Friday, December 23, 2005
These are pictures from my run yesterday. The sunrise was absolutely incredible. My whole little corner of the world was bathed in a pink glow.
Maybe I should explain why I am so enamored of running... Four years ago today, I had my first date with a man from my home group. He was sober for a little over 2 years and I was thrilled to go out with him. I had known him since he started going to my group. From the moment I set my eyes on him, I was just crazy about him. But it is extremely unethical for people with long term sobriety to be dating newcomers, so I behaved myself. (Although in retrospect, I probably shouldn't have dated him with even 2 years of sobriety.)
We developed a wonderful relationship. We had so much fun. He is a cowboy from the mountains of Colorado. We took trips, we panned for gold, we went away to the mountains with bunches of other crazy sober folks and had paint ball wars, we went to rodeos, state fairs, and concerts. I started listening to country music (which I still do today). I bought cowboy boots and wranglers (?!?!) My kids loved him. His family loved me. After about a year, we started talking about getting married.
At about this time, he got into an argument with his brother, and really showed him! He got drunk! He had just gotten his three year chip, and he was drunk. He tried to get sober again. He tried repeatedly. We put the marriage plans on hold, but kept seeing each other. He promised me I would never see him drunk. For almost a year he kept his promise.
But on August 18, 2003 he showed up at my house drunk. I could not get him to leave. He is 6'5" and extremely buff (yummy) and it occurred to me that what physically attracted me to him in the beginning was now something very frightening. I told him to sleep it off in my family room (away from me) and he went down there and camped out on the sofa. It was a terrible 36 or so hours until he finally left. He ruined my coffee table by spilling water (or some other clear liquid) on it and leaving it there. Anyway, he did finally leave. And when he left I asked him to leave the remote for my garage door opener and the key to the front door. And that was that. I thought I was going to die.
What has this got to do with running? Well, I decided the next day that if I did not do something drastic, I didn't know how I would get through the heartbreak. So I started running. I had while I was in my 20s and 30s, but I skipped running entirely in my 40s, and here I was in my 50s! The first day I could run for only 5 minutes, and it was downhill! After a while, I worked up to 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, I knew I could do a slow mile. Then a mile and a half, two miles, and 3 miles. I did my first triathlon in August 2004, my second (with my daughter!) in 2005, and both my daughters have said they will do the 2006 one with me.
It has been a huge help to my mental health to run, and bike, and swim. When I broke a rib in a bike accident in August (two years from the day that my drunken beloved left my house), I thought maybe I was washed up. I am so thrilled to be able to run again. I am just thrilled!
My beloved is still drunk. He has gotten sober for as long as 30 days and that is it. I don't think he has drawn a sober breath for at least 6 months now. I have seen him only 2 times since August 2003. He looks horrible. He is skinny and emaciated. I pray for him every day. He made good connections in AA and those people still keep in touch with him. In fact, he works for an AA member.
Another alcoholic legacy....