"War Zone" is the prequel to "Damaged Merchandise." It takes place 10 years before the poetry came alive. It is the story of my first two years of sobriety and the demons I battled, not only those within myself, but with those around me. I realized that curing my addictions was only half the battle. The other half was realizing that many of my relationships were toxic to my own sobriety.
By reading my journals, you'll see the hell, I personally created! A hell, which at times, I wasn't sure I wanted to escape. I knew I couldn't go back, but I was scared to move forward. War Zone begins a lifelong journey out of hell, as I find the gifts and promises of sobriety.
With sobriety, I began a spiritual journey. An adventure, filled with enlightenment and an awareness that I wasn't alone. I continue to seek serenity and peace, in all my surroundings. On this journey, I'm joined by Betty, my wife of eight years.
I started '96 in divorce court. Sometime around March, Janice moved across the state, to be closer to her family. All reminders of my life as a married man, were now gone. There was some depression, by the way the events unfolded. But, from everything I had experienced, I realized I just completed one hell of a journey. It was a journey out of hell! For well over a year, I was in the grieving process, burying "drunk Dave." A part of me which help me survive. I know it was an insane way to live, but "drunk Dave," led an exciting life. Maybe exciting isn't the best word to use, but it was a life many people don't get to experience. Homelessness, a couple of OD's, two failed marriages before I was 40 years old, and a very real spiritual awakening. For the first time, I was on my own, but I wasn't alone. No more courts or counselors. Nothing keeping me sober, except me and my Higher Power! By June of '96, I was ready to change my program of recovery, to a program of discovery. Don't get me wrong, AA saved my life. Now I wanted a little more. I didn't want to sit in meetings, talking about what I needed to do. It was time to start doing it! I don't go to AA much anymore, but I still try to live by the pratices I learned there. My program of discovery would be taking that last "leap of faith," and seeing what the world had to offer me. It was also that "leap of faith," which would show me, that I had something to offer the world. Within a month, I would resign from my job and move. I believed, that for me to grow, I needed to wipe the slate entirely clean. Anything that I had while I was drinking, I needed to bury with "drunk Dave." So with the clothes on my back, my old dog, and an old Dodge, we headed down the road. It wasn't as easy as I make it sound, but it needed to be done. I left Seward, knowing I didn't run. I stayed to the end! I also realized that I needed to remember the last two years living there, because I would use it as my foundation to stay sober. If any thoughts of drinking would enter my mind, all I'd have to see, was an image of four scared children, whom I verbally and physically helped to destroy. AA says not to "dwell in the past." I don't dwell in it, but I also don't want to forget it.
"It is so easy for human beings to get caught up with images and comparisons of others. Someone may have a better house or a fancier car, but is that what I'm striving for?"
From the Beatrice Daily-Sun (2/5/05)
PublishAmerica of Frederick, Md., has acquired the rights to publish "War Zone, Backing out of Hell," by Dave Harm.
"We were already familiar with Mr. Harm's work from his first book, 'Damaged Merchandise, Poems and Stories of an Alcoholic Addict,' said Miranda Prather, executive director. "'War Zone, Backing out of Hell' is another well written and crafted contemporary work that fits our specialty like a glove."
"PublishAmerica primarily publishes works by, for or about people who face a challenge in life, and who overcome it by turning stumbling blocks into stepping stones. We believe that Mr. Harm is an accomplished talent in this field."
Wow....this is powerful....knowing what verbal abuse can do to a mother and kids...being there still there....trying to seek help for hubby...but alcohol is a very powerful lover to my husband...and his family the doormats to his castle!!