The Jeff Allison Story

 Jeff Allison finally got to speak to Charlestown after the first scheduled date to speak was cancelled to 26 inches of snow back in January. It got rescheduled I’m told and plenty of folks showed up. The event was at the Knights and sponsored by MGH Charlestown Healthcare Center, the Sharp program and CSAC.

Allison was a former professional baseball player who described his long struggle with drug abuse and how it changed his own life for the worse. He had the world by a string when he was the first round pick of the Florida Marlins back in 2003. His whole baseball dream was shattered to pieces after he became addicted to heroin.

I also saw last week that Los Angeles Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton may have relapsed with drugs. His publicized history of struggle with both drug addiction and alcohol use is week known to most baseball fans. Over the past two seasons after getting a great contract, ghe struggled in the game. I like Hamilton and hope he gets back on track. He is another baseball player too good to let his dreams get shattered too.

 The words “recovery” and “struggle” go hand in hand. Every day is a struggle to stay clean from using substances that destroy both the mind and body. I have had many friends growing up over the years to this very day who are in recovery and who know the battle never ends. They will always be in recovery. Unfortunately, from time to time folks can fall over the wagon, the idea is to stay on the wagon and kept rolling on with lives not to be wasted.

Charlestown  knows that “Denial is not a river in Egypt.” The community has embraced the Recovery House in Hayes Square. When it opened up next to a liquor store many thought it would fail. It hasn’t because if the location of a liquor store can sink recovery plans than there is no hope for any of us.

I can remember while Mayor Marty Walsh was running for mayor he made known to his audience that he was in recovery and understood what that meant for all who are in recovery. I caught up with him at another campaign event and told him, “We all are in recovery, I’m still recovering from being Sicilian-Irish myself.” He laughed but my point was that recovery is a human trait in all of us and we must keep it alive.

    Life is struggle to be won!

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