What does it mean to walk the Intentional Path? For me, it is about taking responsibility for your choices and life, and moving forward with intention, focus and compassion for yourself and others. This can show up in many ways and each one of us will have a different path to walk. The first step of this, is the hardest. It takes admitting you are not happy, not following your true guidance and living life as a victim to your circumstances. It went a little something like this for me:
In January of 2012, I found myself with a raging headache, feeling ill, and feeling like I did not deserve to be where I was. I was foggy, trying to remember exactly where I was and why they kept waking me up to take my blood pressure and make me blow into a machine. I couldn’t exactly remember how I got there, the last thing I remember with certainty was the shot of 100 proof liquor I drank at last call. I had flashes of arguing with the bouncer, blowing a tire, pulling over and crying, followed by flashes of the police officer waking me up in my car and asking me to walk a line, which I could not do. I do remember telling him something to the effect of “I know I’m fucked, just take me in and give me a blood test.” This was something I remembered from my first DUI that had happened 14 years prior. My lawyer told me that blood tests were the best way to go. I also have a flash of getting to detox and having my first breathalyzer test done and then finally getting to sleep. I couldn’t get over the fact that I was here. I was sleeping in my car; that doesn’t deserve a DUI.
I had to call in to work and call my very recent ex-wife and tell her I would not be picking my daughter up that day. Once I sobered up, I had to call my dad, which is another story entirely, to come get me. He was super supportive and helped me out. I stuck to my story of sleeping in my car and how I was a victim, that I was being responsible and shouldn’t be punished for that. I was right, dammit. The system is so screwed up!! I went through all the bureaucracy of the court system over the next few months. Got the blood test back, it was much higher than we anticipated. My lawyer advised me to take the first offer the DA gave, because it was not going to get any better. I got 30 days house arrest, (ankle monitor) 2 years probation, the longest track of rehab and relapse prevention they offer, mandatory drug tests for 2 years, lost my driver’s license for 1 year, followed by 2 years of an Interlock system, (a breathalyzer that doesn’t allow you to start your car unless you are sober), community service and a $1200 ticket. And, I had to pay for everything as well. The commercials are correct, it cost me somewhere around $10,000 when it was all said and done.
I started rehab in August of 2012 after my house arrest was over. At this point, I was still angry, still being a victim. I had a bunch of paperwork to fill out to get started. One of the questions was, “what do you think the impact of your crime is on your community?” I balked at that question initially. For some reason, it continued to nag me for the next week until I started the group therapy classes. What I realize now was happening, is that question sliced a hole in my victimhood. In that first group session, I decided that I was going to take this opportunity to learn about myself, to feel the things I hid with alcohol and other disassociating behaviors and see where that led me. I realized that I was not happy. I was not taking control of my life and hadn’t been for many years. I was hiding from shame. I was holding on to so much pain that I was methodically choosing ways to punish myself because I didn’t think I deserved anything better. This was my first awakening to presence and intention.
Nate Ewert, RMT. Owner of Somatic Synergies Integrated Bodywork and Intentional Path Wellness; Founder of Denver Hiking Club.