This past Friday night, as I watched the opening ceremonies, I realized that I missed an entire Olympics four years ago. I had no idea of this fact until I was watching the ceremonies. I even had to look up where the previous Olympics were held in 2008. Apparently they were held in Beijing. Who knew? Looks like the rest of the world was aware of this fact.
This is significant because I always loved the Olympics. I remember my first Olympics that got my attention in 1984. I even bought a handbook with all the rules for every game in the Olympics. I held court in our living room with my Smurf sleeping bag for the entire run of the games. Though I am not an athlete, I love watching people strive for something they believe in, and I’ve always appreciated seeing people perform at the height of their passion. I have a soft spot for dreamers, and Olympians are dreamers just like us writers and artists.
But, I missed an entire Olympics in 2008. This fact is still amazing to me even as I type this post. The larger question is what happened?
Addictions happened. While the Olympics were taking place in Beijing I was about to hit bottom with my alcoholism and sex addiction, and I did hit bottom on August 28, 2008.
In retrospect, I can see that I replaced my passions with addictions to the point that there was little left of the real me. So, let it be a cautionary tale, if you find yourself setting your passions aside, ask yourself why. And, most importantly, what is replacing your passion?
I hope that every Olympics for the rest of my life I find myself sober on all addictive fronts, and pursuing all of my passions.
(Photo credit: Andrea Vascellari)