Swift Creek and Recovery
My name is Pam and I am an alcoholic. My dad’s name is Bill and he has Alzheimer’s. I always had a difficult relationship with him. As with any disease walking the path is never easy. And I mean that for both of our diseases.
My dad can not communicate much any more. Mostly when I go see him, it is full of heartache, of what is and what never was. I saw him recently and he looked at me and said “remember jumping off that bank?” My mind was flooded with memories of jumping off that bank. I knew exactly what he meant. The banks of Swift Creek here in Alabama in the middle of the summer. These were not difficult memories but sweet memories of a family loving one another and enjoying each other’s company. We would go to Swift Creek and jump into icy cold water in the middle of August heat in Alabama (which is VERY hot). The water was so cold we would keep our watermelon in the icy water to eat after swimming and having fun. The next memory I had was of singing a Hank Williams Sr. song: Kowaliga (it was about a wooden Indian) as we drove down to Swift Creek.
Beautiful family memories. My family can not carry a tune in a bucket as we say in the South. That never stopped us. We sang…… a lot!! We sang in the car mostly. Whenever we drove anywhere we would sing and sing, with no one in tune but everyone “in tune.” At least with one another.
It helped me remember that we not only repress painful memories but memories of simplicity and beauty. That sometimes recovery is about the beauty that was always there but we missed.
I love recovery. Our love for recovery is the main reason we started Addiction Research Foundation and The Moore Institute. Our desire is for others to find the beauty of their life and their own Swift Creek.