There’s something inside me
That pulls beneath the surface
Consuming, confusing
This lack of self control I fear
Is never ending, controlling
– Crawling by Linkin Park


the late Amy Winehouse
w/ Back to Black



In the year 2000, a young singer named Chester Bennington – as front man of Linkin Park – would redefine the rebel yell. Hybrid Theory was, in a word, spectacular. If The Beastie Boys are credited with rap crossing over to a young white audience, then Linkin Park would bridge the gap between hip hop, rock and grudge; a trifecta that sent their debut album into orbit with over 11 million copies sold in the United States alone. And while it was the rapper that made them hip and the beat that made them original, it was the primal scream of Chester Bennington that pierced the soul.

But like so many of the best – Whitney Houston, Kurt Cobain, Phyllis Hyman, Amy Winehouse… – his story would end the same: suicide fueled by depression and addiction to drugs.

Chester Bennington

Chester Bennington March 20, 1976 – July 20, 2017 RIP



by Kendall F. Person

KIMShe made international headlines for a very different reason. The lines were drawn in the sand and a fight for her life became the cause celeb. On June 26, 2013, at 52 years of age, at 6:37 p.m. Kimberly LaGayle McCarthy was pronounced dead. She became the state of Texas’ 500th member of death row to be executed, done so by lethal injection. And with her final words – This is not a loss. This is a win. You know where I’m going. I’m going home to be with Jesus. Keep the faith. I love you all – it was lights out. The 13th woman to be executed by the government in American history is worth noting, but regardless of which side of the line on capital punishment we stand, the more important issue was lost: how she got there in the first place.

Hers was drugs, but addiction comes in many forms. It is a clever beast, that sneaks into our lives, and brings hell with it. Ms. McCarthy, a beautiful and by most accounts (although information about her young life has been challenging to locate),  lived  a normal life. She was married and gave birth to what would be her only child. She was employed as an occupational therapist, and had no long criminal history. Sometimes referred to as an inner tiger, addictions start slow, but rather they take months or years, the tiger always grows.  And on July 27, 1997, there was little of Kimberly left.

On that day, Kimberly McCarthy had only one thing on her mind, to feed her addiction. She telephoned her neighbor, college psychology professor Dorothy Booth, under the guise of borrowing sugar. When Ms. Booth answered her door, the tigress stabbed her five times with a butcher knife, and savagely beat her to death. She cut off her victims finger,  to access her ring, stole her money, her credits cards, brazenly jumped into her now stolen car, and gave no further thought  of the life she took inside. I imagine, that even as she smashed the solid steel candle holder, repeatedly against 71-year-old Dorothy Booth’s head, somewhere inside was the real Kimberly LaGayle McCarthy, the mother, the daughter, the member of society. But the addiction had overpowered her and she was unwilling or unable to fight. So she gave into the tiger, jumped into the car,  threw it in drive, and with no further consideration….sped directly to the drug spot.



When at the end of the road we find
that we can no longer function as a human being
…we all face the same dilemma. What is there left to do?
– We Do Recover


by iamzg

The Fighter Still remainsAddiction is a game of inches.

My father was addicted to the bottle. That’s why he walked out on us when I was two years old and the reason we had no contact for twenty years. I know today it’s the reason he called me drunk at two am shortly after my first son was born to tell me that I wasn’t a man. A few more inches of trying and maybe we could’ve had a relationship.

I’ve hit more bottoms more times in my life, than I like to admit, but those misses made me who I am today. One moment too soon or too late, and I may have missed out on grace.

The funny thing is you couldn’t have told me that I had a problem with any of my addictions. I wasn’t a junkie. Junkies come from junkie families and have meth mouth and take out a second mortgage. I was from a good family, my parents loved me and I could quit whenever I wanted. Even though I crossed every boundary I ever set, I wasn’t a junkie.

That’s the biggest lie of addiction.

As your reach lower and lower into the abyss of addiction you continue to seek out people worse off than you,  so you can look at them and say, “See, I’m not THAT bad.” Always a few inches ahead of the game. But the truth is, water seeks its own level.

You cannot accurately describe hitting bottom to someone who has not experienced it. It’s not like the movies. There is nothing beautiful about it because there’s no soundman or director or musical score to make it seem poetic. It’s nasty and ugly. When you wake up to the fact that your drug no longer works, you are suddenly the last man on Earth. There is no real connection to others. It is truly inches from death.

Addiction – be it alcohol, crack or blackjack – is not at all about the drug. It’s about reaching emptiness. Selling your morals for that next fix, leaves you spiritually hollow; and feeling like a gale force wind is blowing through the hole in your soul.

If there is an addict in your life, do not give up on them. There is always hope. I was strung out by seventeen years old. I was spared years of torture and suffering because people didn’t give up on me. There was always someone there to give me a hug or tell me they loved me. Often this was what kept me going.

You never know when that addict in your life may need your hope, because they have none of their own, always leaving them inches away from giving up.

And if you are an addict and you happen to be in The Neighborhood, don’t give up on yourself, and whatever you do, do not ignore your moment of clarity, because that moment may be your miracle happening.


from Toronto Canada – Choir! Choir! Choir!
with I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For



When I was pulled from the American River, I awoke the next day in a hospital bed surrounded by my family and close friends.  When my eyes opened, all I could see was the pain and relief in their beautiful faces, that only hours before, I thought I would never see. I had not stolen from anyone. It was my gold I plundered, but  that offered no consolation, for upon seeing their faces I realized,  addiction is not a victim-less crime.  It is selfish and destructive. It is wasteful and disrespectful. It is meaningless and it is ruinous. But for many, it becomes a part of  life. I cannot erase those empty years, nor can I have them back. But I became a different person, even far removed from the me-first youngster.

I cannot offer a hard luck story, for I grew up with a loving mother, and both sides of my bloodline, stand wise, spiritual, and strong. My schools, my friends and my sands were rock solid. My jobs were fulfilling, my vacations were joyous occasions.  And my early career as a writer, had been supported and given a grand send-off.  Why would I give up such a beautiful life in exchange for the pain that addiction would bring, I may never know. But what I do understand, is I have no one to blame but myself.

Addiction does not give a damn about me or Whitney or Amy or Heath or the nameless addict, who panhandles on the street. It will never be your friend and it will never be satisfied. And if by the grace of God you survive, the precious gift of noticing the blue sky, becomes intensified, and the meaning of your life becomes glorified and the fire to lend a hand, becomes magnified, and the knowledge you acquired, you cannot hold inside, and you recognize your gift of words, do not belong to you, so you share outside,  and the mission to spread peace shifts into overdrive, and the value of life becomes rarefied, and the desire to meet the world is mesmerizing, and the energy received from those you meet, is electrifying, and the idea I may inspire, is gratifying, and the meaning of my life, materializes and comprehending those years were not lost, if my addiction can save a life.


– Kendall F. Person
The Neighborhood. society online’s creative conscious 

Gamblers Anonymous                        Narcotics Anonymous                   Alcoholics Anonymous

 All About Addiction, Medical News Today           Guide to Quit Smoking, American Cancer Society

Al-Anon, Family Groups


166 Comments on “ADDICTION


  2. I had never heard of Chester Bennington or of Linkin Park until his death. But I do know and understand addiction and weep for its consequences for ourselves and those we love. I am grateful that for just this very moment all of the addicts in my life are relishing their sobriety. Thank you for sharing your story and for your deep understanding and compassion for yourself and for others..

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so glad to hear that sobriety surrounds you – even if only at this very moment of time. Thank you for sharing and for being a part of The Neighborhood. Welcome (big smile)


  3. Great post, thanks for sharing and reminding us/me not to give up on those we love struggling with their demons.

    Take care, and may you continue to find strength in your daily accomplishments knowing that you’ve inspired at least 1, if not thousands, with your words. ✌️💪🏻🙏🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    • My Kelly. It is so good to hear from you. Literally like family stopping through. And I appreciate you. Oh, by the way… only the 2nd ever The Neighborhood poetry duet hits the stage in next few days. (huge smile)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have been a functioning addict for 45 years. At least mostly functioning. It has caused all of my severe medical problems I live with today. When 3o years ago I did clean up – my body said to me, “If you won’t take drugs voluntarily I’m going to make you take them. Along with these medical problems including a liver transplant, and things you’ve never heard of that baffle my drs, I can’t get below a certain amount of methadone or the pain is too much – and even that barely cuts the edge. All I can do is not let it keep me from living, so I suck it up, put a smile on my face and live my life to the fullest.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing your personal story. It is how we pass along life lessons so that others can either avoid the pain and misery or know that life goes on allowing us to make our contribution even after we thought there was nothing left. So glad you are in The Neighborhood. It means so much. (big smile)



  6. Reblogged this on nowthatyoucanhearme and commented:
    Smiles may evoke joy, but they may hide pain. Eyes may show promise, yet can’t speak their despair. If you’ve ever struggled with anything you may even have an inkling or thought that it is an addiction, often times only first seen as a “problem” or my thing, then please be open about it and speak to someone. It could mean all the difference in the course of your life.


  7. I teared up reading this man. I really appreciate all the help you’ve given me through your words here in The Neighborhood and throughout our personal correspondence. Thank you Kendall. In such a short time, you’ve made a large impact on my life and I will be eternally grateful for that.
    – Grasshopper


  8. The feeling of emptiness leads to self-destruction.
    This is what happened to my father.

    I wanted to know so I searched for his roots.
    This led me to Our Ancestors which you have found and have decided to follow.
    I have written a little more than 700 posts since 2009. I call it an addiction, but that is pun intended because I know what an addiction is really is.

    As a footnote…
    Our Ancestors is the English version of Nos ancêtres which has more than 1200 posts.
    I just like to share and help people finding their roots.

    Sharing is the most important thing in life.

    Can you tell me how you came across my blog?
    Just curious.


  9. As a recovering addict…thanks! I still can remember when I hit bottom then asked God to help me. And He did. As I look back on losing the wife, home, corporate America career, and self-respect to my addiction. I can honestly say my addiction was a blesssing. Because what I gained is for more than what I lost. I now have a loving working relationship with God. And now I know who I really am. That’s why I used drugs in the first place. Trying to find my identity. I love this post. Thanks again!


    • Vernon – I try to be very open about who I am within the words I write, but writing about my addiction was very difficult indeed. But words like yours from people like you makes me very happy I shared my story giving way for others to share theirs. So good to have you in The Neighborhood. You are needed here.


  10. Thanks for your words and the forum it helps at least for a mother who held her first born at birth and when his heart took it’s last beat at the age of 23. I will never be the same.


  11. Kendall I am so glad you got your second chance at life. I had a father and a first husband who didn’t. They both took their own lives and we (their families) were left to pick up the pieces. I sounds like you had it all, than lost it and now you’re back.

    I love the neighborhood and I’m really glad to have you as my neighbor. We need survivors like you to speak out and tell the others that are in the thick of it that they too can once again find peace within themselves. I will post an angel note for you so that you never fall again.


    • I am still very much a work in progress, but my perspective, the use of my talents and gifts have all been changed forever. I appreciate the you are posting. Whenever I am down, or lonely, or tense or unsure, I will always know that it is there. You are appreciated so very very much.


  12. Why are so many artists addicts? I think the world tends to think it is because they live a ‘decadent’ life and have too much free time and opportunity.
    Maybe sometimes the world is right.
    I’d also like to think that more often than not it is wrong.
    Artists can find their art a bit of an addiction in itself and often turn to substances of dubious merit as a coping strategy.I never got as far as the substances but I did sink as low as the thoughts of suicide.
    Then I embraced the thoughts of Dylan Thomas and decided that I should: “..not go gentle into that good night” and that I would be better served to “…rage, rage against the dying of the light”.
    If you haven’t heard of Dylan Thomas then think of Cypress Hill, acapella and with a lilting Welsh accent, singing
    “I ain’t going out like that, I ain’t going out like that..”

    Many thanks for following my blog.
    I read yours and felt like Ron Lyle when he first sparred with Muhammad Ali.


  13. Reblogged this on mariebrunoblog and commented:
    The Cost of the Illness of Addiction

    While skimming through news articles after posting my blog on Wednesday, the headline, Poll: Marijuana legalization inevitable, in the hit me like a ton of bricks. The reality is that 75% of those polled believe that legalization can’t be stopped. Sadly, 54% said that they believe that marijuana legalization will lead to more underage people trying it. As I wrote, 9% of those who try this drug will become addicted. Emotional addiction can lead to depression or worse. Please read this blog, posted over a year ago by Kendall F. Person @thepublicblogger and please, spread the word. We do not need to lower the bar on acceptable behavior anymore. Look at the cost.


  14. This post is absolutely amazing Sir!!! It spoke to me on so many levels because I too have struggled with the bondage of addiction. Thank God for men like you who have the fortitude to be an open book.


  15. Kendall,

    Thank you for this post. I recently wrote in my blog about my own struggles with alcoholism and I know that it can be difficult to “pull the curtain back” to let others see the darkness that has been (or is) in our lives. However, openness is truly the beginning of the path to healing and freedom, and as you said, by sharing our struggles and our stories, we have the opportunity to give hope to others.

    Glad to be able to wander around your Neighborhood a little!


    • Jeffrey – I was very hesitant in sharing this part of myself, but I could not be more glad that I did. Not only did it serve as a healing mechanism for me, but it appears to have helped many others to. Welcome to the neighborhood, my friend. So very glad you are here.


  16. Kendall, thank you for the article and for following my blog My spirit clung to your advice not to give up on an addict and to have hope because they may have none of their own. It is so hard for family and friends to maintain this frame of mind and supportive positioning, especially for those that believe that an addict can “just stop”. Addiction is given a home because of a vacancy. And it is hard to evict because it fills the void, the empty spaces. It brings with it, a lot of garbage that is difficult to clean up.

    I have a relative that is going through and when I told her who I believe she is, beyond where she currently is, she said, “I can’t see it”. But, I HOPE that one day soon she will see who I see.

    Addiction is not merely due to a lack of self-discipline. Many addictions are born out of brokenness and healing is required.

    Thanks again,
    Shonda Pertilla, LPC, CRC


  17. There is addiction and then there’s the addictive personality which more easily surrenders itself to the addiction. We all have that to a certain degree and those blessed with a lesser degree can hopefully recognize it before real pain and suffering enter.
    The stakes are always high: health, finances, relationships, career, peace of mind.
    Any one or combination of these are at risk.
    May grace and peace give you the strength to resist and exist!


  18. Pingback: Kendall F. Person on Addiction: “A gale force wind blowing through the hole in your soul” | Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home

    • Thank you for your kind words and confirmation of the helpfulness of this post. You are appreciated. Please feel free to reblog this article within your wordpress community and I have responded to your other request via the contact form on your site. Welcome to the neighborhood. You are needed here.


  19. Pingback: Our Featured Presentation: Addiction | The Spirit of Recovery

  20. Here in Baltimore, addiction and all of its repercussions surround us. I believe that drugs should be legalized for the good of society. Too many people choose to live their lives in a never ending quest for the next hight, and I feel terrible about that, but my family lives in fear of confronting a junkie looking to get that next high, no matter what. I know that this means some people will die from their choices. We have created an insane prison system that houses the poor, the addicted, the unlucky, and turned this system into yet another commodity. But trying to profit from it is immoral as well as impractical. Take the profit out of illegal and create a system that allows the state to profit & funnel that money into mental health facilities to save those we can from this kind of life.


  21. Pingback: Our Featured Presentation: Addiction | scientist47's Blog

  22. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your words of wisdom and insight. And thank God for his mercy and for this story of grace. Your words of victory and being set free are encouraging and instilling confidence to others to get off the downward spiral and to look forward to a brighter future – to really live!


  23. All of this is so true and the words used by the authors are very telling in their story. However, the one thing that every one seems to omit is that these individuals exercised their freedom of choice and their choice was to abuse drugs, alcohol, etc. The one thing that every person that has an addiction needs to do is to exercise self-discipline. There I said it … self-discipline … a phrase seldom heard of in addiction therapy or counseling. Every addict has inner demons stemming from past traumatic experiences that drive them to the bottle or drugs. That maybe true, but a little self-discipline goes a long way over an inanimate substance like booze and drugs. Thanks for letting me comment … I think you are doing a good service bringing these topics to the surface and commenting on them in such a positive and constructive manner. Keep up the good work … Frank


    • Some addictions are about control. Take my addiction cutting. It was about controling feelings, about control over what and for how long I felt. You want to know my past.
      That is what lead me to where I was. I challenge anyone to survive it and not shut down inside. Then once shut down the desire to feel again in a world of shit and piss. Some hit the bottle to forget things like this. Self discipline my ass you’;d drink, smoke, cut or find someway to survive in the world of shit and piss too.

      Thanks but unless you’ve lived it you aren’t in a place to throw stones.

      Kindly disagreeing with your premise,


    • Frank – Thank you for adding your voice to this forum. I read your comment when it first appeared, but not always possible or wise to respond right away. Sometimes it is best to think for a moment. In The Neighborhood all voices all welcome, sharing knowledge makes us all better. >> It appears, and please correct me if I am wrong, that your comments are not based on this particular show (post), but simply your thoughts about addiction in general. The initial section, she was put to death for the choices she made, and by her last words, asked God for forgiveness. The other 2 entries accept full responsibility for our actions, and say so in in absolute words. And since hundreds of thousands of addicts, active and recovered, living and gone, derive from every walk of life, from silver spoons to homeless shelters, placing each one into the same box, is not helpful, at best. Why don’t you give the article another read. Would really like to hear your voice based on this read, and these experiences and truths. Your outlook may not change, and that is okay too, but perhaps you will absorb these stories with a more intuned listening ear. Either way, welcome to the neighborhood. You are needed. here.


  24. Powerful, and so amazingly, disturbingly true. I still pretty much maintain my anonymity, but if I feel I can make a difference in someone else’s life, I share my story. By the grace of God, I’ve been clean and sober a long time — and I love it. By the grace of God, I never crashed my car, hurt my children, killed anyone on the road, or divorced. I am blessed, and hope others can succeed too. Thank you for commenting on my blog so I was able to read part of yours.


  25. This is a heart-wrenching story, and yet there at the very bottom (or wherever one is), God waits for us to turn to Him. He loves us no matter where we are. He never gives up on us. And He will help mend our brokenness, if only we allow Him into our lives and our hearts. Blessings on you as you move closer to Him. Mary


  26. I think, as humans, we delight in shitting on ourselves – its a sick compulsion based around our knowledge that everything we do is meaningless. its a seductive lie- and once we take the chance to confront that lie, we can maybe overcome it, if we are strong enough.
    I enjoyed this. More please.


  27. “As your reach lower and lower into the abyss of addiction you continue to seek out people worse off than you, so you can look at them and say, “See, I’m not THAT bad.” Always a few inches ahead of the game. But the truth is, water seeks its own level.” Well said, and so true of my own humbling experience with addiction. Thanks for sharing your story. Even those of us long-standing in our program need reminders of how blessed we are to be in recovery.


  28. Reblogged this on Powertiyerpen! and commented:
    We’re all born into violence, of sorts. Not all, but some of us and we know that the power of the pen is mightier when it comes to healing those wounds. Fighting the demons along the way or carrying them with us until the last breath…well that’s an ongoing battle and we’re the only people in charge of that outcome.
    Some encouraging but somewhat harrowing reminders of others are here in this blog and may offer you faith in wherever you might be right now…hopefully reading and reconsidering a plan of attack to WIN!
    Be well.


  29. “You never know when that addict in your life may need your hope, because they have none of their own, always leaving them inches away from giving up.” These words jumped off my screen and hit me…I near gave up on someone and only kept a glimmer of hope alive…as long as there is HOPE – There is a chance for change, for better or for some there is only hope for an end to the addition and a hope for eternal peace….lest we still never give up!

    THANK YOU for sharing the way you have and for being so open and honest about your own experiences…this post humbled me just a wee bit more.
    I wish you more Peace, Love and Joy in life & all you do.


    • Early into my addiction, my sister summoned me home to Denver. My brother-in-law stopped by and it would be days later that I realized we were not having an idle chat but he was telling me to get back to my writing, because its in my soul and would be my contribution to the world. As I have, only recently, come to know, understand and accept the responsibility of my gift of words and The Neighborhood platform were so many listen to what I say. It would be impossible for me to write another post, if I were not open and honest about who I am, building trust, building bridges, building a legacy of peace. Your words will sit in my heart as they confirm the wisdom my brother-in-law shared, words are my contribution to the world. Welcome to the neighborhood, jillblackwood. You are needed here.


      • Gulps down the lump in my throat as I reply to you…firtsly I appreciate and welcome the warmth from your words and secondly – !#@I haven’t felt needed for a very very long time when it comes to my own words and writing…I guess I became emotionless and void as I wrote less and less….yet stumbling upon your post (thanks to the picture of our Rehab Queen our Amy R.I.P) I have been given some more of what I have been searching for…a responce!! I felt myself respond when I read your words, addiction being a word I have blocked my own ears to in ignorance suddenly screamed at me!!! Yes dear sir YOU are the one who is most needed here it seems and YES your gifts, talents and God given magic is in every word you share and with every line that is read….for sure you make a difference not just to myself but other also as I see from previous replies….. yes…I am very veru new to the world of blogging but have been writing sine in the womb, apart from type, edit and post I dont really know what I am doing here but am getting the hang of it and felt brave enoygh to reply to your post… #correction…I felt it caused an effect in my so much so I had to say somthing…Thank you being the simplest two words but from my heart I express a deeper gratitude to the Most High and Bless the day they dragged you from the river! As that time has lead to this moment where you read my words, and know that all the way from cold n grey London England I type to you with Hope renewed! (Your post encouraged me not to give up on myself again…and when u cant see the wood through the trees you need to see someone else going through….so ya…your fam were right too! ….your words are light, Your light shows me a way!
        The world needs more light bearers, creative thinkers and folk who been there n back to come up and say “yo!!! This way”
        Keep that beacon aflame dear chap!
        And yes… I am clicking the follow buttom and will be back ;0)


  30. great post! I love shopping, and I know that’s the kind of addiction that I am inclined to. My husband is also into computer games. Those stuffs make us happy but I think too much of something is really bad. Reminds me of one of the fruits of the holy spirit – self control =)


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