From Desolation to Deliverance

When alcoholism has stolen your livelihood, your relationships, and your dignity, when you feel that you don't want to live but neither can you clearly die, nothing short of divine intervention can deliver you from such desolation. That grace arrived for Fred Davis during a stint at a psychiatric hospital in 1982, when a voice inside his head said, simply, "You should study zen." It was the beginning of an up and down, meandering spiritual path that would one day culminate in a spiritual awakening so sudden and powerful, he'd move "from utter misery to bliss in the blink of an eye."


Fred bio photo 600pI was right on the edge of death.

It was early autumn of 1998 when I found myself living in Mount Tabor City Park in Portland, Oregon.  Yes, I was living there, in a park, in the bushes, scared and hungry, with blisters on my feet the size of the palm of your hand.  When you're homeless, the police don't even want to arrest you.  You're not worth the trouble.  So they just nudge you along, keeping you moving, moving, always moving.  Not on my beat, buddy.

I had sold my sleemt_taborping bag to buy a couple of bottles, and then I'd caught some kind of lung infection.  My voice sounded like rocks grinding against each other.  I wished I would die, but I noticed I didn't.  That's the funny thing about alcoholism; it kills you if and when it wants to, not when you want it to.  As the booze ran out and I began to have to face reality, I couldn't help but look back to a decade before.

In 1988 I had been living in the suburbs of Columbia, South Carolina.  I owned an enormously successful comic, gaming, and science fiction shop.  I had a great wife, a nice house, four nice cars, and according to my lawyer and accountant, I had a fine future ahead of me.  All I had to do was not screw it up.  That's a difficult thing for a practicing alcoholic to avoid.  I had not the first clue on how to handle success, because it wasn't anything I was particularly familiar with.  I was a crazy man with money.

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8 Responses to From Desolation to Deliverance

  1. Rob says:

    I sat with Fred here in Columbia and my mind was blown. His pointers are sharp, direct and guide you into experiencing awareness as awareness. Thank you Fred.

  2. EmmaBickley says:

    All I can say is I just love this story!! Always love honesty. It’s refreshing and real. Thanks Fred!!!big hugs and love

  3. marian long says:

    Wow, I loved reading this Fred. My son is an alcoholic. I hope one day he wakes up.

    • Fred says:

      Hi, Marian! Thank you so much for your kind words; I’m glad you got something out of my story. I will pass on a bit of encouragement. Alcoholism was the worst thing that ever happened to me, until it became the best thing. That suffering forced me to surrender, to reassess, to regroup and rebuild from the ground up. From that I eventually found This. Alcoholism was just what I needed.

      Good luck to you and your son!

      Yours in truth,

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