UPDATES: I HAVE BEEN GETTING A LOT OF LETTERS FROM PEOPLE WHO WERE ASKING ABOUT UPDATES FROM SOME OF THE GUYS I WRITE ABOUT, HERE THEY ARE.
Last week, I mentioned that Brooks died. He was only 46. He isn’t the first guy from the farm to die since I got there, but he is one that is fresh in my memory because he graduated so recently. The story is that they found him, dead, in a home with eight guys who lived there. It’s a shady story but it doesn’t surprise me that shadiness follows someone who died from an alcohol overdose in a place where 8 grown men lived.
Brian and I went looking at a town home for him this week. He is super excited about moving out and he is now in the part of his program where he will need to get leases signed and start thinking about life off the ranch. This is a magical time for him, and I am pretty happy to share it with him. He also has a girlfriend.
Lane and Curtis are just about finished with their first semester in college. I saved a text message from Lane that he sent to me on the first day of school, 1-19-2010 at 6:32am, it reads, “Life has started over,” and this is a sentiment that I hope he maintains. If he strays, I have this text message to send back to him to remind him. I was able to help him get an internship and possibly a job at a station where I used to work, so I’m confident that he’s been able to make the most of this life changing year.
All of us are about to celebrate a year here at the ranch. WOW! What a different life I was leading last year at this time.
I am working and loving my job. I am working on some TV projects here as well, they keep me fresh so that when I am completed, I will be able to jump right back in. I am also extremely healthy and I love that. The school speaking circuit has been going great and I am given letters and notes from teachers and classes all the time explaining in detail what the impact I have had on them by telling my story.
This blog is also keeping me healthy and sane, and I cant begin to thank everyone who writes to me to offer encouragement. Its great.
But I am beginning to think about my life off the ranch. The things that I will be doing, the people I will know and surround myself with. I will try to stay as connected to the ranch as I can.
The goats are beginning to have their babies, the pigs are as well. This is that cool part of the year that entered the ranch last year. Springtime is awesome on a farm. I love the thunder storms, I even love the mud.
There is a bible verse that I like, its Joel 2:25. I have mentioned this before it says, “I shall return to you the years the locust have stolen,” and I like it because it’s sort of a cosmic second chance. Redemption comes in all sorts of places. I will be seeing my nephews in a karate tournament at the same school I nearly missed my sister’s graduation because I was hung over and throwing up in the bathroom. And here’s a funny story…
I was telling my friend Revekka about my upcoming trip to see Bonnie Hunt. I told her that I wanted to snap a picture of me with Bonnie Hunt for this blog. Revekks used to be a publicist for a few studios when I was an entertainment reporter for a station here in this state.
She said, “Oh cool, I remember how much you loved her in Return to Me,”
I was a little bit dumbfounded.
She went on to explain that I did an interview with Bonnie, that I gushed about her to the publicist, and was on the air saying that the best reason to see the movie was Bonnie Hunt.
And none of this I even remembered. My life was a cloudy hazy waste at that time and I am still sometimes shocked at the extent of it all, the extent of my darkness. I have already met, interviewed and sat 3 feet away from Bonnie Hunt, and I CAN’T EVEN REMEMBER THAT.
It's weird to think that I am so excited about being on Bonnie Hunt's show, and she has already been guest on mine!
So, the trip to California is a bit of redemption on that too.
I often wonder if I will maintain this blog when I am done. I have been told that writing about life as a sober person who lives in the rest of the world is still going to be helpful for people who live with, love, or try to understand an alcoholic. There are going to be challenges I will face and they want to know how I employ what I learned at the ranch to real world situations. Or if I do. In a strange way, this blog will also help me maintain some accountability to at least THINK about my decisions and reflect on them.
There will be weeks like this one, though, where the calmness and tranquility of my life will be the theme. Life isn’t supposed to be a series of dramas that I am constantly trying to navigate. Some weeks, its nice to sit back and say, “I have very little to say,”
DAYS SOBER: 339
DAYS SINCE I SAW THE BONNIE HUNT SHOW: 330
DAYS UNTIL I SEE THE BONNIE HUNT SHOW: 8