Before we left for vacation, I spent an afternoon at a men’s rehab talking to the guys who were all part of a 90-day program to get clean. It was my anniversary date. I talked to a few guys about getting sober, but mostly they weren’t receptive to the message that “it gets better.” It’s hard to fathom 24 years sobriety when you’re just trying to make it through the night. Anyway there was one guy, Adrien B., who was going through a particularly tough time. He was lucky to be in the facility after washing out once before years ago. But his fiancé begged him to try again, and after much prompting, they let him in. Again. On the way back to their home in Columbia, his fiancé got into a bad car accident and was in the ICU the day I met him. A former successful businessman, Adrien spent much of his time with me explaining how he was going to get his life back in order when his 90 days were up at the rehab that he’d only been in for 6. His poison was crack. Ironically, addicts and alcoholics love to control their lives down to the millisecond. Even as their lives are spinning out of control. I had a feeling about him–that he was teetering on the edge. I listened to him quality and then basically told him to let go of everything in his life except for this moment–the moment that we were in right there in that rehab’s recreation yard. After a while, everything about this hardened addict began to soften. We talked about God and miracles. I told him my story. His eyes lit up. I told him about writing a novel. Me, a guy just like him, became a writer and wrote a fucking novel. I spent most of the afternoon with Adrien and promised to bring him a copy of my book upon our return from Florida. He smiled and hugged me. I added a stipulation, “You have to be here when I come back.” He smiled and said that he would. I made him promise. He did. 

As promised, today I inscribed a message to Adrien in a copy of Minor King and drove to the rehab to drop it off. Adrien wasn’t there. He’d washed out. I left the book with the guy at the front desk and said, “It’s about a guy who gets sober. I wrote it.”

“You wrote it?” He asked.

I nodded. “Please, let anyone who could use it, read it.”

Then he looked at me and said, “Hell, I’m gonna read it.”

Addiction is a powerful fucking thing. The devil incarnate. It takes a miracle to come clean.

Here’s to all the Adriens out there looking for their miracles.



Jim Mitchem

Is LinkedIn Dead?
Coffee and Marketing

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.