To all who read my blog, I say Thank You. It has been forever since I have posted but I feel like I'm ready to return now. It's been quite the journey for me over the past couple of years and to spare you all the details, I can simply say that I am now completely clean. The sobriety date is February 17, 2012 and I am very happy to say that I am now 5 weeks without a cigarette. I guess I have what they call an "addictive personality". I must have something to quench my need for, well, anything. This has been the struggle of my life. I could have taken the high and mighty road and ended my marriage years ago and continued down the path I was on however I chose the road less traveled. I'm old-fashioned. Some may say to a fault, but I don't believe that's possible. Let me make something perfectly clear. I LOVE MY WIFE. I LOVE MY CHILDREN. My family is all that truly matters to me. Hopefully, if you are reading this you share that sentiment with me. They are why I am battling these demons tooth and nail, day and night. As a bartender I see my friends falling apart and I get to at least be the word of the wise when they need some sober advice. Nothing I do will ever really help anyone. Words are more effective I believe. I've seen courtships begin at the bar and marriages end there as well. I've seen successful people turn unsuccessful and turn to self-medication. I've turned guests away simply because I care. I truly care about people. So when I say I can't do anything that will make a difference I mean I can't do anything but "call you a cab", literally and figuratively. By figuratively I mean I can advise you to let someone else take the wheel. What you do is up to you. In my life I have done it all. That is NOT a good thing. I could tell you about regrets for days maybe weeks. I know the old Marilyn Monroe quote, "Don't regret anything because at one point it was exactly what you wanted", but that's a cop out to me. We have decisions to make every day. Sometimes we get caught up in the moment and yeah, at that exact moment that was what you wanted. Sometimes though that moment was influenced by something or someone by whom had it or they not been around you may have made a different choice. In any case, if you realize later that a choice you made was a bad choice, don't excuse it with that Monroe quote. It doesn't make it right. I encourage those I meet to spend more time with their family and to never fall out of love. Flirting with your spouse doesn't get old. I love flirting with my wife still and we are coming up on our 9 year anniversary. Marriages end when couples stop trying. I intend to never stop courting my wife. Back to the topic at hand, my absence from my blog is mainly due to the struggles I endured during my days of sobering up. I can tell you first hand that it's not easy but I can also confirm wholeheartedly that it IS possible. Though I will always be an addict, I am now free of my addictions. I wish I had taken you all on my journey as I got clean but honestly it was the last thing on my mind. There were nights where my mind was taking over and all I could do was curl up and sleep. Now I am on to my next journey. Getting healthy. I've already taken such a monumentally huge step by ridding my body of the toxic substances I was putting in. Now it's time to lose the weight I gained and get myself back in shape. I'm talking weight-lifting, Yoga, dieting, running, etc. I will include pictures to map my progress no matter how embarrassing they may be to me. I have another blog that I will be duplicating my posts on for my other viewers. I want to be an inspiration to someone. It doesn't have to be everyone. Just one person would make it all worthwhile. Along the way I would LOVE your feedback, advice and whatever else you have to say. Reinforcement will be a valuable tool for me. Tomorrow will be the day I plan out meals and workout plans. I will be giving certain foods up of course and I will be going into yoga as a complete novice. Please join me and tell me how you're doing in your progress as well. If you are getting clean right now and have any questions for me PLEASE ASK. I would love to help you out as well. Get ready friends. The journey begins on MONDAY, OCTOBER 14. I'm looking forward to it.