Thomas Franklin, New Fireside Contributor
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Gary L. Clark is an author. After a thirty year career he retired to write a novel. He then joined a counselor-in-training program at the local community mental health center and worked three years as a substance abuse counselor. He retired again and has written two more novels. He recently completed the annotation of a self-help book on faith-based self-help. Two published novels (available on Amazon.com) address social justice. Mr. Clark is the Editor of thefiresidepost.com. He lives in St. Joseph, Missouri.

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Thomas Franklin, New Fireside Contributor

Thomas Franklin and I became friends in 2006.  He was an inpatient at a Substance Abuse Treatment Center where I served as a counselor.  That program was a 21 day residential care.  There was a stipend program at the Center.  This allowed up to two clients to remain residents, receive free food, and free intensive outpatient treatment for up to six months.  They were given $25 per week for pocket money and they served as helpers in the kitchen and as support for the custodial staff.  Thomas was a “stipend”.

I was his counselor when he was a resident and also as he progressed through the outpatient program.  Am I violating his privacy with this post?  Not if I have his permission.  Thomas’s has a story to tell.  His story is in many ways like that of others suffering from addiction.  The common denominator generally is the addiction leading to a state of constant suffering of terror, bewilderment, frustration, and despair.  These are the four horsemen of Alcoholics Anonymous – but they are shared with any addiction.

Thomas does not have a formal education beyond high school.  He is an avid reader and at 50 years old he is self educated.  He presents as a graduate of a liberal arts program.

As the editor of thefiresidepost.com I asked Thomas if he might be interested in contributing.  He was a little surprised and asked, “What would I write about?”

“Write your story,” I said.  “Write about your life experience.  Your story is actually a common background of many addicts.  Write about one incident at a time.  Use this avenue as a way of naming your demons.  When we give our demons a name, when we identify them, they lose their power to govern our lives.”

Thomas waited two weeks before he agreed to write for us.  That pleases me because it show he is no longer impulsive or compulsive with life choices.   I have been coaching Thomas for over ten years.  He may well use my words or phrases.

And by the way, Thomas calls me “Captain”.

There Is 1 Response So Far. »

  1. Looking forward to Thomas’s thoughts and story

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