"Damaged Merchandise," is a book about hope and dreams. Even those lost in an alcoholic or drug induce haze, have dreams. They were just lost or "damaged" due to the abuse. With sobriety, came the knowledge that I needed to live in the real world. Still, with reality it was OK to dream. And with reality, I achieved goals, which I hoped would make my dreams come true! "Damaged Merchandise," is the story of dreams coming true, while living in the real world.
Told through stories and poems, "Damaged Merchandise: Poems and Stories of an Alcoholic Addict," is my story. A story of destruction and damage, which 10 years later, I'm still trying to correct. At times, the poems leave the reader wondering "what if?" and that's OK, because the final chapter, in my life has yet to be written. From homelessness, to ODing, failed suicides, running and hiding (both from myself and the law), its all here. From drug dealing, to stealing, to hitch-hiking the USA, the reader enters a world, where few go and fewer survive!
Have you ever been to a larger size city and walked through their busy main streets? You'll look into the windows and see merchandise, you've never seen before. You'll stop into a little cafe and try some "home cooking." You'll watch the people walk by on the sidewalks, the cars behind them, racing in both directions. Then reality sets in, ever so slowly, a dirty man, with torn clothes, has his hand out, begging for money. Some look away, others feel pity, while still others are angry. I know, because I seen all these feelings when I was homeless. I heard stories from the Bible, and was told to "get a job!" I was harassed, kicked and spit upon. It didn't bother me, just please, give me your loose change. I grew up in a proud home (with what the outside saw) that had strong values. But they didn't see inside the closed doors, it was quite dysfunctional. It was from this craziness, that I survived. I survived homelessness, alcoholism, drug addiction, divorces, numerous court cases and jail. That craziness made me who I am. That craziness gave me a life, it gave me an excuse. For most of my adult life, my childhood ruled me. Marriages failed because of my parents. It was their fault I lost jobs. On and on, it went. As long as it was their fault, I did not have to accept responsibility for my actions. That was until my drinking could not be avoided. In court rooms, they didn't want to hear about "poor Dave." They would not let me push my responsibility on someone else. Looking at many years in the penal system, the fear of God set in, and I realized this was my last chance. Some would say, I quit to avoid jail. They are correct. But that fear has kept me sober for over nine years. I still remember my last drunk, my first day in court, and my first counseling session. I was defeated, scared, and totally hopeless. If I didn't go to court, there is little doubt in my mind, that I would be dead. Either someone would have killed me, I would have killed myself, or alcoholism would have done me in. While alcoholism, helped me survive many trials, it should be stated that, all these trials I created! Sobriety, brought new challenges. Most people call this - life! Pay bills, accept responsibility and try to rebuild burnt bridges. Sobriety gave me strength and courage to move forward. I am so thankful, that my wife, Betty did not have to go through breast cancer alone. If I was drinking, I wouldn't have been there for her, physically - maybe, spiritually - no way.
A quote from a newspaper article
From PublishAmerica Executive Director, Miranda Prather, said that Harm's book "is a well written and crafted work of contemporary poetry. Mr. Harm is a promising talent in his field."
The whole article, "Overcoming Addiction, Living a Dream," can be found in my news section.
Tom Osborne, US Congressman and former University of Nebraska football coach
Your book sounds quite interesting. I commend you on your willingness and courage to share details of your situation with others. I also appreciate your efforts to help people understand the ramifications of substance addiction. Like you, I am deeply concerned about the alcohol problem facing the United States, particularly underage drinking among our young children.
It is devastating that in many cases it takes the loss of life for some to recognize the severity of the problems associated with alcohol abuse. As a society, we can no longer have a complacent attitude towards underage drinking if we want to stop the increased risk of harm that lasts well beyond our youth's adolescent years. As parents, grandparents, teachers, and mentors, we owe it to our youth and the communities in which we live to tackle these problems before they worsen.
Articles and Magazines
Please read the article in my "news" section entitled "Overcoming Addiction, Living a Dream."
Also a magazine article can be found in my news section entitled "Never Forget Your Dreams."
Both articles are about this book and future hopes and dreams...
Dave, I just saw you tailor for this book on your web site. It's great. The whole thing is very professional and appealing. I'm anxious to get me a copy soon. I can identify with deep depressions, anxiety and other things that are a part of and contribute to the alcoholic addiction.
Reviewed by Nyki Anello
Sounds cool. I share some of your same feelings and thoughts. I have written a memoir about what I have been through as well. It is important that we are able to share our stories with others. :)
Well Dave your book does sound interesting and like it carries much lesson in your words. I never was an alcoholic but I did drink to the tune of foolishness. Like you stated above in your excerpt,"I quit to avoid jail," this is the type pain and suffering too avoid. There's no benefit in suffering this way. G