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Monday, January 31, 2011


Why me? I have often asked myself that question, as I know others who have found recovery have done as well. Why were we able to quit and others are still out there, pounding their heads against the wall as it were? Some of them have had many chances to quit yet they just can't do it.

Their stories can be tough to take to take: A guy who had been sober for nearly 20 years and decides one day to drink...and wraps his car around a tree that very first night and dies....a true story.

A guy I'd met, who was somewhere in his mid 40's I would say, flirts with recovery for years, has many people who care about him trying to help him...he even stays sober for long stretches of time but just can't seem to find what he is looking for. He gets hit by a truck walking a dark lonely road back to his rent by the week motel.

How about a fellow, a very respected business man in a small  W Michigan town. He stays sober for over ten years, has many friends in recovery...he goes on vacation to his Mother's Condo in Florida, ends up using cocaine (turns out he was secretly using drugs for years but not drinking) and his family finds him after he blew his brains out with a shotgun. I knew him for years....none of his friends knew he was struggling or using drugs, we just didn't know. the rest of us was a great FAKER, he lied his way to his own death...I still can't believed that happened and it's been almost 2 years.

Then there was the 17 nearly 18 year old woman, who was one of the most artistic and creative people I have ever known. She struggled with alcohol and drug addiction most of her teenage life but still, she was an amazing person, a very special soul.

The last day of her life she tried convincing a guy to come out and party with her and 2 of their friends. This fellow was one dude who had done the unthinkable: He had gone into a treatment center a short time before and wasn't drinking and drugging anymore. He eventually lied to her and told her he couldn't com, that he had plans with his mum. She and her friends were killed 3 hours later when the car they were driving hit the car of a retired senior citizen, killing all four....The driver (John) and both of the other two kids (Khalid and Debbie) were all legally drunk/high. The retired WWII Vet was driving home from volunteering at his church all morning.

Her name was Debbie Coleman, she was my first girlfriend and my first kiss EVER, way back when we were in Elementary school. Shortly after the 6th grade, she moved away but later came back to our home town Worthington, Ohio. We starting hanging out again in High School....And yea, I was the guy that lied that day. I carried that damn guilt around for years before I realized in sobriety that it wasn't my fault. I used to dream about that church volunteer ever night...

It is quite common for people to find recovery, get their lives in order, make a new life for themselves only to make the mistake so many do and think they've solved their addiction problem. Typically they drink/use again, often with disastrous results.

I don't know why I have been able to stay sober, ODAAT while others can't. I do know it has nothing to do with me being any smarter or better or more lucky...nope, it's because I surrendered to fact that I am powerless over my addiction and I needed the help of a higher power and other recovering addicts to show me the way to freedom, one day at a time...

RIP Deb...


  1. touching story man, sad. it's crazy how things happen in this world we're living in...we are just blips on the screen, extremely small blips - our lives are so insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but we need to appreciate eachother and all that surrounds us. live life brother.

  2. R-Exactly man, we have to take care of one another in this big, bad world. It doesn't take that much effort to be kind, to be a good friend, to just think about someone else for a change then always focusing on our own crazy stuff. I learned that the hard way but also w/the help of a few good friends...

  3. Life is cruel sometimes...I don't know why. But it also gives little gifts by way of whispers. You had a whisper that day when you didnt go. You listened and are here - a grandparent, telling your story, and helping others. Life had plans for you. Keep listening. Its still whispering.

  4. Whispers? I really like that...I've always referred to them as nudges and you couldn't be more right, Sunny. Some are quite subtle and I hadn't a clue until I thought about it later but some are like, KAPOW! And it's really obvious that I should be doing or NOT doing something...
    It's strange though, I used to have very realistic dreams that I would be talking to that old gentleman they killed, trying to explain, telling him how sorry I was all very troubling for a young man who had no idea how to work through trauma and loss. I was sober and already suffering from PTSD from sexual assault but was still years away from receiving any therapy so I was a complete wreck...No coping skills what-so-ever so I just suppressed it all. It's a wonder I didn't just explode...

  5. "There but for the Grace of God go I." I am not a religious person, but this saying bears a lot of weight.

  6. SG- I'm learning that there is a big difference between being religious and being spiritual. Thank God for that difference too, because I've always seen religion has a human thing there fore SERIOULY flawed...
    I think you're right on about that saying, it's very appropriate.