“I thought that I’d live long enough that the light would come shining through…..Don’t this look like the dark” (Magnolia Electric Co – Don’t it Look Like the Dark)
Jason Molina sang those lyrics with a pain in his voice that was tangible. The first time I heard it, I understood what he was going through. The pain of defeat. The hopelessness, emptiness, and despair that accompany a battle with addiction.
In the next song on the album, he sings “I didn’t choose to go down this road, no one chooses to be sick.” (North Star)
He died on March 16th, 2013. He was 39 years old. His cause of death: organ failure caused by alcohol consumption.
My last drink was June 19th, 2011. It wasn’t my first attempt to quit and it certainly wasn’t easy, but it was absolutely worth it. I have little doubt that my life would have ended tragically otherwise.
I am writing this blog because so many of my heroes, like Jason Molina, have shared their stories. So many have shared their pain, their experience. A lot of them didn’t make it. Some of them have. In either case, the people who have put their stories out there for the world to see have had a profound influence on my life. Their stories are the reason I have decided to share mine.
I am writing this because too many people have been taken from us by this awful disease.
I am writing this because I lived to tell the tale.
Most of all, I am writing for the people who are still struggling. I am writing this for you, with hopes that it provides you some hope. Some strength. Something to relate to. I am writing this so that you might feel less alone.
I despise addiction. I hate it. I want to fight it. I want to help you fight it. I want to inspire someone to make the change. To face this monster head on and beat it into remission. I want to share my experience with life before, during, and after it was controlled by alcoholism. I want to share with you what comes after the dark. I know that it is overwhelming to ask someone to change their entire life based on the words of a stranger- to say “trust me, change everything, it will be worth it” – so I won’t do that. I will just tell you some stories, and hope they help you see it for yourself.
Addiction is a chronic, progressive and ultimately fatal disease if left untreated. I believe that it tried to kill me, and I believe that if you are suffering from addiction, it will eventually try to kill you too.
No matter how dark it gets, there is hope.
The sun will rise.
You just have to find a place to see it.