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  • Writer's pictureStefan Neff

The Courage To Be Sober Chapter 4

We All Have The Right To Choose

I had to make a choice in life 30 years ago that was one of the most painful moments in my life. I remember it so well because of its tragic nature. If you have ever had a pet that you loved you will truly understand my feelings. I grew up on a small farm here in Beautiful British Columbia Canada. I have seen everything from baby cows being born to raising chickens for food. We had lots of animals on the farm pigs, cows, goats you name it we had it.

I remember I also had pets that I adored with all my love and care. But I was taught by my dad to never get too close to the animals on the farm, even our own pets and we had lots, from dogs, cats, and even a pet pig I call Charlotte from the movie Charlotte's Web, all about a young pig and a spider that became great friends. I had a friend YES it's true I did have one friend and he was a dog that I loved so much. I played frisbee with him all the time and he was absolutely amazing at this game of catch. As we lived on a farm my best friend had the run of the neighbourhood always chasing other cows or eating the chickens next door well that’s what they said to my Mom. He was such a hunter but one day I noticed that he wasn’t feeling well, he looked dopy and not so lively, he didn’t want to catch anymore he would lay in the barn away from me.

I knew something was up with him. I tried to feed him, but he stopped eating altogether. I knew something was wrong, I asked my mom and dad to take him to the Veterinarian but the answer was no way we are going to spend money on a pet, we have better things to do with our money. I thought to myself what kind of monsters are these people even though they were my parents. My mom was sympathetic towards my feelings but my dad said you know what you need to do son. I didn’t understand what he was talking about until he said to me you will need to put your dog down yourself.

I never thought this was my responsibility at fourteen years old. I thought how could he ask this of me, this is my best friend he was talking about, I started to cry. I had anger in my heart, I was so mad at him, why me I thought.

I looked up at the sky and asked him to give me the strength to endure such a painful feeling. I didn’t believe in god, but I wanted someone to understand my feelings. My dad handed me his rifle with one bullet in the chamber and said it was time to let him go. I remember I was shaking with fear and sadness in my eyes. My pet was waiting for me in the barn where he had been hiding for days. I walked up to him and started to apologize for what I was about to do.

Tears were flowing down my face, the pain was pouring out of my mind with such force. I kneeled down and started to pet his forehead and said, I am sorry my friend. I put my finger on the trigger and put the end of the barrel towards his head, I was shaking with fear. I said please forgive me, my friend, I pulled the trigger and what happened next was by far the strangest feeling I had ever felt in my entire life. I had just lost my only friend in the world that understood me.

I picked him up and carried him to where I was going to bury him, as I was digging the hole all I could think of was, where did he go. I asked my dad and mom where did he go? The answer was he is dead and that's all you need to know son. For the next week or so I didn’t talk to anyone, I hid in my room sobbing myself to sleep every night. On that day I knew that I wasn’t going to love anyone because they will die eventually and love and death went hand and hand together. I kept my feelings stored inside with a lock and key, no one will know my true feelings ever again “NO WAY TO PAINFUL”!!

How do you deal with painful situations like this?

1. By accepting that we create our reality 100%.

2. Looking inward instead of outward at life.

3. By facing the true feelings that we are going to receive in the future.

4. Living our life in the present.

5. By creating the life that we want not what we don’t want.

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