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"The Recovery Struggle" by Walter Richters

Gary Miller

It seems as though everyone is recovering from something. It may be substance abuse, other kinds of abuse, loss of a loved one, a tragedy, unlucky circumstance, or the pain we have caused by our own hands. I unfortunately am juggling with recovery from all of these things. But the most powerful struggle of my life is dealing with the pain of my own actions. I never wanted to know I could caused so much damage in so many lives including the life I accidentally but absent-mindedly took. I never wanted to believe I could be a monster or a heinous villain as the media has presented me to society both locally and globally. I always believed that in my core I was a good person with good intentions. Sadly the old cliché rings true in my case. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. And to amplify the treachery of that road, it was also made slick with the woeful union of vodka and benzodiazepines. My crime has changed me. I can never be the same person who was free from guilt, shame, and persecution. A youthful part of me has died.

 

My religious belief tells me that I could never be worthy f the level and depths of the creator’s mercy and love that he offers. The a great sacrifice was made to pay in advance of the transgressions of mankind and the dark ripple effect caused by their actions. I am to believe that because I am repentant, truly seek to be forgiven and thereafter work towards helping my fellow human beings, which is all true; that the symbolic blood stains on my hands have been washed away. However I cannot seem to forgive myself as much as God is willing to forgive me. Self-forgiveness is a jagged and sharp horse pill to swallow.

I cannot envision a life where everything important to me isn’t touched by the death of Isaac. How can I enjoy anything I used to again? How can I just laugh and make other people laugh? Who do I think I am? How can I enjoy Christmas again, when the holiday focuses around the birth of a young, pure, and innocent life? How can I walk in faith that God is with me when a passage from the Bible states that it is better to wear a millstone around my neck and drown myself in the deepest ocean than to hurt one of God’s precious children?

I am told life will go on. That one day I will let myself off the hook. One day I will be out of prison. Christmases will come and go. Events in life will transpire. And I will do good works according to any kind of divine inspiration I may receive. I am told time heals all wounds. But I cannot see a day when the wound will cease to hurt. The wound caused by taking a young life will still bleed and ache. I am told that I should remember that it wasn’t malicious, that it was accidental. And that is true. It was not malicious. But that does not seem to soften the blow. After a year and half of deliberation I have decided that I will continue to live. Not because I deserve to. Rather because if I take my own life, then evil wins a double victory. While I may be worth little, God can still bring good things out of me. And honestly I believe I own that to him and will continue to owe that to God for the remainder of my days. I am not important, but the helping of others is.