1 Year Milestone (March 5th) and Presentation...

Day 374

(I really haven't felt like writing much lately.)

The '1 Year' day sort of came and went. I figured my experience of having strung together 365 days of sobriety would be more celebratory, but my focus seemed elsewhere.

I did, however, have 2 friends who made the day quite special through the gift of 1-yr medallions...What an amazing thing.

 1 Year 'Chip' (Thank you Doug & Patti)

1 Year 'Chip' (Thank you Doug & Patti)

I shared the moment with my counselor who quickly asked me, "Why were/are you surprised?" ... I, as usual when he helps reframe my perspective, realized, "I shouldn't be...this is what people that care do for each other."  It's these immediate clicks of thought that I've so wrongly trained. To shift an automated thinking process and be more conscientious about the words I say has great impact... "Words are very important" he says to me while he continues to note the true intention of the phrasing in my sentences.  Fascinating to have this available to me!


So the following day was maybe the biggest positive hurdle in my life.

On Tuesday the 6th I stood in front of a room full of MBA students at the University of Nevada, Reno... What? yes. Me. A year ago I'd sat on a steel bunk awaiting the pending doom of alcoholic choices...366 days later I'm sharing my journey with a group of soon-to-be grads.

"Change". That was the overall theme I was asked to present on.  14 pages of notes that took me almost a month to develop into a script was out the window within minutes of standing in front of all those faces.  So the remainder of the time came from within. I knew the script, but had lost my tracking so I decided to go simply on recall...yeah, I'd spent a month on it, so I knew the material.

I took them on a chronological adventure that, for some, may have been quite shocking and for others, familiar or even too close to home. Either way, I dove into a few things that never made the original script for fear of being too colorful - but that cat 'got outta the bag', so to speak. Even during the parts where I came to my senses and realized where I was, and became fearfully present of my surroundings, I plowed through knowing I was there for a purpose.  That was the most unique feeling of all. I left that evening having experienced a shift in the shame of being a recovering alcoholic. I may never know the outcome or who drew something real from the words I spoke that night, but if anything can be taken away, it was that I took a risk, I didn't fail and I didn't quit. THAT in itself is the single greatest moment in my sobriety so far. For others it's a simple task on a daily basis...but that's how we differ :)

 In the MBA Classroom (Photo: B. Simmons)

In the MBA Classroom (Photo: B. Simmons)

I'm going to make this one a short post.

Thank you to all who shared love and well wishes on my social media post about my anniversary! I'm continually grateful to have you in my corner.

#KiaKaha #Recovery #Sobriety #WhereIBelong #RenoTahoePhotography

Chris