As I moved in the dark murky cellar: damp, dirty, and dusty cobwebs start touching my head.  They were sticking to my face and wrapping around my head.  The more I moved, the more entangled I became.  This maze of deep infestation turned into such a thick foliage of filth that I was fighting to breathe and open my eyes.  I was fighting to move.  In the distance  . . . . . .a noise, a horrible sound, getting louder and louder.  I was beyond the fear and panic that engulfed me earlier.  With all my might, I struggled in the darkness to get away from that noise.

     The drum. . . . . .drum. . . . . .drumming, the pounding in my head; the room spun slowly and wasn't quite in focus as I struggled to sit up and shut that alarm off.  I know I'm in my bedroom but not quite sure how I got there.  Is it Saturday or Sunday?  Boy!  Does my head hurt. . . . . .unbearable pain.  I better move to the bathroom and take some aspirin. . . . . .Hair of the dog might make me right, NAH!  Gotta see my daughter today and I don't need to smell of booze and start getting into that habit.

     Just another glass of water and I'm sure I'll feel normal shortly.  Oooh...my head... Where are my cigarettes?  A smoke should make me feel normal (recollections of the night before still remain partial and fuzzy). . .Boy, my head feels like it's gonna explode, maybe another cigarette. . . .OH-MAAN!  This cigarette tastes worse than the first.  I'm not sure --I think I'm losing consciousness.

     My breathing isn't right, my heart is beating funny, I can't see clearly, my vision isn't complete and my whole body feels like it is getting numb.  My life. . . .my life is being. . . .I think I'm dying.  I'm gonna die.  I can't!  I won't see my daughter grow up, I won't be there for my family--I don't want to die!  Oh God, Oh God --Oh please God, please don't let me die --let me live.  let me make it through the day and live' I'll change my ways forever and never drink or smoke again.  Let me live to raise my daughter and be with my wife.  My God, I'm sorry for offending thee!  Please help me!

     God told me to help myself.  "Well," I not only offended God but I offended myself.  The greatest gift we have is ourselves, our life!  No one better to take care of it than ourselves, not the doctors, not the pharmacists or the surgeons.  If we took care in the first place, we wouldn't be looking to get patched up.  You see: once you get on that downward spiral of medications and doctor visits, the medical community owns you.  It is hard to get off that ride once you enlist.  Being a nurse for years, I decided to rehabilitate and educate myself opting not to elicit the medical establishment.

     Up to this point in my life, I thought I was in good shape, on top of my game, and going to live a long life.  I've been an athlete -- a jock forever.  I was aware of diet and I thought I knew it all (arrogant and cocky).  Always thinking that a good workout (perceived as good) would counteract any diet atrocities, any weekend alcohol consumption, cigarettes smoked, long hours, or extended periods of inactivity; I continued on the wrong path.  Being such a sap cost me years of premature aging and almost cost my years of life!

     What could I have been thinking?  Did I think I had plenty of life left, plenty of time to make up for the wrongs, plenty of time to quit the bad habits before it was too late?  I lived a big lie.  I lived in denial, I gave in to every life draining desire there was.  For whatever reason, I was plucked from the depths of hell and spared an early demise.  I now honor that incident by speaking and following the word of good health and clean daily living.

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A Labor of Love by. . .