An Unlikely Inspiration

Some people might doubt me. For all the negative portrayals of addicts and addiction we seem to be getting via the media these days, it might be hard to believe my story.

How could anyone who claims to have chronic pain and Dystonia run? More than that, how could anyone who had the problems or consequences with addiction I say I did have turned their life around so very dramatically so that they do run? It must not have been that bad, right?

Wrong.

Addiction stole the best years of my life. It tried to kill me and I'm very lucky to be alive. But I clawed my way back from death, jail, psych wards and detoxes to turn my life around because I believe there is still life here for me to live.

And I'm going to embrace that life fully, chronic pain or not.

I'm over six years sober. After all these years, I wish I could say I put my past away. But, the damage to my brain, caused by head trauma and chemical dependency, is permanent. The drunk feeling, for me, unfortunately, doesn't seem to want to ever go away.

I can't change what happened. I can't take it back and undo the mistakes I made. I can only share my story with others and keep runnin', clinging to the hope that perhaps I can inspire someone to make a change in their own life. Before it's too late.

Running For My Life

After surviving years of serious chemical dependency and the near fatal suicide attempt by hanging that accompanied it, I fought tooth and nail to turn my life around in 2004. I got sober, started eating right, getting more sleep, and I also started running. Running breathes life into my soul. It helps me stay physically fit and mentally balanced. It also helps me stay clean and sober.

With life under control, I went back to school. I finished my college degree and got myself a good job. I thought my toughest battles were behind me. But, then a new foe came along. One that I never even saw coming.

In 2006, at the age of 26, I started having pain in my shoulder while sitting in my chair at work. Nothing seemed to help. I couldn’t function. As the months went on, it grew so bad that it forced me to call in sick and leave work early. At first I thought it was the aftereffect of an old shoulder dislocation injury rearing its head. I went to a shoulder doctor, who thought it was much more serious. Turns out, it was.