I planned my nights around drinking. I chose which friends I was gonna hang with based on the bars they frequented. And while my budget didn’t consider grocery money, it did include a healthy entertainment fund, which was really just a fancy name for “My Drinking Money”.
So, when I STOPPED drinking, it really was a BIG DEAL. If your drinking career has never brought you there, what I’m about to say will probably sound completely absurd. When you are forced to give up drinking, or drugs, or fill-in-the-blank, it’s a pretty traumatic experience. It’s something that I’d venture to say, most of us alcoholics and addicts actually grieve over. Shock, Anger, Acceptance. It happens—ironically, all things which would have six months ago, been perfectly logical reasons for me to drink. But eventually, the realization sets in that this passionate love affair is really just suicide, on the installment plan. And when you finally do sober up, there’s this hole inside of you—probably what prompted most of my drinking anyway, but trying to fill it up with booze, only succeed in accelerating the erosion of my very soul. Ain’t it funny how that shit works, you know, when your solution becomes your problem??
But eventually, the fog begins to lift and suddenly you’re looking at the world with a clear set of eyes. And I’d love to say that it’s magical. But it’s not. It’s the same old world that I’ve been looking at all my life. As Tom Petty says, “Some days are diamonds, some days are rocks”. Sometimes I can really appreciate that my sobriety is a second chance that alot of people never get, and sometimes I have days where I’d give anything in the world to not be sober—I’m just trying to keep it real. Those days are getting fewer and farther between, and for THAT I’m eternally grateful.
And I’m really lucky to have something that I can pour myself into. I’ve been a part of Red Stick, on and off, for over two years. But, if I had to guess, I think most of my girls would probably say that I’m a different skater this time around. My head is clear, and I’m focused, and I’m faster, and I don’t puss out at practice anymore because I’m really too hungover to be of any use to anybody. And I actually give a shit about something. I want to be there, and if you ask me for 100%, I’ll give you a 110%, and I don’t mind doing it. Because you guys deserve it, and because it helps me stay clean. Really! When 52 people are counting on you to be there, a 110%, you better fucking be there. And I CAN’T be there (or anywhere else for that matter, not 110%) if I’m fucked up.