My trip to Miami and South Beach for the NBA Finals has been unique for me on a couple levels. The obvious is that this Dallas Mavericks playoff run has been an incredible experience. It has brought the city and fans together like no sporting event I have ever seen including the 2006 run. It has infused the city of Dallas with vigor and buzz.
The second is that the 2011 Finals mark a huge sobriety milestone for me in coming to Miami. I did not come to the 2006 Finals in Miami. I did not come, because I did not think I could handle it from a sobriety standpoint. As I write this, I have been sober for over 4 years. I was not sober in 2006 but I wanted to be.
In the years running up to the 2006 Finals, I was a regular visitor to South Beach. I was also regularly drunk and hungover every night and morning I was here. Sometimes wandering the streets in the early a.m because I was too drunk to remember where I was staying. Once I got sober, I thought it best not to return to the scene of the crime and much stupidity for a while. Too many temptations. Too much fire to burn me. I stayed away for 5 years. I took the same tact with Vegas where I also did a lot of damage to my body and wallet. I finally did return to Vegas for a convention 3 years into my sobriety It was a completely different experience sober. I considered it a milestone in my recovery. I want to live life without being afraid of myself and situations. Now comes South Beach. Not a problem at all. Spent Saturday night in my hotel room watching the tube. Not because I was afraid of putting myself in the insanity pot but because I had no desire to. Another milestone. Hoping the Mavs achieve their milestone while I am here, bringing back the Larry O’Brien Trophy. I will have a Diet Coke to celebrate.