Good morning, everyone.
We’ve a little treat for you all this morning—the cover for Keith Kelly’s upcoming release, Tomorrow Is The Last Day.
We hope you’re as excited as we are for the book’s release. Without further ado, here it is!
TITLE: Tomorrow Is The Last Day
AUTHOR: Keith Kelly
RELEASE DATE: September 10, 2021
PUBLISHER: Lysestrah Press
GENRE: Literary Fiction, Contemporary, Social Issues, Addictions
Tomorrow is never promised.
For years, Chad Owens has given everything within himself to help those in need. His career has had its ups and downs, many of which he could have done without. Despite this fact, he’s lived the best life possible.
Looking forward to his upcoming retirement, he soon finds himself reminiscing about the life he’s led. His stroll down memory lane is a tumultuous one, reminding him of an imperfect past. One he often wishes he could change in the blink of an eye.
Determined in embracing who and what he is, he realizes he’ll need to accept every aspect of the life he’s built for himself and his beloved family. The pain, heartache, and numerous disappointments are often hard to let go. Most especially when they cross paths with his hopes and dreams. Nevertheless, he’ll do his best to do so if he’s to succeed in moving toward the next phase of his current existence.
(Currently not available.)
“DOES YOUR WIFE know the good you do here, Chad?” Jerry asks me before the Recovery Tools class begins.
I turn and look at him. Damn, in all my years of counseling, nobody has ever asked me this question.
“Well, Jerry, I honestly don’t know, but I’ll ask her.”
The addiction business is quite misunderstood, unless you work in the field, like I have done for so long. The average person doesn’t know what it’s like to live with an addiction. It’s a disease, but for someone who doesn’t work around it every day, it’s something they don’t comprehend.
I don’t blame people for not understanding this disease. If I didn’t work in the field, I probably wouldn’t either.
After a discussion with this young man, I think about how the average person doesn’t understand the life of an addictions counselor either. To begin with, I spend a ridiculous amount of time on useless paperwork that pulls me away from my hands-on work with patients. I constantly fight with insurance companies to keep them paying for a patient’s stay in the facility. It pisses me off how people pay their insurance premiums, and when they need the benefits the most, it doesn’t cover shit, and to top it off, the insurance companies don’t care.
Those fucking bastards!
Myself, as well as every other counselor in the field, are the ones who must go to the patient and tell them they have to leave the program because their insurance company won’t pay for more. This is after meeting with administration to see if any funding is available. The answer is always no, so I end up talking to the patient and breaking the news.
Meetings are another part of my job, which consists of two or three a week. Clinical team meetings can last up to two hours, discussing budget, funding cuts, and complaining about everything. If any time is left, patients are discussed. At best, twenty minutes is spent for thirty of them.
An addictions counselor also attends an unbelievable amount of training classes to keep up with continuing education units. These are an incredible waste of time and money where I learn nothing. Most of the time, I find people ask stupid questions just to listen to their own voices. Then, we have the actual treatment for the patients, such as groups, classes, and individual counseling sessions. In all of my years of alcohol and drug counseling, I have heard every horrific story about the human condition.
Drug use, drug abuse, misuse, and excuses, you name it. Once I’ve heard their story, my job is to dig deeper into why a patient has been using drugs in the first place. This is when the story gets quite grim.
Some patients have suffered rape, committed murders, seen murders, seen rapes, have been molested, and have been perpetrators. Girls raped by their fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins, with ice picks, coat hangers, all sorts of other instruments, and beaten with water hoses. Boys penetrated anally by their fathers, brothers, uncles, and cousins, resulting in blown out anal sphincters.
Parents have taught their children how to shoot up, smoke, and snort drugs, as well as shoplifting, killing, stealing, and raping. Generational drug use is passed down to the patient, starting with the grandparents or even further back.
The stories wear me out. They wear the counselors down in the long run. It’s common to want to hug the patients and comfort them, but it’s considered inappropriate. It’s common to want to continue to help them after they leave the facility with further counseling, but it’s unethical. Patients have to be referred to an outside therapist.
Many times, I say to a patient, “With your story, no wonder you use drugs. Shit, I would, too.” How these people survive amazes me.
The hardest thing I contend with, which causes me so much frustration, is when I see so much potential in a patient and they don’t see it in themselves because of their low self-esteem. I’m excellent in helping individuals to realize and find their self-esteem. Even more frustrating is when my patients have potential, but they have no wish to change their negative lifestyles.
The generational drug use that’s passed down to them leaves these individuals not knowing what else they’re supposed to do. Using is all they know. It can make any counselor resentful toward the parents. In most cases, the patients are a product of their environment. Not to say it isn’t up to them to change their circumstances, but they didn’t ask to be born and raised in the chaos that surrounds them.
Every patient is a case-by-case basis. Many years of days like this have come and gone. At night when I go home, I can’t tell anyone of what’s transpired throughout the day because it’s considered unethical. Thus, I’m left alone to deal with the fallout and all of my emotions.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Keith Kelly has been writing poems, short stories, and playing the guitar since he was fifteen years old. He’s had the opportunity of living in many different areas of the United States, and has been fortunate enough to travel, meeting many different individuals that have contributed to his life, experience, and writing.
Keith has authored five novels and two books of poetry. His short stories and poetry have been published in several issues of Common Sense 2, A Journal of Progressive Thought, as well as several issues of C C & D Magazine, and in two C C & D books of poetry and prose. He’s also had stories featured in a collected works edition published with Fountain Blue Publishing of California.
He lives with his partner, Shirley, in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, and is a licensed alcohol and drug abuse counselor.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS