The Mike Johnson Memorial Walk for Recovery
Mike Johnson was one of those guys who loved a good story, riled against inequities, soaked up current events, appreciated a good meal, and treasured his family and friends. Just a regular guy in every respect-- except that he had the disease of alcoholism.
Mike struggled with his disease from the age of 15 on, but he enjoyed months, even years, of quality sobriety when he would find a balanced pace to his life. During these sober periods he experienced joy, achievement, and peace of mind. For reasons he didn’t understand and experts don’t know, he couldn’t maintain an alcohol-free existence.
Mike’s story ended on February 5th of this year in a hospital in upstate New York. This vital, handsome, funny, intelligent, tormented young man chose to end his life. His burden was heavy, and he was tired.
Mike is not unique. There are an estimated 18-million Americans with the disease of alcoholism, and we are told that only 7 percent of that 18-million seek treatment. Mike sought treatment multiple times. And every time he was in treatment he successfully remained sober. Like many, Mike was not able to stay sober. We don’t know why.
Recovery Month honors all those who work in the service of advancing recovery, and those who are maintaining their sobriety on a daily basis. Hopefully, Mike’s story prompts some to rethink their attitudes about alcoholics and alcoholism. Hopefully, researchers who are looking for answers to help the millions of Mikes in our country will receive the necessary resources to do so. Hopefully, we will soon find the answers we need. It’s time we know why…
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