And they said I would never give it up - how wrong they were, "I'm strong, I can control this," I told everyone. "I can pack it in, when I need too."
And so it's done, I am officially retired as a rugby coach, I'm going clean.
The garden is looking good, there are fish in the river waiting to be caught, the honey-do list is getting longer by the day, and I have several books that need to be written. So I have enough for me to be getting on with, and everything is fine and dandy with the world.
I can do this, right?
Two days into retirement and I'm finding it very hard to quit. There are a million rugby thoughts still swimming through my head. I cannot stop watching old games and reading rugby articles, and I cannot shake off the fact that I have suddenly stopped doing something that has consumed many thousands of hours of my life over the past decade or two. Old habits are hard to break.
Tying up loose ends after a pretty successful Collegiate Rugby Championships and staying involved with building up the team's Endowment Fund for the team are fueling my need for a rugby fix for now. But I cannot stop thinking about the 'what ifs' from this past weekend - I keep running through the games in my head, 'What if we had done this, what if we had done that."
And then what happens when the fall season begins? Will I start twitching and rolling about in convulsions come kick off time? Watching replays of the CRC or Johnny Wilkinson winning the world cup in 2003 might be my methadone for now, and its what is stopping me developing the full blown effects of going cold turkey.
But will fresh vegetables from the garden or a fat trout or too be enough to stop me heading back to my old ways when the whistle blows - I guess only time will tell.
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