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Terry Vranges | Maintaining focus, one day at a time

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The line between life and death is skirted when chemicals are pumped into our bodies with reckless abandon. They take an otherwise authentic walk through life and turn it into a stupefied stumble down life’s path. My stumbles and bumbles led me to county jail. My choice to change has led me to drub rehabilitation.

When I last left you, I was putting works to paper with a stubby golf pencil from a county jail cell. I now sit in Chehalis at American Behavior Health System for 90-day inpatient drug rehabilitation. The long jailhouse days of unproductive monotony have now been replaced with time that will provide the punitive aspect of sitting out time in an institutional setting with education and life reformations that will help me integrate back into society.

Rehab is actually tougher than I expected. Sitting around in jail all day is relatively mundane. Here, my days start at 4:30 a.m. or so and rarely get done before 9 p.m. Days are filled by classes, lectures and meetings that focus on modifying behavioral patterns that are associated with addiction. I am involved in a therapeutic community, one that fosters growth in recovery from my fall into the addictive abyss of rock bottom.

Looking into one’s soul for the root of life’s problems begins by analyzing choices we make every day. I have made questionable choices from time to time. These choices never were imbibed with malice, but regardless, they did cause monumental predicaments for me that tarnished my life. What I know now to be true, is that at the heart of these bad decisions, addiction had infiltrated and infected my life.

I now maintain sobriety one day at a time. Cliché, yes, but it is profoundly on point for me. Along those lines, I’ve been muttering to myself every morning for countless years: “I woke up this morning not dead, and that’s a good thing.”

Today is all we have. The past is gone, and although past decisions provide perspective on the choices we make in the here and now, it is gone. The future is a fluid uncertainty that must be forecasted, but never taken as given.

I am sure the taxpayers of North Central Washington are tired of my antics. I know I sure am. So here I sit, hunting and pecking like mad, trying to get this letter out before the daily mail is sent. I’m typing letters, words and phrases with an outdated copy of Microsoft Word 2010. To tell you the truth, two of the only things I remember from 2010 were a Tea Party and a bunch of unhappy Democrats. Here’s to more detailed memories, deletion of drugs from my life and another Tea Party this fall.

Terry Vranjes is a native of Brewster. His blog can be found at