I refer to my life from 2008 to 2016 as The Longest Winter. My alcohol addiction was firmly in place prior to this tumultuous time, but the added stress of this never-ending season created a need for increased self-medicating, self-soothing and escape.
Each of those eight years ranked on the Holmes-Rahe Stress Scale as having an 80% chance of contributing to some sort of health breakdown. Seriously. The test doesn’t lie.
At the risk of sounding like a whiner, let me quickly sum up what I was insnared by during The Longest Winter in list fashion:
Kevi’s Longest Winter Stress Inventory
- teetered on bankruptcy
- forced sale
- short sale
- infected wisdom tooth
- broken wrist
- demanding bankers
- disgruntled vendors
- false accusations
- whooping cough
- collection agencies
- tax liens
- anxiety disorder
- equipment auctions
…culminating in the grande finale of moving from our family home of 26 years and downsizing to 900 square feet.
Finally, my body, mind, soul, heart, and God Almighty got together and devised a secret plan to slow me the f**k down. Gradually, I stopped bouncing off the walls of my tiny house, the world came back into focus and slowly, and softly, my life began to change course…whether I wanted it to or not.
When my daughter graduated high school (after her own Longest Winter), she got a tattoo with lyrics from a band called Real Friends (you can hear the song hollered in all its glorious Pop Punk-ness here). It says “If you never break, you’ll never know how to put yourself back together.”
I know that The Longest Winter happened for a reason and although I’m glad it’s finally over, it may have been the best thing that ever happened to me. And, despite the fact that it’s October and another winter is just a few months away – I’m ready.
Through the coldest winter in almost fourteen years
I couldn’t believe you kept a smile
Now I can rest assured knowing that we’ve seen the worst
And I know I love ya
Rod Stewart – Mandolin Wind
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