I was awoken at one minute past midnight to find my naked wife with a grin from ear-to-ear holding a cupcake with a single lit candle. She was sitting cross legged before me the candle light shown her face to me. My mind raced. It’s not my birthday and for some reason that I couldn’t think of why today was a reason to celebrate. Her nakedness is very distracting and my brain was still not yet engaged.

By candle light I could read her lips. “Happy 1000 days” is what she said to me and it all came racing back as my mind woke up. It had been 1000 days without a lesson carved into my skin. 1000 days since my last lesson in pain. 1000 days ago today I drove an 8-inch butcher knife into my chest in an attempt to claim my own life because I could no longer stand the pain.

I touch my chest where the scar was and can still be felt slightly between the ribs. That cost me 7 minutes flat lined, a month in ICU, a month in SCU and 8 months in a psych ward. It also gave me a chance to live the life I’ve only dreamed of.

1000 days! I thought.

That was the last time I cut myself and the last time I hurt myself. And it’s been one thousand days. Seems appropriate that she’s the first person I celebrated with since she’s been there through it all. Every moment of my life she’s been my constant; always there and always present. She’s been there through the worst of times. So it’s only fitting she’s there in the best of times.

This is certainly one of the best of times.

A smile crossed my lips and I blew out the candle. And my wife fed me the cupcake she put half in my mouth and the other half with hers. And our lips met in the middle and for a moment I forgot how to breathe. For a moment I forgot why I was eating a cupcake at midnight in bed with my naked wife. For a moment all I remember is the touch of her lips and the beat of her heart.

When our cupcake was gone and our kiss was done, I remembered how to breathe again. I guess I had frosting on my face and my wife thought it would be fun to lick it off. There She Goes making me forget how to breathe again! So I find myself wondering how many other people does that happen to?

When your spouse, the person you’ve always dreamed about. When they kiss you do you forget your name? Do you forget how to breathe? Do you forget the other people watching? For me the world disappears and all I can think is my god she’s kissing me! I forgot my name and I forget to breathe. I’m willing to bet my heart even stands still forgetting how to beat.

This is the Sarah I know, the Sarah I love. The one who captivates my every sense and commands my mind to be at ease. This is the Sarah who with just one touch ends the world’s problems and everything I thought I knew becomes irrelevant in the moment. The one who’s touch causes my mind in a single moment to be blank and void of any thought but thoughts of her and memories of and longing for her touch.

In that moment; lost to all time. She is all I can think about. In her eyes I can see the truth and in her heart I can feel her love.

Tonight it was just that way. I forgot why I was celebrating, I forgot how to breathe and I forgot my own name. And for a moment I knew a perfect love. For a moment I knew peace in her touch, truth in her eyes and love in her heart.

So it’s been 1000 days and there is much reason to celebrate that. Yet I find myself awestruck buy one cupcake, one candle and one kiss. And now I find myself yearning for 2000 days. Perhaps I’ll get two cupcakes, two candles and two kisses?

To be totally truthful. We’ve had a week-long celebration leading up to this moment. Every day in the past 7 days we’ve done a little something special.

On Friday March 3rd my wife and I went dancing. She held me close and she told me how proud she was of me and how happy she is to be my spouse. She held me close and we danced the entire night away. I’m so glad I finished my competition earlier that day so I could enjoy all night with her.

On Saturday March 4th she took me to see Logan. We shared a popcorn we held hands and we watched a great movie. We walked hand in hand to the movie, we talked over lunch and we laughed a lot. I treasure our time alone.

On Sunday March 5th she had flowers waiting at the hotel in Argentina. The card in them said “You’re so close and I love you. Keep fighting!”. On the back of the card it said “I believe in you. I’ve always believed in you, Yours forever, Sarah”. And that made me cry.

On Monday March 6th while I was out scoping the beach my wife made me homemade lasagna and garlic bread. My favorite meal in the world. When I got home that evening my family and my brother Frank’s family sat and enjoyed lasagna prepared in my honor. My wife and my brother Frank lead a prayer thanking God for intervening in my life and for saving me that night. And they thank God for giving their children an example someone willing to fight addiction and win. I cried that night because I know I’m unworthy of such praise..

On Tuesday March 7th first day of my competition in Argentina my wife was there to celebrate with me as I had the most incredible run of my life. After coming in 5th in Chile I had to run that would have made a pro proud and scored a 9.8. As I reached the shore and saw the number I began to celebrate. As I celebrated I didn’t see my wife as she landed in my arms so hard it knocked me over. Her, myself, and her camera hit the water. It ruined her beautiful camera. I guess I’ll have to buy her a new one. On that day the best run of my life I was surrounded by many of the people who love me and the cheerleader who’s been by my side since before I could crawl. My wife Sarah.

On Wednesday March 8th we listened to #TheAshholes together. We shared some grape juice and an evening walk on the beach, just Sarah and I. Which by the way is one of my favorite activities for the two of us. She held my hand and in the moonlight she kissed me and she took me by the face and looked me in the eyes and told me “That’s 999 days”. And I smiled and said “I have one more that I have to get”. She said “No we have many more we have to celebrate and I’ll be here for every one of them”. She placed a hand on my heart and guided me to sit. We sat and talked that night on the beach and I had my second really good run earlier that day and it was just a perfect day, capped by a perfect night with Sarah.

It’s funny how she can control my every move and capture my every thought with a single movement. Her hand on my chest and my body obeyed her command to sit. Without a word my body obeyed her. She has such power over me as to control even my body without a word and it obeys without a question. With a look, a touch, a smile or a single moment shared. She can stop my heart, make me forget my pain and tantalize me with but a touch.

We talked for hours and it was kind of late when we got home. About 10 o’clock and I still have to surf the next day so I knew I needed some sleep. I should be a good girl and as such I went to bed. Only to be awoken two hours later so that she could be the first one to celebrate 1000 days with me.

That brings us to right now. I’m so happy. I got to celebrate 1000 days first with my wife and I know there will be a big breakfast waiting and they’ll be more partying today.

I’m hoping to celebrate this 1000 days with another 1st place victory. It will be only my second in my career. Today is a day of Triumph and I cry looking back on the road that got me here. I’ll probably cry a lot today. Tears of joy, tears of pain, tears of Triumph, and tears of disappointment. There are so many emotions already floating through my head and they seem to hit me all at one time.

Tears of joy that I finally got to 1000 days without cutting myself or hurting myself. Joy in the celebration with loved ones, and in the perfect start to such a day.

Tears of Sorrow and pain at the years I spent punishing myself for things that weren’t my fault. Sorrow that I was so lost for so long and so many suffered watching me unable to help me.

Tears of disappointment in myself for all those years spent lost. All those years feeling I was unlovable. All the while love and the path back were hidden in plain sight and I was to injured to see. The blood in my eyes fogged my vision and fooled my mind.

Tears of Triumph for this day Marks 1000 victories over addiction. 1000 victories in a row after so much failure and so much pain. I can’t begin to count this blessing but as 1000 little blessings and to pray for 1000 more.

Yes I know there will be a lot of crying today.

Most of all I know I’m the Champion today! How many can claim to have a thousand straight victories? Today I can claim such an achievement. I’ve placed my wife on notice then when I hit 2000 expect two cupcakes, two candles and two kisses.

And with that incentive I will make two thousand. I’ll see you all there.

There will likely be another post coming today but I just had to post this hopefully I’ll be more coherent in my next post. I’ve had 2 hours sleep and been oxygen deprived for several minutes at a time tonight as I forgot a number of times how to breathe. I’m sure you can forgive this post. 🙂

Love and peace your friend forever,