Recovery on Fresh Air


Heard this on Fresh Air last week. A cool story about a recovering alcoholic who spent much of his life an active alcoholic working in a paper mill:

…I’d been divorced twice, I’d filed bankruptcy. When I got sober I was living in this little, very small apartment above this garage. It was about the size of a motel room and I’d been living there for about four or five years. I owned a black-and-white TV that my sister had given me and I had this old ’76 Chevy that had the whole side of it smashed in. And that was it.

You know, for 14 years of working there that’s what I had. And so, you know, there was that sense, I guess, of me just being a failure.

After he got sober he decided to pursue writing.

Donald Ray Pollock … didn’t become a writer until he put in over 30 years at the local paper mill and got sober. But once he did start writing he was noticed. After the publication of his first book, a collection of short stories called “Knockemstiff,” he received the 2009 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Fellowship.

You never know what recovery will unlock.