I Do Believe In Addiction Recovery – A Love Story

By September 25, 2013Addiction Recovery

The musical artist, Rihanna, puts words to the sentiment of this post best in her song and lyrics:

“We found love in a hopeless place.”

This love story begins in August of 1995 when I was in my second year of addiction recovery. It took ten years of trying to get to that point in early sobriety, but something had shifted in me as I became inspired to look a little closer at my relationship with my Dad. My Dad took his own life in May of 1963 when I was a boy, by putting a bullet in his heart–his way of dying of addiction.

I decided to make a pilgrimage in that late summer of 1995 to the place of my father’s death near Atascadero, California where he had been working as a doctor at the State Hospital there. After painstaking efforts, I obtained the local Highway Patrol police report and planned to study the exact location and distances detailed in the report to get a very accurate estimate of where my Dad was found all those years ago.

Addiction Recovery

Upon walking toward the sacred ground site in a deciduous forest not far from the roadside on Highway 41 in San Luis Obispo County, I knew I was near him. With report in hand, I walked off the final steps and looked down as a lasar beam of light pierced through the indigenous trees as my Guides directed me to where I needed to be.

My heart expanded and the unbridled tears began flowing. I fell to my knees having a conversation with my Dad like never before. I asked him to stand up and speak to me eye-to-eye, heart-to-heart and he did. After exchanging mutual, telepathic words of gratitude and forgiveness, I looked at the apparition of my Dad, who died at the age of 41, in the eye–and in my own, 41st year of life–I asked him what guidance, what advice he had for me. He looked at me and said in his beautiful Shenandoah Valley, southern accent, “Live true to your heart, son, be true to your heart.”

I found love in a hopeless place.


I have taken my Dad’s advice ever since that day and now, in my 20th year of sobriety and wellness, have had an equally miraculous event occur just last weekend on September 21, 2013. My oldest son, Tyler asked me to marry him to his beautiful bride, Haley. He asked me to be the officiant at the most spectacular and fun wedding I have ever attended thanks to the vision of this couple, Tyler’s Mom and Haley’s parents–bias accounted for. Included in this joy, Tyler’s younger brothers, Jordy and Cameron stood up as his co-Best Men.

I stood up with my son and my daughter-in-law and while looking each of them in the eye, I asked each if they would live true to their hearts, commit to and share their love with one another, “until death do they part.” They each responded by saying, “I do.”

18 years after finding love in a hopeless place, we were now on my daughter-in-law, Haley’s sacred ground–Santa Margarita Ranch, just due south of Highway 41 in San Luis Obispo County…on the most beautiful day of existence yet.

The party to ensue was filled with miracle after miracle as my extended family surrounded Haley and Tyler with the same support and love the two of them brought us all together to acknowledge. As Jordy and Cameron delivered their generous and heartfelt, Best Man toasts, never has there been a more proud Dad to watch my grown sons look each other in the eye and speak of the love that binds them. Never–ever so proud a Dad as their Granddad, Dr. Bell joined us–including my dear brother and my two dear sisters–in pure Spirit, just a heartbeat away.

Do I believe in recovery? I do.

Do I believe it has something to do–and in large part, with being true to my heart? I do.

Do I believe in the healing power of love and family? I do.

Dr. Herby Bell is a Recovery and Wellness Coach and owner of Recovery Health Care, an integrated approach to wellness and addiction recovery in Saratoga, California. For more information please call 650 474 9411 or Email: herbybell@me.com.  Connect with me online too:  Facebook | Twitter | Linkedin

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