A new look

Well, what do you think?

I was encouraged lately by an acquaintance of mine to lighten up a little. Thanks for the solid advice, Brian.

I also want you all to know that in addition to providing the very personal, Dan-type stuff you’ve come to know and (I hope) love here on parrington.wordpress.com, I’ll be starting up a Books & Writing blog within the next few weeks. Turns out I need a professional image, too! Who’d have thought. (Well, Desmond did.)

This also seems like the right time to thank a few of the people who’ve made my first (nearly) two month in blogging both interesting and rewarding. A special thanks to Jason Alan, who always speaks his mind. Thanks also to Mysterious Man from the Shadows, whose thoughtful posts never fail to get my mind turning.

It’s been a particularly good two months, blogging aside. Almost four years ago, I was in the midst of alcoholism, drug abuse and major depression. The girl I met at that time- now my wife- helped me see myself as I was, and as I had become in the midst of all this. These past three and a half years have been a time of an intense struggle for healing. I was fighting for my body, I was fighting for my soul. And she was there, fighting alongside me, every single step of the way.

If you knew me then, but weren’t aware of what I was going through- you aren’t alone. I became an effective chameleon, hiding the reality of my suffering and self-destruction from even those closest to me. Some of you did see the flip side of me. I can’t imagine it made you feel all that good. But what can anyone do, really, to help someone like that?

I am living, breathing evidence of the transforming efficacy of love. It was my love for someone special, and her love for me, that allowed me to finally summon the will and courage to face the BS and get myself on track.

After an exceptionally nasty episode at the hospital, and many tears on the part of my devoted partner, I finally consented to begin treatment. I began seeing a crisis counselor and a psychiatric doctor. They started me on meds, and asked me to stop drinking. I did. Well, for the most part, anyways.

I felt like a slug for two and a half years. The meds made me drowsy most of the time, and I gained more than fifty pounds. This, surely, was my personal hell: no energy, and a body that would no longer co-operate.

But I was getting better, behind all that. Week by week, from month to month, the anger and confusion in my heart were being overcome. I choose that word specifically: they were being overcome, not removed. I still carry them, and many other pieces of baggage, today. It was the process of slowing down and engaging in a little bit of introspection, bathed in the care and affection of my family, that enabled me to get the upper hand in my struggle for self-control. And not just self-control, but self-love, and a sense of peace with my reality.

These past two months, however, have been the best yet. I started a new medication- got my energy back and lost twelve pounds. I rebooted my online presence, started a blog and reconnected with a lot of special people. I’ve been out to spend time with friends and family more than I have in years. And all this without getting blind drunk!

You may find all this a little strange. You may not even recognise me as I have described myself here. What I’m really trying to tell you is that I’ve found my legs again. I am revelling in change, holding tight while I once again become aware of the glorious adventure that is life.

And I’m awfully glad to have you along for the ride.

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12 responses to “A new look

  • mkbain

    Dig the new look man and also your honest real writing. Writing about the struggles in your life can be tough but I believe you’ll also find it liberating. It sounds like you’re on a great path, stay positive and keep your eyes open to the good in the world. Congrats on breaking through and finding your legs.

    • Dan

      It’s still a process, but this has definitely been a breakhrough time. I’m ready to embrace the world as it is and live it to the fullest extent.

      Thanks for the encouragement!

  • Ryan

    Im so proud of you old friend! I am happy to say that i met a man like you. Keep up the good writing!

  • Jason Alan

    This is a nice theme. Elegant, yet grungy I would say. Thanks for mentioning my blog. I, too, was wrested from the clawed hands of alcohol by the love of a woman. Luckily, I didn’t go as far as being hospitalized or having to go through treatment, but I did wake up in odd places a time or three. Glad to see you are doing well.

  • "Aunt" Deb

    Dan, what you’ve gone through would surprise me, if I hadn’t gotten old enough that nothing surprises me. I’m thankful for the healing you’re experiencing, and hopeful for your future. Looking forward to continuing posts, you’re on my reader :o)

    • Dan

      Thanks, Deb. I wasn’t trying to shock anyone, after all, just to be open and sincere about something I don’t always talk about. I felt the need to be real, and not just represent the lighter aspects of my life as the whole truth.

      Readers are great, aren’t they? I use Google Reader myself. Very handy.

  • mel

    ..there and back again – a tale by Dan. I appreciate your honesty and candor about what must have been a very dark, difficult time. There’s a fine balance to sharing the gut-wrenching, without glorifying it – or just ‘hanging out all the dirty laundry’ for the world… I think you walk that line quite well here. Glad to see you have come out the other end all the better – eager to meet this lovely lass you keep praising too! ;o)

    • Dan

      I appreciate your vote of confidence, Mel. Several times I have thought that at some point I would need to address that darker period, but have not necessarily wanted to.

      There isn’t any real glory to it, in any case. But it’s an important part of my personal context, and gives greater meaning to what I’m experiencing now.

  • Rajani

    I’m glad you are out of it, Dan. From what I’ve heard, it is very difficult to get over addiction. Kudos to you and your wife’s loving support.

    Best,

    Rajani

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