"The Quiet shared 6
Time to again get settle in and find a pace by the Fireside. We are chilly here today and the morning was very brisk. So gather around and lets get started on yet another journey through the past.
Be sure and help yourself to the coffee, tea and hot chocolate. Sorry no goodies as Quigley found them first. She has been known to sneak the odd treat you know.
The River Runs Wild
It is another lazy morning.
The birds are singing and I can hear a light rustle in the leaves while I lie in bed thinking of what the past several days have given me.
Tannis has already covered me in kisses and wants outside, as she needs her morning pee time. It is a cool morning. As I peek outside I see the lake has a still ripple on it. So brisk is the cool morning air that I climb back into my sleeping bag for a little while. Tannis has returned and has again taken up her duties as keeper of her human. It’s a great feeling knowing that I am so well looked after.
As I lie here I watch the sun casting shadows over the tent. The leaves are creating a flurry of activity. It is a shadow show that is a busy spectacle. The large aspen tree overhead is likely to fall one of these years soon. It has many scars of years gone by. The tree was struck by lightning a few years back that left an ugly gash that nearly split it in two. It is a victim and yet it is a survivor.
Over the years I have met many people who are the same, much like I am. Maybe they are victims of circumstance or maybe an untold story that needs telling someday.
The Yukon is filled with all kinds of people. Some, like me, chasing the dream of the last frontier while others simply want to hide. Life touches us all differently. Life changes and people change.
The Yukon is a place you either love or you hate. Most people who come here come with nothing but personal baggage or a past they would rather forget. With just a few dollars to their names, they step into the unknown, soon realizing this is where they want to be, away from everything.
I landed here quite by accident and it was love at first sight.
I treasured the adventure and the challenge in claiming my piece of the frontier. After a few days, what little money I had was quickly running out, but I was able to find work. It was a meager job that turned into something wonderful after a few years of hard work. I eventually owned the company and sold it at the peek of an announcement of talk of a pipeline coming through. It was a smart choice as the sale allowed me years of doing what I love best without care of an income.
The Yukon is not a welfare state by any means. Here you either work or go hungry. There are few handouts from the Government and other agencies. It is so different from other provinces in Canada, because it is still a territory and therefore, can make its own rules. Many of the laws that governed the remainder of Canada just don’t apply here.
To cite a few examples: you are allowed to drink in public. You can even drink and drive as long as you are not impaired. You can even walk down the street with open liquor in your hand. This is a place that I fit into just fine, as I was able to simply hide my problem and be accepted.
You guessed it; alcohol was Lord in my life. It started out innocently enough at a very early age and grew into a monster that consumed me. It is a devastating disease. Addictions are horrible because they change you, and you hurt so many people. I managed to quit drinking only to fall into yet another addiction. Drugs, both legal and illegal. With the addiction, I was lost for several years.
I would find myself losing days, completely blotted from memory. Sometimes the only way to figure out where I had been was the monthly Visa bill.
Once I admitted that I had an addiction, the recovery process was long and hard. Several people over the years told me I had a problem but the key was telling myself and seeking help. What holds you to your addiction are your own weaknesses and the need for someone far greater than you to help.
As I write now I shiver, and it is not from the cold outside. It is from the memories of all those years. I disowned myself in many ways, but my parents and family never gave up on me. I thank God daily for His grace and forgiveness and my family for their unconditional love and support.
When you know that you have an addiction of any kind, it’s a problem. It is time to stop running from it and face it. It is not easy, but the price that you pay at this point is far less than the price that you pay if you continue.
Addictions have a tendency to rob you of so much. You lose your self worth, friends, family and work. At the end of the day, all you want is a means to continue to feed the addiction as it is deeply rooted and ingrained into what you are calling a life.
There is a better way. All you need to do is fight for your life. It is right there within your reach. It is not easy but it is real.
Solitude was a necessity for my recovery. Some people choose to join groups where they all have a problem in common. Groups are great, but I felt like I was just revisiting the old pains over and over again. It works for some, but not for me.
The key is coming to a place where you know you are powerless over your addiction, and that it is essential to turn to someone far greater than yourself—a Higher Power.
I mentioned that as a child I was raised in a God-fearing family. We prayed daily. I was truly blessed as a child to know that God was reachable through prayer. The night that I hit the very bottom of the barrel was the night I fell to my knees and asked God to take the pain of addiction away.
Places like this have cleansed me of my past. They are real and concrete. I mentioned earlier that no “high” I have ever tried could reward me as much as the beauty and serenity of nature in the Yukon. It is here that I found my peace. That is the true gift that I see this day.
The journey has been a discovery creation. The joy comes from knowing Him and not what is in the bottle or pills. Here, breathing in the clean, fresh cool air of the day God has provided, I find my real life.
Tannis is very much a part of that life. I love her so much Partly because I got her a few months before I quit drinking. I had lost all but a few friends that were willing to stand by me.
What followed my decision to stop drinking was a terrible nightmare. Tannis stayed right there at my side the whole time. She became the best friend I could have asked for in many ways. Withdrawals were so bad that there were times I would simply pass out from weakness. When I awoke, she was there with kisses, and she accepted me just as I was. She is a true blessing.
The road I have traveled has led me to this wilderness where I depend only on myself and Tannis to survive. It is a road of recovery and redemption all wrapped up into what I can now call real life.
The road will always continue. Life is a never-ending process as long as you breathe and I would ask that none give up as there is a far better way to live than what I have been through. One day and one step at a time. After as many years have past now the craving has past and I still live free and to me I know I have again found the man inside of myself. Back to the story to follow... Chapter seven is coming soon....
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