So after nine years of sobriety, and four solid years at the career, and what now, five years since the original release of Hippopotamus Sea: My Viral Sobriety, I have finally had a professional editor take a look at, and work on the book, and it is finished. Well everything but the title.
It will be fun to re-release and see if the more simplified title gets any better traction, and will also be therapeutic to be able to say, OK, this is now finally done.
Life is good, and just as promised, had I wished for everything I currently have in early sobriety, I would have sold myself short. I am the top software salesman in a half a billion dollar company and I travel the perfect amount of time, about once every two months to major cities, New York, LA, Vegas, Chicago and I do software presentations for an industry I enjoy, commercial construction.
My health scare of last year, the imminent Aortic heart valve leak, and 4 aneurysms, turns out to be manageable, and only prevents me from lifting weights, which is fine, tho I do miss it slightly, and gives me a pool as the next goal on the new house I bought. They really did scare me though, last year told me open heart surgery was imminent, but I guess the issues didn’t grow in a years time so I just have large heart valves, sort of like my 17.5 inch neck, guess I’m just short and stocky, and it messes with their measurements. Whatever, I’m glad I’m not getting a new titanium heart valve that is all I know. Guess I quit cocaine and drinking and smoking not a moment too soon!
The house, has been a challenge, but one I’m almost embarrassed to talk about because it is such a first world privilege problem. First of all I didn’t want to buy a suburban house, and so my sister turned me on to a Mid-Century Modern neighborhood in Atlanta, and I absolutely love it. The flat roofs accentuates the sound of rain and you can even hear the sound of leaves and flotsam from the trees falling. The architecture is clean lines and interior wood ceilings, tongue and groove, and to match those, I just spent a week off of work building out a cedar tongue and groove closet, and my carpentry skills aren’t quite what they used to be but again, quality problems, and in the big scheme of things, they turned out great.
I know everyone will laugh at my modern toilets, square, that I had installed, peoples first reaction is always, “Are those comfortable? Does the square hurt your ass?” This is hilarious to me because of course the actual seat you sit on isn’t square, but people are programmed to see their cookie cutter toilet, and anything outside the norm is considered weird, but I absolutely love it. The new custom bathroom has been an enormous task, and has been fraught with challenges at every turn, but we’re almost finished with it, and its all going to turn out splendidly I believe. Modern clean lines, with porcelain tile throughout the customized shower, with body spray, marble bench and a nice marble modern vanity, with clean horizontal and vertical lines on the modern lighting as well. the first attempt at cutting the marble vanity was a fail, they split the marble piece in my driveway on Wednesday. Oh well! Shit happens, and again such a luxurious problem it’s petty even bitching about, except that I took the whole week off working on the closet, and managing the process, but such is life.
At the end of the day I am blessed beyond belief. My sobriety, and journey from Hep C to being cured has been all worth the fight and then some. I know sobriety is all about spirituality, but money in the bank, real money, also changes a lot of things for you as well, and I could have never gotten to this level of success while still drinking and drugging, or worse, while dying of Hepatitis C. Sure, the treatments are easier, less expensive and less time consuming as Interferon was 8 years ago even, but it doesn’t make my story any less poignant.
Coming from living in a rat infested shack with no health insurance, to getting sober, beating Hep C, writing a book, launching a successful software sales career and moving into the house of my dreams, and working on it slowly but surely, is all worth telling people about. There is no lack of come backs stories in the United States, and in the world, but God’s greatness is always worth discussing, so I’ll relaunch the book here shortly, with a better, well less subtle title, and perhaps get a little more traction than last time.
And even if not, at least with a professional editor behind it this time, I’ll feel like I can go on to write the next thing, hopefully some Science Fiction I can turn into a successful series! And also under my real name.
-Jared Bryan Smith