If you stay sober long enough, you will run into yourself

     My sports show was canceled two days ago. Honestly, it felt pretty good. I walked away from it two weeks ago, and to hear it was canceled only validated my decision. It might be the single best decision I have made since being sober. And I like to think, that it was canceled because I left. Even though that might not be the case, it just sounds better. Besides, podcasting is the future of radio, just say’in.

   However that is not what brings the tips of my fingers to the keyboard today. I saw myself, yesterday. Like the literal, exact, addict-self who couldn’t stop no matter what.

Part 1:

I never work days at the center, however some financial changes prompted me to pick up some overtime at work. So I picked up a 7-3pm shift, which is really another world compared to always working nights.

The morning humidity added to the already aggravating morning I was having caused by a lack of sleep the night before. I didn’t take enough Seroquel to last me the extra shift. So my mind never really shut off the night before causing me extreme restlessness.

So working days compared to nights is a completely different animal. For example, at night, I stay inside the nurse’s station a lot all the clients are asleep, as to during the day staff has to be on grounds at all times. There is also no management at night. You are your own boss. However during the day, you rack up around ten counselors, plus directors of this and directors of that and directors of directors! During the night, your radio never goes off. It’s just you. Now that I think of it, I have no idea why I caring the extra weight at night. But just like everything else, during the day the radio doesn’t shut-up!

“We need a male RA up at detox to assistant with a client, please,” the radio shouted! (I threw in the word please).

“I’m on my way!” Anytime, and I mean anytime in life, you get a chance to drive a little white golf cart, you take it!

My motives, of course were ulterior. A few weeks right after the thunder storms that ravished through South Texas, a baby deer was found wandering on the property right next to ours. The clients and I started feeding it apples and slices of bread and it eventually started eating right our of our hands. So figuring upper management would probably not be to impressed with all the clients food we were feeding, “Challenge,” that’s my name for her, I went and bought a bag of deer feed. (you haven’t lived until you have walked into a grocery store and ask, where do you keep the deer feed, and the clerk point you to aisle eight!). So going up to detox meant feeding Challenge, and since I don’t smoke, that’s kind of my cigarette break.

So I filled up the red Folgers container and headed towards the back fence line. On the way, a smoke shack for clients was on the left. One person I could see, slouched over in the chair. I walked passed him not even making eye contact. Just wanted to feed my deer. As I walked back I noticed he was gone. I turned back on my radio and walked into detox.

Emily’s hair is purple. And it matched her scrubs. It was actually kind of pretty. So I let the usual joke go.

“What’s up?”

“Hey, so we got a client, he’s in room 4c, and we need to get a UDS from him but he’s totally out of it and completely hallucinating.”

I grabbed the cup and walked into room 4. It was empty. Three unmade beds and random clothes and shoes on the floor was all. As I started to walk out, a noise from the bathroom startled me.

“Hello?” I said.

I slowly walked toward the bathroom, cup in left hand, radio in right hand with my index finger lightly on the trigger.

“Hello?” I said.

My palms sweaty and my heart raced. It’s the first time I felt uneasy at work. I just felt weird. I’ve worked detox a lot, and I’ve seen a lot lives come and go. A lot of “day one’s.” Pretty roughed up. No one really has shocked me or got me thinking. Yeah I get the usual resentment because people are using and I cant, but nothing I cant work out myself.

A man suddenly popped out from behind the bathroom door. I dropped the cup and took a step back. My finger now tight on the trigger. Any type of noise at all, all staff could here.

I looked back to the room door it was shut. (This was beginning to feel like a movie!) I looked back to the bathroom, and could not believe who I saw.

Keeping it Sober,


Hey everyone, have a great sober fourth of July, and do not forget to check out my “Keeping it Sober” podcast, now available on Itunes or click on my podcast link!!

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"A Legend in my own mind"

4 thoughts on “If you stay sober long enough, you will run into yourself”

  1. J,R Valdes, I’ve been reading and listening to your podcast keeping it sober, episode 2….. It seems to me
    you’ve found the technique to stay sober. Not only you’re winning the battle of solving the problem, but now you
    are helping others who are looking for help and encouragement to stay sober. Congratulations! You’re in
    the enviable position where you love what you’re doing and helping others. Your uncle Osvaldo (Valdo) Valdez.

    1. Thank you so much for your support! I really appreciate you taking the time to listen to my podcast and read my blog. Hopefully my experience can help!

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