Talk With Bob and Be Honest

By Kevin S.
Texas, USA

After 25 years of varied drug abuses, I was using between $200 to $1000 worth of crack cocaine daily. I had lost my friends, my marriage, 20 years of savings, most of my possessions and the will to live without crack. Thoughts of suicide were constant.

No one knew that I was using drugs besides my dealers and me. I thought it was funny to answer honestly when asked “How’s it going?” I’d say, “I’m trying to keep my crack habit down to $200 per day.” I was amazed at the response: laughter. Since I never talked about using, no one knew.

My work was getting done, my projects were always finished. I was roundly praised for my willingness to work for days on end as crunch time for a project approached. For 18 months I reported to work at odd hours and stayed until the job was done. I also used each hour I worked. I would get the job at hand done and go buy more drugs. Sometimes I used for five to seven days straight, crashed for 24 hours, then started again.

In January 2000 I determined to quit using. In February 2000 I called an addict friend and asked for help. In March 2000 I decided that it was no use trying to quit. In April 2000, after a three-day binge, I determined to kill myself.

Talk to Bob and Be HonestWith my gun in my mouth, I thought “I can’t live like this any more. Forgive me.” But I was interrupted by the thought, “Go to work and talk with Bob. Be honest.” I drove to work.

I entered Bob’s office and asked if I could have a moment of his time. Bob’s eyes narrowed when he saw me. I was wired, weird, and worried — looking every inch a crack addict from the three days of sweat to the bugged-out eyes. I said, “I have a drug problem and need help.” His face changed from worry to concern. He asked, “What can I do?” I replied that I had no clue.

He made a call and sent me to a hospital detoxification center. After four days I left because I could, but I called Bob when I left. It seemed the honest thing to do. He said he would pick me up in the morning. I used all night. At 9:00 a.m. Bob took me to a treatment center. My insurance wouldn’t cover treatment because my primary care physician hadn’t referred me. Bob paid for it himself. I stayed 75 days.

After treatment I returned to work and asked to make a repayment schedule. Bob replied, “I didn’t help to be paid back, I did it because it was the right thing to do.”

I’ve got nearly two years clean now and I look forward to the rest of the life Bob saved — mine. Thanks, Bob.

Originally published as HeroicStories #309 on May 30, 2002


9 thoughts on “Talk With Bob and Be Honest”

    • Hello Randy,
      For more than 22 years I’ve had the privilege of living the life given back to me by Bob Lee.
      It’s been glorious and horrendous in turn. Nothing has happened that could not be made worse by getting loaded.
      I’m grateful for all of it and would not change a thing. I could not have gotten here without having gone there.
      Kevin S

  1. Wow… Just wow…
    As an employer, I hope that I never run into a situation like this. But if I do, and my employee needs help, I hope that I would have the same compassion that Bob showed to Kevin. The right thing to do… That says it all.

  2. Thank God for people like Bob and for people like Kevin who know where to go for help and who have the courage to ask for it. I was in the same sort of pickle because of alcohol and I will never be able to show the wonderful people who helped me how enormously grateful I am to them for their love and support.

  3. I heard an expert years ago in an NPR interview explain how these “Voices” we sometimes hear like “talk to Bob” are merely hallucinations. He had written a book debunking the idea that there is any divine intervention involved. I doubt Kevin believes that, and I myself have experienced it too, so neither do I. Bob was the instrument that God used to deliver Kevin, because He knew what kind of man Bob was, and that he would not fail him. May we all be that kind of instrument.

  4. I am a recovering alcoholic. In 1988, I had gotten my 3rd DUI in 16 months and my employer helped me get into a treatment program called Starting Point. Similar to Bob and Kevin, my boss did not ask to be paid back, but just be willing to help others with a similar problem. I now have over 26 years of sobriety, thanks to my boss and Starting Point. I know the struggles Kevin went through and hope he is doing well today.

  5. Just an update from a recovering addict.
    It’s been 12 years since I wrote that story and my how my life has changed. I married the love of my life. I’ve moved to Florida in ’04 and am surrounded by people that I love and love me. I have a beautiful home and wonderful wife.
    I pray, read, work and live my life clean and happy.
    “No Matter What!”
    I still think about what might have been, and that helps me strive to be happy joyous and free. Thanx Bob for helping me to find and have a life.
    Kevin S
    South Florida, USA

    • So happy to hear it, Kevin! I do sometimes wonder how all those who have shared their stories with us via Heroic stories are. Thanks for the update! We should all have a ‘Bob’ in our lives. xx


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