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Reflections by Steve Schickram

Tonight I was reminded why I am in recovery. I was reminded of and absolved of my mistakes by a higher power and also by a few of my fellow humans. Recovery is a process that comes with and includes our slips and falls and nobody is immune to these struggles whether in recovery or not. Holding onto moments and memories of weakness is unhealthy to both the mind and body and I received some reminders of this right here in Tamaqua by everyday people whether they knew it or not.

I walked alone crossing the bridge over the river downtown and step by step into a church not knowing what I would encounter. I questioned myself every stride I took towards that church as to whether I should just turn around and walk away or continue on the path that I seemed to be guided on. I didn’t turn around. I walked in. I took my hat off and gazed around at the parishioners/attendees. It didn’t take long for me to become choked up, though I hid it well, I was amazed and emotional.

A gentleman from a great distance away had made his way to the service in support of me and my cause and it broke the ice as I was greeted by waves, smiles, handshakes, and even some short conversation. As I was blending in I was greeted with some of the kindest words ever spoken to me. A prominent local businessman made his way towards me from his seat and did so with a purpose. A purpose that would open my eyes a little wider. He put his hand on my shoulder and shook my hand and said, “You are the reason I am here. I am here because of you.”

I’m not sure what it is about hearing that and feeling that deep down inside but it is tear-jerking for me for sure. How I held back from crying I do not know, but I did…or, well, I saved it for later. I think it made me realize that there truly are people out there that are fighting this battle right alongside me and that scares me to tell you the truth.

Perhaps it was fear at first that kept me from breaking down emotionally or maybe it’s just that I have been broken emotionally so many times and in so many ways over the past month or so that I didn’t have any tears or emotion left to convey…either way it’s an ugly fight that is exhausting and mentally trying. I have always thought that a man should fight his demons alone if he is a man but the support I saw from the first handshake to the end of the service and even to my following trip to Boyer’s that real man lets others help him fight. A real man says I need help and even if he can’t say it a real man accepts it when offered.

Many people came up to me throughout the night and even as I said, at the grocery store as well and offered their support for me in this fight one by one. They spoke of the Steve Schickram that could beat this…the fighter that still remains…and for this and because of this, I wept. It was a good one though; a needed one.

So, thank you to all who came out tonight for me, for others, for themselves and most of all for this community. We all live here and not a thing will change without people who implement changes and follow through with their plans. Tonight a church was full of those kinds of people and it spilled over to the people and friends I ran into at the supermarket making me realize that there is a change coming to this town…little by little, but it is gaining momentum one person at a time and I am a part of that.

I am a part of that because I want it but also because others truly want it for me and are willing to guide me through the darkness not just wait at the other side and hope I make it. To my family, friends, supporters, acquaintances and on and on, thank you! You all make me want to be a better person and I know how influential a healthy and sober Steve Schickram can be and also how detrimental the broken addict Steve can be and I know which one I would rather have striving to be a force in this community…now I know how many people agree with me as to which ‘Steve’, they want to see out there raising some hell and making things happen and it means the world to me.

I’m exactly one week away from ONE YEAR in recovery and though it has come with slips, falls, fails and excruciating lessons, ONE YEAR is a long time and that year is the positive force that people have highlighted for me tonight and I am so grateful for it. Thank You, Tamaqua.