“Woman Injured In Blaze”
The journey beyond a small town newspaper headline.
March 23, 2007 started off like every other day had for as long as I cared to remember, with one exception. Two days prior Friday the 23rd, I knew that I had to stop drinking. Let me clarify… not to stop drinking completely but to control my drinking enough so that I wouldn’t be sick and shaking in the morning. I needed to control my drinking enough that I could get through the entire day without the feeling of my skin turning inside out.. I knew that my body had officially become reliant on an 80 proof half gallon of cheap ass vodka.
I was tired… but not defeated
In my infinite wisdom, and in my fractured and out of focus state of mind, I knew if I could get through 3-5 days without the booze, I’d be home free. I had no intention of quitting completely… I just wanted to get control of my drinking back. This is the mindset of an alcoholic. I honestly believed that I had some semblance of control and power.
Hubris. Ego. Vanity.
That trio managed to throw my ass hard into countless walls… but instead of throwing me headfirst into a cement wall… the power’s that be decided that on this day… they would burn the only world I knew to the ground.
The morning of March 23, 2007 may have began in a routine fashion, but the day progressed in a manner unlike any other.
The exact details of that Friday early afternoon are … foggy… to say the very least. They say I got myself out of the burning house. They say I had to be restrained from trying to run back into house because I thought my father was inside. They say after multiple official investigations that the cause, the source and even the starting location of the fire remain unknown. They say… They say… They say. All of the factual details of that day were told to me through the memories of other people. Some family, some friends and some complete strangers.
Six years later, I still don’t have concrete crystal clear memories. Six years later I carry the scars of this day on 20% of my body. Six years later I’m sober. Six years later, I’ve evolved past living to being alive.
Today I honor March 23 2007, in remembrance of an event so horrific that the details could only be described as terrifying, tragic and pure hell. But you see… I don’t view it that way.
March 23, 2007 was the day that gave me my life back. On this day I realized that I was not immortal… this was the day I realized what death was… and that I wasn’t ready.
To live through something is one thing… to survive is even better… but to thrive… there are no words.
Every single one of us will have one event, one moment that defines who and what you are. Things happen. Good and bad. It’s up to you to determine what you do with what you are given.
They say the best gifts are wrapped in sandpaper.
The best gift given to me… was wrapped in flames.