Wednesday, August 29, 2012


This past weekend I was lucky enough to go on a retreat, put on by a local treatment center.  It is always a wonderful time and I was glad I went.

This retreat has been going on for five years and I have yet to miss one.  I haven't always had much sobriety when I went, but I went anyhow.  I think I once got high right before I went, and it is possible that I had some prescription diet pills there one year.

The first time I went, I was eight months sober.  I was just getting to know women at the meetings.  I was getting to know them as people, not as unattainable super-heroes.  As people that have been through some of the same and sometimes worse stuff, than I.  But I didn't trust that they were normal.  And by normal I mean I didn't think they were able to have fun.  I didn't think I was going to be able to feel fun.  Not that using meth was fun at the end.  Because it obviously wasn't.  But I romanticized booze and drugs and really believed that those were the only things that could bring me a good time.  Thank god I was wrong about that because I learned to laugh.

The second year must be the year that I used right before I went up.  I wanted to be sober for it, I just couldn't be.  It wasn't easy to crash in front of a bunch of women.  I believe I had diet pills with me because I remember that they told me I was talking too much.  Now, I ALWAYS talk too much.  So I can imaging how freaking annoying I was.  My life was so out of control that year, But even in the chaos, I needed to be there.  

Two years ago, as you know, I was only 4 days sober when I went.  Still crashing hard from meth, still feeling deep sadness and hopelessness from withdrawal.  My family was a wreck, we were losing our home, we had just lost our business, we had no money, we had no marriage, we had to file bankruptcy and go on welfare.  Four days sober, with all of that looming, I took off and went to this beautiful place with my beautiful people to begin my healing.  I believe I had the least amount of sobriety at the retreat, and it was exactly where I needed to be.  

This retreat was almost shut down after that year.  The numbers weren't good enough and they weren't sure it was worth it.  It was worth it to me.  I love it there.  It is set on a kid's bible camp in northern Minnesota.  It grounds and the lake are beautiful and the food is amazing.  It is one of the most peaceful places I've ever been.  

Of course, anywhere is peaceful coming from this crazy-ass house.

Anyhow, they kept it going, and I have been able to celebrate my sobriety birthday the past two years at such a beautiful place.  That experience is something that I look forward to every year.  And every year I still get to laugh and have a great time.  We laugh so hard sometimes, you would think we were wasted.  But we aren't.  

This photo to the left is what happened during our campfire gratitude meeting this year.   We were sharing to each other, the things we were grateful for.  And this appeared.  This picture doesn't do it justice.  One side of the lake was being hit by the sun and glowed orange.  And on this side, there was a beautiful rainbow that reflected off of the water.  It was a vibrant rainbow.  Seventy-five people sitting around a campfire, sharing one by one what they were grateful for, and this is what we got to see.  I kind of freaked out and probably could have sounded like the stoned double rainbow YouTube guy.  But I was sober.  Thank goodness.  Although, I have no hate for the double rainbow guy.  He seems like a groovy cat.

Oh, and we saw a bear AND I got a picture of it. That never happens.  


  1. This sounds like an awesome experience! So glad you've been able to attend all this time. And that rainbow picture is amazing.

  2. I saw my first bears in Canada this year near Vancouver. It was so exciting. The rainbow is gorgeous and i cant imaging how incredible the timing was for you to see it at that time.
    What a blessing for you to have this retreat once a year. I pray that it continues and stays in business forever.