Five years ago I was sitting on the edge of my bunk in a noisy barracks at a VA Detox facility in Bedford, Massachusetts. I was full of dread and apprehension.
As I was signing in, they removed my belt and shoe laces and asked me if I had any suicidal thoughts.
They reminded me that I no longer had a choice as to how long I would remain in their care.
I was told to use a walker at all times due to my fragile state of health. I was there to get professional help for addiction to Xanax and alcohol.
I weighed in at 230 pounds and had a blood pressure of 180 over 100.
I was beaten, bloated and oblivious. I was 70 years old.
The coming days and weeks were a blur. There was screaming at night and a flashlight in the face every hour to ask the suicide question. They actually woke me up to inquire. Hmmm.
At one point, in frustration, I yelled, “I’m an American citizen and you can’t keep me here against my will.” They fell out of their chairs laughing,
I was released to a hotel as I had nowhere to live, my marriage was over and all my belongings were in a P.O.D. in Nashua New Hampshire.
When I first caught my naked image in a full length mirror that night, I wept.
The following month I lost ten pounds just from having the shakes.
While walking my dog on a Sunday morning, I stumbled on to a gym just down the street from my apartment. The rest is history.
I needed to get busy if I was going to climb out of my deep, dark hole.
I got certified as a personal trainer and started taking my iron pills religiously. That was almost 70 pounds ago.
Today, as you can see, the human body will always respond to proper care and feeding.