A few years ago, my world was crashing.
I’d met a girl. A fabulous girl. We shared the same interests, the same passions in life. We were Type As who liked the home when we weren’t working. And we liked to drink. And write.
Of course we hit it off instantly and found ourselves in a relationship. Fast. Too fast as it turns out. She was fresh out of a very long relationship and I was just returned from 12 years on the road. Before we knew what happened, we were living together.
It ended. Rapidly. Badly.
And I left. The minute summer came, I climbed in my Pontiac Vibe and set out across the country, determined to change my life (The Year of Action, it was dubbed). I spent the summer exercising, trying to curtail my drinking, attempting to quit smoking.
Mostly, though, I spent the summer calling all my friends and my ex-girlfriends. Asking them for frank assessments of me as a human.
No judgments. No arguments. I actively encouraged them to tell me the things that I was unable to see myself. The resulting three-month trip across the country turned into the Killing Me blog (on MySpace). I wrote about the conversations, the mistakes, the women, the friends. 75,000 words worth.
It was a journey into my head. This helped prepare me for what was coming, although not in the ways I expected. It did help me, when I returned, to realize how much I had loved – still love – that girl. Enough that I was able to let her go. So that she could find her happiness.
A happiness she was able to return to me just a few months later, when my drinking nearly took my life.