The Miracle of Runway

When I got sober in September of 2015, I found myself in a unique time when my schedule was incredibly light. For about 6 weeks, I didn’t really have any customer appointments. My business partner was on vacation for a week or two at the time. The quarterly team meeting was in my town so I didn’t have to travel. In sort, I was blessed with a very light load. It was a time unlike nearly any other in the six years I’ve been in the position that I hold. And I was absolutely blessed.

I was reminded of this twice this week. The other night at a meeting someone spoke of his fatigue and shared that he was new in sobriety. I was instantly transported back to those first few months when I could not get enough sleep. I would sleep for 10 hours at night and an hour and a half or two during the middle of the day. I now know that my body was actively repairing the damage caused by years of mistreatment and neglect, but at the time I was horrified. I distinctly remember thinking, “how the hell would I be functioning if I had an office job?” And I truly don’t know how I’d have survived it.

Then yesterday, I was listening to an episode of the Good Life Project with Gabby Bernstein and she was discussing how she uncovered trauma that was buried deep in her subconscious at a time in her life when she had a great deal of runway. She told the story that she had a trip to Australia planned which she canceled and during the week when she should have been abroad was when she uncovered this repressed trauma. Bernstein said, “I had a presence greater than me guiding me through that process.” In the following weeks her schedule was cleared, she didn’t have to be anywhere and she was able to focus on herself — able to focus on self-care. She had runway And I thought, yes, that’s what happened to me.

I am confident I would not have made it through the first few weeks if I’d been consumed by my work. If I’d been traveling like I was earlier this fall, I would not have made it.

And the thing is, it was a fluke. There is no explanation for it. I was busy and traveling like a mad man in the weeks leading up to my sobriety date. And seemingly only after I’d gotten to a certain point, a certain steadiness, did things start to get busy again. As I got stronger the pace steadily increased over the year.

It can be hard to see when the universe has you in the palm of its hand, especially when you are in the middle of your shit. I certainly didn’t see it. I just thought it was luck. But I’m coming to believe now that everything was exactly as it should have been because that’s exactly what I needed at the time.

I’m not a man of great faith by most measures, but I’m working on it. Recognizing a miracle isn’t always easy. But that’s what I had last fall, a miracle. I had runway. I had the time and the space to take care of myself, and get through some of the most challenging days of my life. I am grateful for that, because without it, I might not have made it to where I am today.

5 responses to “The Miracle of Runway”

  1. Damien, my experience was remarkably similar. We may have discussed this. I was able to “almost” do a 90/90 because my travel had dried up so much. As it relates to “advice,” I seem to give this tiredness/lethargy advice to newcomers more than anything else. I will listen to that podcast.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I did not have any actual runway when I quit so for about 3 months it was all I could do to work, feed the kiddos, and sleep or binge watch Netflix for hours. My “runway” I suppose was that only 4 weeks before I quit, I received a promotion where I office only 3 miles from my home and my daughter’s school….making it possible for me to work, parent and have time to recover. It wasn’t easy…but I see your point that somehow life seemed to make it possible to recover.

    Liked by 1 person

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