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Is there’s a person you should’ve thanked, but never had the chance? Is there someone who helped you along the way without even realizing it? Here’s your chance to express your belated gratitude.

If we’re lucky, we have many people to thank for the way we’ve matured. Someone doesn’t even have to be a superhero to change others’ lives for the better.

The person I’ve most wanted to thank over the years, but never had the chance to, is the doctor who headed the drug detox/rehab center that I ended up in three times (as I recall). The third was the charm, and I think it is in no small part to his care. He knew alcoholics inside and out. And he knew me, listened to me even when I came into detox that last time spewing sadness about my family, resentment towards my mother, and sadness over my father’s early death… the point is he sat there and listened. It was not his duty to stay at my bedside and listen as I squeezed out the last bits of poison that gave me a reason for drinking. He could have left it to others, or to no one. I finally stopped drinking after that visit, over twenty years ago.

Although alcoholics like myself need quality treatment, and often an inpatient program, it must be so frustrating to be a doctor in that setting. There’s no easy fix, and many of the people they see will return, not having understood the message yet. Alcoholics master many reasons for drinking, but in the end they all want to stop — some can, and some can’t, and they die from some associated cause. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. In the end I succeeded, by the grace of God,  and it was not without the help of professionals and this compassionate doctor in particular.