Yesterday I woke up a bit later than I wanted. I told my kids the night before I wanted to go run on the Greenway that morning. They were tired and still sleeping so I decided to go.
I was feeling a bit tired myself, but I knew that no matter how tired I felt moving would always make me feel great. And if I did not have the energy to run I could always speed walk. So I told myself, get up, you are doing it. The trail was fairly empty, only about 8 cars on the lot and I decided to take an even more isolated path. I wanted to enjoy my time without seeing or running into anyone. I wanted to focus and listen to my new audiobook, “Why won’t you apologize?” by Harriet Lerner. I wanted to just be. I set out to run 5 miles, but my tummy had other plans for me. I did 3.5 miles. It is ok I told myself, it is still early and I have a full day of non-stop moving ahead.
The kids were still sleeping when I got home so I took that extra time to sit down on my front porch. I watched the birds fly all around me, saw one of my neighbors and his young son walking down the street with his red wagon and then I started scrolling through facebook for a bit. I saw a post from a woman I met 4 years ago at an Ultraman Race where I was part of the crew for a friend. Her post read, “I forgot that today was my 20 year anniversary of sobriety. I need to celebrate.” It’s not often but every now and then I see people posting the number of days, months, and years they have been sober. It’s something celebrated in AA with the giving of the chips for every day, month, and year you don’t have a drink.
And then it hit me! What about us? I have never seen anyone post, talk or even mention the number of days, months, or years after they have freed themselves from an addict in their lives. I quickly googled, Tallahassee Marathon 2017. I filed for divorce exactly 2 days after I finished directing this race. February 5, 2017 google said so I filed on the 7th. Then I googled the number of days between February 7, 2017 and May 16, 2020, 1193 days. But what if I went farther back? What if I googled the exact date when I told him, “I bear no ill nor hate towards you. It is simply clear we want different things out of life and I no longer want a life with you by my side. I am done with you. You should continue to live the life you want with your addictions and lies and I need to continue to pursue the one I want, without any addictions and away from you.”
What he said next doesn’t really matter, as it was the same ole rhetoric of blame and lack of personal accountability he had been spewing for years now. I immediately opened my newly finished e-book on kindle and found the exact date when I told him those words, January 16, 2017. He was driving hungover from yet again another one of his bingeing trips. I then googled, number of days between January 16, 2017 and May 16, 2020, 1216 days it said. And for some reason, this number stuck; it felt special. It simply resonated with me, but it was not immediately clear as to why. I shared with my kids this discovery and they both jumped up from happiness and excitement. It was a special grin I love seeing in their faces. What did you tell him? How did you do it? Gabe asked. So I shared with him the exact words I told his dad 1216 days prior. “Wow, those were great words; you are amazing.” He said. Emma followed it with “You are so strong mami, I love you so much.” All of the sudden in unissence they both said “we love you mami.” That right there was another reminder I made the right choice 1216 days prior.
Throughout my day, I kept thinking about the meaning of those numbers, the combination of them, the significance of each one. I kept going over them in my head trying to find some hidden meaning to them. The numbers just kept resonating with me, there was something there. Slowly it all started revealing to me. The number 12, for the 12 steps he never took to change his life, yet the 12 I took to change mine and remind myself of my worth. The number 12 was exactly the number of months after he had left his second time in rehab with yet another empty promise to everyone including himself of changing his life. The number 16 was the date I told him I was done with him, the date I magically googled how many days it had been since, and the date for when we started dating, April 16, 2006. This was it! This was a date and number with some special meaning behind it. I needed to celebrate this special day when I made the decision to leave the alcoholic exactly where he wanted to stay, behind. While I made the hard yet incredibly amazing decision of moving forward, of starting a new journey and many more 12 months laps around this earth without him by my side.
I decided to google the significance of those numbers after I gave them personal meaning and what I found made this set of numbers even more special. The number 12 signifies completion; the opportunity to turn over a new leaf by giving a chance to wrap up a certain life stage and situation before moving forward to bigger and better things. The number 16 is seen as the Angel number and it resonates with personal willpower, independence, initiative, action, and overcoming obstacles. Angel number 16 is a reminder from your angels that your thoughts create your reality. Each individual number also offered some additional insight into the meaning of it all. The number 1 is related to new beginnings, completion, perfection, harmony, motivation, achievement, and independence. The number 2, on the other hand, is all about seeing two sides of any situation, diplomacy, partnership, and the mutable nature of life. The number 6 relates to love of home and family, service to others, selflessness, responsibility and reliability, providing for the self and others, and nurturing.
These numbers could not speak to me any louder. A new beginning, wrapping up a previous life for a better one ahead, an Angel reminding me what I always tell people, only your thoughts control you and decide your journey. Being able to see his side of the situation and without any hate leaving him behind for him to do what he wants to do. Focusing on my home and my family, the core of my life while taking care of myself and leaving behind the only person that harmed us all. These numbers were certainly mine.
My neighbors and I spent the entire day building a fence with the kids; we had a blast. And at 6pm, another number from the sequence, we decided to have some margaritas and enjoy some porch time. Margaritas, the first and last drink the addict made for me, while still hiding his big secret. It was at that moment, I decided to share with them how special of a day it was for me. 1216 days since I made the decision to leave the alcoholic behind. 1216 days since I started a new journey and never looked back. 1216 days since I gained what we take for granted the most, my freedom. 1216 days since I decided to fully take care of myself and my children while protecting us all from the addict that was in our lives. 1216 days since I could have drinks with friends while enjoying a beautiful day in the comfort of my home with an addict nowhere in sight.
To that we celebrated, laughed, danced, drank, and enjoyed an amazing night!
Cheers to 1216 days of a new chapter in my life!
Written on May 17, 2020. Exactly 912 days after my divorce to an alcoholic was final. There is that magical 12 again. 🙂