JOURNEY OF AN ADDICT: Columns by Phillip Lee
Background information on Phillip Lee is here.
The Journey of an Addict
(The Road to Real Recovery)
By Phillip Lee
Hello, my name is Phillip Lee. I’m an author and a columnist. More importantly I am also an addict. I would like to take this opportunity to write a little story, in hopes that it might reach the one or ones who need it the most today. I am a client at Hickory Hills Recovery and Treatment Center in Eastern Kentucky. This is a long-term treatment house for men who, like myself, suffer from the disease of addiction.
Now, I know that some who read this may stop right here and say; “OK, I don’t want to read another word. Addiction is not a disease.” What I usually say to that is, absolutely nothing. Each person on God’s green earth has the free will and choice to decide if they believe addiction is a disease or not. I’m not here to debate anyone. I’m quite simple, just a guy with a pen who would much rather remain anonymous than anything; however, that is not possible if I wish to publish my work -- so it may reach others in newspapers, . Iin hopes of helping someone in need.
Today, I experience many different emotions and feelings that normal folks, those who don’t suffer from this disease, feel on a regular basis -- experiences we addicts lose somewhere along the way. But, hey; if my path in life has led me to this place, at this time, then I am both honored and very humbled to have the great opportunity to see and experience such transformations and great events within quality human life. Yes! I have seen failures and stumbles along the way. But WOW!!! I have experienced greatness during my short time here.
For example: I’ve watched a large group of both mentally and financially broken men rally together and combine their efforts to financially help another client regain his freedom from what could have led this young man down a long road of undeserving trials and tribulations. Another example: A small group of folks in the nearby community bought a client a new and very, very nice pair of shoes, simply because they saw what the client did, even when he was unaware of anyone else around to see it.
You see, this client had noticed a very poor man in the nearby community walking around in very worn out and distressed shoes. The client, without giving thought or second instinct to his own comfort, walked over and gave the gentleman in discomfort and need the very shoes off his feet. To many, this man would have been marked up and chalked off as a man of bad character, based solely on what the thought they knew or have seen from someone in active addiction.
To this I must ask each of you; does this sound like a man of bad character? Does this sound like a man who should be thrown to the wolves for the slaughter? Does this sound like the kind of man you would rather not have in your communities? To me, it simply sounds like he’s a man who, through this program, has discovered his heart and true passion for his fellow.
I’ve seen many great acts of both kindness and love, while here. I’ve seen and felt the spirit of God while here. I feel it even now as I write this small story for you. You see folks, most of us here are not bad people at heart. Most here would much rather lift another up than to tear him down. We do suffer from a disease, and it is called addiction – and, yes, we have lost our way. But here, we are found. Here we are given every tool needed to recover and maintain and treat our disease. Here, we are taught how to utilize these tools in the most effective manner once we rejoin the communities in which we live. We are taught how to use these tools to regain our sanity and to gain or regain our love for life, in general. And here, we are taught how to reconnect with reality, entirely.
So, if you know someone who is living the life of a using addict here in Kentucky, there are several Kentucky Recovery Centers all across the state like this one, where new life is born, every day.