Thursday, August 30, 2012


In keeping with Zak's wish that these chronicles help you know a little more about me, I want this time to write about something I'm doing now instead of about long long ago.  For a while now I have been spending Tuesday afternoons at the White County jail talking one on one with inmates who are looking for help in dealing with their alcohol and /or drug problems.  I'm not a psychologist or licensed addictions counselor or anything like that, simply an alcoholic who has been in recovery for a long time.  In the parlance of the recovery program that saved my life, I am trying to "share the experience, strength and hope" that I have found to help others.  Talking with these, mostly young, men does a great deal for me. The feedback that I get from them and other people associated with the jail says they are benefiting as well.  My hope, of course, is that I will play a part in their beginning a lifelong recovery from their addiction.  What I know is happening is that I am getting the opportunity to give back something, no matter how small, in exchange for the multitude of blessings/gifts that recovery has granted to me.

Those blessings and gifts are the core of what I talk about in these sessions.  I know it is useless to tell these guys, "You should do this," or "You should do that."  Instead, I try to tell them what I have done to overcome my addiction to alcohol and what the rewards have been. Rewards such as: I am still married; your grandmother and I just celebrated our 38th anniversary.  It is not possible that she would have continued to put up with me the way I was when I was drinking.   Thanks to recovery, I have a positive relationship with your dad and his brothers.  They even sometimes ask for my opinion or advice.  I was able to finish a thirty year working career at Caterpillar so that I now have a comfortable retirement.  Last but not least, I have not died of some alcohol related cause.  I surely would have been dead years ago if I had not found recovery.

Talking about the benefits of recovery will, I hope, encourage the guys I'm talking with to continue their own efforts to recover.  I know it helps me to appreciate the life that I now have.  I embrace life the same way that someone who has survived a life threatening disease or near fatal accident does.  Every day is a gift and every smile and friendly word a reward.  I love the life I have now and am grateful every day for the blessings that I have been given.

Of course I hope that none of you ever have need of a recovery program.  On the other hand, I would love for you to be able to see the world as I do. 

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on your success - and the contribution you are making to others!