Using The Tool Of Drawing

I met Dave at a downtown Denver SA meeting. He introduced me to Maxey. He volunteered at a shelter, and brought out three rescue dogs and it wasn’t even close. Maxey was the dog for me.

It was the fall of 2007 and my life was full of fear, grief, and shame. After a lifetime of hiding my excessive porn addiction, I was arrested for printing explicit internet photos of minors. Never underestimate the power of lust.

My wife kicked me out of the house. I went on paid leave from work. I attended meetings every day. Full of fear of the unknown future and shame for my behavior, I managed one day at a time. Soon, my wife filed for a separation. Court was set for December. And somewhere in my mind I realized I needed a companion, and if I waited, it may not be an option. Hence, I adopted Maxey.

After full disclosure to my employer, they decided to keep me on the job. So by July, I was working full time again. I attended meetings every day and began to write and draw in my journal. It was about to get a lot worse.

By December I lost my job and could no longer see my two teenage sons. I began four years of probation with intense treatment and restrictions. Within a few months, I could see my kids with approved supervisors, for which I am forever grateful.

I was going through the motions. A dry drunk, I behaved and said all the “right things.” However, the treatment saw through my smarts and knocked me down again and again. Recovery was not something in my head. It required a full reboot, going places emotionally I never wanted to go. I was a mess.

Maxey was there for all of it. He got me out of the house for walks and runs, snuggled with me when I cried, and was a source of joy amidst the pain. I will always believe he was a gift from God.

Maxey crept into my journaling. He began to speak to me there, as if he was my better self. Although I am a trained musician, I found myself drawn to my journal to write and create rather than the music studio. Maxey appeared in our local SA newsletter. I made calendars. Since 2016, Maxey has shared his wisdom on the pages of the Essay Newsletter. With each Maxey frame, I released a part of myself that needed the light. He loved and was loved by everyone.

After 15 years, it was time to say goodbye. Maxey, my inspiration, friend, companion and better part of myself passed this month due to old age. He was there when I was at my best and worst. Through my darkest times, he helped me through. I will miss him always.

However, he will live on in my drawings!

Jimmy M., Georgia, USA

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