This page is not meant to present Chad as a saint. He was not perfect, and he was his worst critic. He was so forgiving of others but was the most unforgiving of himself. Is there anyone alive who lives without sin, mistakes, or dishonesty? The difference with Chad’s mistakes is they were all public. Yes, he had a record; it is all out there for public viewing. He was not a violent criminal. He was not part of any gangs. He did not own a weapon. He took responsibility for his actions and was always seeking atonement for and from those he hurt.
He spent a good part of his life in treatment centers. He would relapse and get back into treatment. He was so inspired by all the counselors, therapists, and social workers who tried to help him that he wanted to become a Music Therapist so he could help others.
We would like to take this moment to thank all of those who touched Chad’s life in some way as they tried to help him. You are overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated. Please know you make a difference in so many lives, including the families of those who struggle.
For those who are experiencing the pain, hurt, and feelings of betrayal from a loved one who is struggling with addiction, there is help. It starts with understanding the illness. Understanding will not heal your pain, but it will help you understand your loved one does not intentionally mean to hurt you. The National Institute of Mental Health has officially diagnosed addiction as a mental illness. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/substance-use-and-mental-health/index.shtml
I treated Chad’s addiction as something to be embarrassed about and I never tried to understand the mental aspects of addiction until his adult years. These days it is a part of our community and everyday life. If you are feeling the pain, embarrassment, and hurt your loved one’s illness is causing you, there is support for families, too. If you don’t have a loved one struggling with addiction, trust me when I tell you that you know someone
,—a friend, a coworker, a neighbor, a church member, or even someone in your own family—who is struggling. Somebody you know is touched by addiction.
For those struggling with addiction. You are not alone. Addiction is a vicious cycle of anxiety, depression, regret, isolation, relapse and starting over. Always starting over. There are people, communities, and groups whose sole purpose is to help you if you truly want to get help. Chad tried just about all of them and found the 12-step program worked for him, and lastly, he turned to God and found his greatest peace and longest period of sobriety. Sadly, he took his eyes off that purpose for the briefest of moments. It’s a slippery slope. The day he died he had made appointments to get back into a treatment center.