It wasn’t a phase.

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After my physical for college the doctor asked me if there was anything else. At 18 I was alienated from every body and everything. I felt left behind and isolated. I express this to him and he dismissively told me it was a phase.

This left me on my own, to man-up as best I could. No hint where to look. Ministers said pray, parents said be patient and my peers seemed to be as lost as I was.

It has taken me years to get passed the alienation, depression and addiction. Lack of guidance made the struggle more difficult. Relief may have taken longer than necessary.

What helped?

Falling into a treatable condition called addiction to alcohol and tobacco.

I initially was treated for and dealt with alcohol through that anonymous 12 Step program (which I continue to use today). After 16 years of sobriety I was able to quit smoking.

Getting rid of tobacco and the withdrawal from nicotine exposed my clinical depression. This took 10 years and hundreds of hours of individual and group therapy to learn to deal with.

As part of my therapy I was propelled into a spiritually based life through the use of myths and folktales through the organization A Gathering of Men, Inc.

I have been a part of A Gathering of Men since its inception and continue to be passionate about its work today.

For me it was the chaos and pain of my life that led me to embrace the spiritual.

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