Mel Cook
5 min readFeb 23, 2021

A long road.

The air was cold and breezy on December 15, 2004. The midnight hour set in as the demons looked for light to cast their shadows. As time ticked forward the shadows began to dance. On this particular night, the shadows zeroed in on Melinda Cline.

Melinda was a loner, driven, focused, and a slave to the world. She was 35, a failed attempt at being a mom, recently unemployed, and an addict. She was also an addict that was hell-bent on losing herself. Although most people thought of her as a hard worker. Some thought of her as a smart dumbass. All of her jobs and relationships had failed. Her addiction defined her as a liar, a cheat, and a manipulator. She was suffering from a vicious cycle of using drugs to escape the grasps of low self-worth.

Melinda liked to think she was a recovering addict because there were many sober times. However, she was an addict all the same. She began to think of all the ways she failed others by lying and cheating. She felt like her behavior had led to ways of manipulation to feed her desires. How could anyone still be able to say they love her? She could not love herself.

On December 16, 2004, Melinda continued to battle demons. Accepting defeat, she tried to silence them and fell into a deep sleep. She woke up wondering why she wasn’t able to complete the task. Why her? What was so special about her? Feeling the weight of the burden that comes along with addiction, she swore she was ready to change. She was determined to change because her life was too heavy. After months of soul searching, she embraced change. She had made a list of all the wrongs in her life and started doing the opposite. Months had gone by since the last time she used. She chooses to indulge in her past once more. She wanted to see how the new version of herself would hold up to the limits she had set.

On the first night of testing herself, she showed signs of self-control. She would only relapse this one time and would be in control of the situation. By the second night, she realized she was losing control. One time quickly lead to two. By thinking she was in control she was quickly losing control. She started losing the progress she had made. She was aware of addiction and all that came with that lifestyle and wanted nothing more than to be free.