Fight For Your Life: An Addiction Story

In honor of #NationalRecoveryMonth and the 20th Anniversary of my dad’s passing, I shared bits and pieces of his battle with addiction…a battle he lost.

Eddie Spooner was an incredibly talented songwriter and musician who so many others saw as a kind and gentle soul…yet he could not see those traits in himself.

I’ve spent years pouring over his journals, looking for hints as to why he couldn’t seem to kick his addiction even though it was clearly killing him, and one thing stood out to me. His writing talks about fighting for his family, beating addiction in order to make his father proud, or being a better man for his wife and kids. He never once mentions wanting to fight for his own life.

For reasons I may never know, my dad never saw himself as worth saving. He saw all his faults and his mistakes, and let those cancel out all the good people saw in him. For those fighting addiction and struggling with recovery, I have one small piece of advice…before you fight for other people, fight for yourself.

You can’t be there for the people you care about if you don’t think you deserve a life free of addiction and demons and pain. You do. You are enough. Yes, there are people who need you, but you need to take care of yourself and recognize the beauty and strength and fire in yourself before you can be there for them.

My dad said, “would give my last breath to help if I could…” Maybe this is how he helps. This lesson that he never learned and I now share with you.

He loved helping others and if this message helps one person, he would be happy.

“Grant me the gift to open others eyes

Give me the vision to understand why

The weak and the lonely, the drugged

And the blind can’t find the courage

To at least try I’d give my last breath

To help if I could

Without your loving touch

I’m afraid I’m no good

Could I offer myself

Would it ease someone’s strife

I’ve been oh so selfish

Never thought of anyone else

I think I have changed now

See it on my heart, and with

Your guidance just one small start”

-Eddie Spooner

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