall with a certain White Lady. Seriously.)

So, what is being an addict like? That depends on where my brain is. In active addiction, I will lie to you, steal from you, do whatever it takes to get what I want. If that doesn't work, I will hurt you; not physically, mind you. No, I can be a pretty gynormous bastard without even lifting a single finger or fist, when I want to be manipulative. I'm probably not as good at it as others, but then again, I've never really been all that competitive about it. In the end, I've done some pretty awful things to a lot of good (or not-so-good) people that have had the misfortune of being in my destructive orbit.

To be honest, I'm not even sure what to write. Yet, I feel somewhat inspired, right now. I'm here, by myself, in my apartment. The wife is in The Cities for Rosh Hashanah and, meanwhile, I guess I just need to get out of my own head for a little while. So, in other words, like so much of my life, I'm winging it, one word at a time.

So, besides having my life implode in front of my very eyes after a hearty downward spiral with substance abuse, what's new? Well, as you may have guessed, I'm a married man of three years and a clean and sober addict--also of three years (and boy, wasn't that certainly an interesting and busy first year of holy matrimony!)

In most of the 12-stepper meetings I regularly attend, they will ask you, after hitting a milestone such as mine, "how did you do that" My answer would consist of two words: Not alone.

I have so many people to thank, but I'll single out just a few. My wife, Amanda, is my rock. Pure and simple. Could I have accomplished all that I have--and all that I still continue to work on, on a daily basis--without her? Perhaps? Maybe? I don't know. That's a tough call. However, I doubt if I could have ever rooted my feet as firmly to the ground as I did after that first night, as I was sitting on the couch, alone, hugging myself, sobbing quietly to myself, dumbfounded as to how I could have let such pure, unadulterated chaos consume myself and so many others I loved. If Amanda hadn't wandered out of the bedroom, planted herself next to her sorry husband, taking his hands in hers' and telling him to come to bed, as opposed to sleeping on the couch (where, quite frankly, he deserved to sleep, what with his bed having been made in more ways than one), giving him the slightest measure of hope, we might be having a very different conversation, right now.

I'd like to thank, too, my original knight in shining armor, my first sponsor Dave. My journey toward this amazing life began with coffee and a blueberry scone. I am eternally indebted to him for glowing as he did, making me want what he had, that Thursday morning, and showing me how to put one foot in front of the other, on the road of recovery. Dan, too, my second and current sponsor, has pointed me in a fine direction where growth continues.

And I'd like to thank Marty, a fellow drunk. Wherever you are, you were right. I needed that hug. It was the first of many. More importantly, it helped me realize that I was worth being touched. My current friends have helped to further ingrain that once-unclear notion

Above all, I thank H.P., or to the uninformed, my Higher Power--sometimes named God, other times going by the handle of M.O.E. (My Only Everything), or yes, even "Uncle Stevie" (yes, Stephen King, or a Voice just like his has been a huge part of my recovery--whether he knows it or not).

I guess I could ramble on, but I'm growing tired and weary of this late hour. I'd like to say that I'm rebooting this blog and going to continue working on it on a regular basis, but as I said, I'm really not even sure why I'm writing now. I can't tell you what will happen tomorrow. I have no answers to your questions or even my own. I'm just taking things easy. If there's anything I've learned, in the last three years, it's that I don't make up the rules. I just follow them.

One day at a time.