There and Back AgainJuly 14, 2014 12:22 pm Leave your thoughts
When I was little there was something that I looked forward to every single summer. Without fail, I would look forward to the day that I got to board a plane and fly across the country. Every summer we would go to Maine to see family that we had there.
We went every summer. It all started when I was about 5 years old and lasted until I was 15 years old. The summers were filled with family, friends, the outdoors and pretty much everything that could make a summer for a kid like me. Other kids that I knew went to Hawaii, New York City, camping, winter skiing trips… but I always thought that my vacation was so much better then theirs.
People would ask where I was going and I would let them know. They would say how beautiful that Bar Harbor was and a lll that I could tell them was… “Yeah, I know… I have family there..”
The last time that I was in Bar Harbor was when I was 27 years old. The year was 2007 and it was the last year of my drinking. I was there for over a week but I have no recollection of anything that I did there…. except drink. This was the summer before I would hit my bottom very hard.
If you can imagine a very small vacation town were pretty much EVERYTHING gets around very fast. If someone trips and falls it is probably going to be in the newspaper the next day and your family is going to know even before you walk in the door. The town is very little and everything goes around.
My behavior got around the town. My alcoholic adventures were pretty legendary. I remember staying in a hotel on one of the main streets in Bar Harbor. The bars were a bit further down the street from my hotel but they were close enough to walk to. You can walk to everything in the town because its so small.
I was out very late every night. Staggering my way back to my hotel after a night of heavy drinking. That was the story of the last year of my drinking. Staggering home from whatever bar I was drinking at the night before.
This year, I went back for the first time since that summer. Over 6 years of sobriety was under my belt.
It was like I was seeing it for the first time with a new set of eyes… because that was what exactly was happening. I was seeing it with the eyes of a kid who was on his summer vacation. There are so many beautiful things to see that I just glossed over the last time that I was there. My eyes were filled with an alcoholic fog that was difficult to clear in the days that I was there in 2007.
So many things have changed since that year.