Business Burnout - Ralph

The Romanian peasant was on his knees, frantically gathering the half-rotten apples strewn all over the mountain road. In the pitch darkness, our rickety little car had plowed into his cart, throwing him off and somersaulting his two horses. As a cold rain and snow fell on this surreal midnight scene, I had never felt less in control. I asked myself, "What in the world am I doing here?"


Saving Grace - Matt

"And it's hard to say who you are these days-but you run on anyway

You keep running for another place to find that saving grace..."

                                                                        Tom Petty, "Saving Grace"

Even though an American rock and roll star wrote this song in 2005, it describes me perfectly in 1982.  I was in high school then in Kansas City.  My life was what every teenager of the 80s desired: I had my drinking buddies, a girlfriend, and I was even captain of the track team. The gods of high school smiled upon me. 


Missing Out - Curt

In High School, I realized that life was passing me by. I became determined to change things, to find fulfillment.  I looked to people who I felt were successful and started to imitate their ways. I changed the way I walked, I learned the "in" things to say and jokes to tell, and I got myself a girl friend. Still, deep inside me, I knew that I was missing out on something. 


Never Satisfied - Sandy

I always seemed to have everything I wanted, BUT was never satisfied! In High School I was an officer in my sorority, on the Homecoming Queen's Court and enjoying life, but something was missing. I was heavily involved in my church yet, again, felt something lacking! I went on to Michigan State University and found myself with thousands of students from different backgrounds and religions. Which was right? During my junior year I was contacted by an acquaintance of a friend.


Wrestling with Darkness - Greg

Once again I was in darkness. My twin brother with whom I shared a room always fell asleep quickly. I enjoyed wrestling with him during the day, but I dreaded the wrestling match I faced each night. Out of the darkness imposing thoughts seized me like, "What would happen if I were to die tonight?" I didn't want to die, but it was the uncertainty of what followed death that really terrified me. In the morning after a particularly long night of struggling to fall asleep, I approached my mother in the kitchen.


Now I Can Forgive - Bill

There were three things we never talked about in our family growing up: money, my dad's alcohol problem and God.

There wasn't a lot of extra money so I started my first job at age 11 weeding flower beds for the neighbors. I always had a job because I wanted money in my pocket. Alcohol abuse colored everything we did as a family. Was Dad sober enough for us to do what was planned? I never invited friends to our home, I was embarrassed by what they might see or hear. As a teenager I had to go to the club, put my dad in a car and drive him home.


Feeling Empty - Dan

          As I lifted my head from the arm chair, I couldn't decide what hurt worse, the crick in my neck from sleeping sideways, or the pounding in my head from the copious amounts of alcohol I had consumed a few hours earlier. As I tried to recall what events preceded my awkward rest, bigger and more troubling questions started to surface. Questions like, "What I am doing with my life, where am I headed, and why am I so unhappy?" Just a few months earlier I left home to start my studies at the university, full of hope and high expectations.