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From the ‘pit’ of addiction to a thirst for spiritual growth
I began drinking as a preteen. By the time I was a young man in the late ’60s and early ’70s, I was a functional alcoholic with the added vice of narcotics. And yet I always prayed. I don’t remember when exactly I picked up the prayer habit. But I always asked God for help and protection and health.
I come from a family of hardscrabble people from the coal mines of West Virginia, some of whom, including my father, had made the migration of people of color to the North. He did grueling work every day as a mason tender. So my job as a newspaper reporter was a big deal for my family and a source of great pride for my dad. When, with a tear in his eye, he told me that watching my addiction was the hardest thing he’d been through, I was shaken.
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