(WKBN) – Six days ago was International Overdose Awareness Day, a day to remember those who lost their lives to addiction. All too often, the stories we hear of those fighting addiction end in a loss. But tonight, we have the story of one man’s recovery and how writing a book helped him fight. He hopes it helps others fight too.
In 2011, Keith Bolen had a toothache and started using pills for the pain. Using became abusing, and it wasn’t long before he was addicted.
“We were living at my [sister’s] house. We had just got kicked out of our place. I found myself still trying to get my pill guy to drive over,” Keith said.
It was then in 2014 he began his recovery. It was also when he started his own skateboard company called Crucial Skate.
“It’s been my passion, it’s my relief. I would love to tell you I got clean and started my skateboard company and everything was happy, but it doesn’t work that way,” he said.
Crucial Skate’s logo is a bear. It’s what sparked the pen name C.S. Bear. Come 2019, five years into his recovery, Keith decided to use that pen name and write a book, titled “Life After 40.”
“It’s based on actual events with a touch of fiction,” Keith said.
The book uses anecdotes and true stories, touching on the deep, personal trials Keith faced during his addiction.
“It covers from the first pill I took to the last pill I took to the life afterwards,” Keith said.
He talks about the toll it took on his family.
“I didn’t realize everything he had gone through getting the drugs. I knew it was going to be a tough journey but I didn’t realize how tough until I read the book,” said Erin Bolen, Keith’s wife.
Writing “Life After 40” was a part of his own recovery and he hopes it can be a part of someone else’s too.
“I want the addicts that are fighting this — and it’s a fight — to understand that there is light at the end of the tunnel, it’s just a little bit of a walk,” Keith said.
He says not every day is easy but that it was his want and support system that got him through.
“Life is tough but I will tell you this, I enjoy my life more than I ever have before. We’re not setting the world on fire but we’ll be around tomorrow,” Keith said.
Keith’s book can be found online and at most stores that sell books. If you buy it off of his website, www.CSBear.com, you’ll get a personally signed copy.