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Friday, December 9, 2011

Final Day in Kodiak

I've met some of the finest men I have ever encountered in the Church living and struggling at St. Herman Seminary.  They have really challenged me to more closely examine myself, and so this has been a humbling experience. 

All of them have stories about dealing with alcoholism in their communities, even within their own families.  During the week, one of them lost a family member to the ultimate self-destructive act of alcoholism, suicide.  Yet, amidst great pain, there is profound spiritual strength, both within this particular seminarian but also his entire community.  While they have all experienced losses to the spiritual disorder of addiction, it is abundantly evident that it has won against these men.  Very clearly they are on the 'winning side.'

That is why I believe that there is hope for recovery in Alaska.  How a program will work out is still somewhat hazy for me, but this has much to do with the fact that this is only my first time here and we are just beginning to explore the topic.  We still must examine what methods have already failed here (it looks like all of them) and why.

When even the most reliable of programs like AA have failed, it is time for something new.  We can learn from these other programs, but we also can't use them 'out of the box.'  It is time for a new chapter in the history of recovery.

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