I just read an article on Rich Clune, of the Nashville Predators that told the story of his battle with alcohol and drug addiction. Most importantly, the story spoke of redemption, recovery, and dream chasing. It seems like he needed to face his own demon/demons, and slay his greatest adversary before he could accomplish his goal of playing in the NHL. It seems that he had to slay this nefarious shadow that had haunted him for so many years before he could become the true version of himself, the one that had been in there all along.
I want to tell you a story about manifesting your own reality. The story dives right into dream chasing and striving for excellence, as expected. The story also involves a nutritional supplement company called Onnit Labs, which I am now involved with, since I officially became sponsored by them earlier this year. But before we start, I want you to know that I am invested in this company, I am promoting this company, and I have financial interest in this company. I believe in this company. I used these products before any talks of sponsorship. I believe in their products and supplements, and I use them every day. I wouldn't be affiliated with them if I didn't. And if I didn't, I sure as hell wouldn't be writing about them.
Ok, day 1 of your quit. Now what? No doubt you have been introduced to your very own Demon. Did you see what he looks like? Have you smelled him? He smelled you. He smelled your fears and insecurities. He captures these emotions and tucks them away into some hollow cavern. He will use these later, in your most desperate hour.
Or maybe you haven't been introduced yet. After all, it's only day one. Maybe it has been a breeze so far. Maybe you have been busy, and haven't noticed. Just wait it out. He will emerge.
But know, too, that behind the Demon is a path to your true calling and destiny. Ask yourself how long he has blocked that path. How many times have you been forced to maneuver your way around his and tread through lizard-filled bogs, of mist and hanging vines, that creep and wander like spider legs across the mossy ground, scratching and feeling for a vulnerable addict, in constant wait to offer shelter and a warm, tangled embrace.
Two and a half years clean, cold turkey. I can honestly say that I don't even think about it anymore. And if at some odd, random time I do think of the Worm Shit I used to stuff into my mouth all day, I acknowledge how much of an idiot I was for spending those thousands of dollars. From age 17 to age 28, eleven years of living as a drug addict. How many years have you been dipping? How many times have to tried to quit? How many times have you told yourself that you'll quit tomorrow, or after you graduate, or after you write your final paper, or after the baby is born, or after the hockey season, or next week, or next year, or never "cuz we all die someday, and I'm gonna die with a big ol wad of the Grizz in my lip."
I've heard it all before. I've said it all before. I can honestly tell you, that it will be worth it. I know what it is like. You can't even begin to imagine yourself as a non-dipper. You can't even see that version of yourself. You are blinded by the Dip Demon. He is real. He devours souls. He lives in every addict, in every can. I have seen him. I have looked him in the eyes. I drove a stake through his heart over two years ago, and haven't looked back.
(Or, My Cancer Scare)
I won’t get into the back story of how I ended up in Europe in the first place; that will come at a later date. Today I won’t talk about living in a ski lodge in the middle of the Julian Alps in Western Slovenia, feeling shamed and empty, hiding from the world and afraid to fail. I won’t delve into any of that now.
I’ll start where the new version of me started.
Sometime in May in the year 2010, is where the shift happened. I know the exact location where it happened; I know exactly what I was doing. It was in a parking lot, in a park, and I was running as fast as I could. What was I running from? I felt the shift, and it was as real as any crack of lightning or plate tectonics. It was a definite and tangible shift.
I’ll get into all of that, but first you need some back story.