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Stories of Hope - A walk through the valley of the shadow of death

by Dane Glazier

Dane Glazier, 2003 KHS grad, in peak physical condition weighing 225 lbs., in 2018.

I have always been somewhat fascinated with life stories of those that sit on death row and wait for their turn to die. Fascinated in the sense that their day of reckoning is marked, and I have to wonder what their thought process might be, knowing that the inevitable end is coming. What is it like to know that your life has an expiration date, and everything that you have ever worked for or done, will pretty much just go into the ground with you?

I, much like those on death row, had an expiration date on my life. I was in trouble, and I knew it. I don’t know why it is that I find parallel with the thought of those on death row, but perhaps it is because I was living that same type of life. My days were numbered, and I had an expiration date on my life. It was certain to happen.

On March 5, 2020, I walked myself to the Cedar City ER in the early morning hours and I did not see my home again for several months. I was fast tracked to Dixie Regional, where I would endure an extended stay for the next seven months. I was not well. I was throwing up large amounts of blood. I was not having traditional sick symptoms. This was very different for me. I became very dehydrated and the vomiting became really aggressive. I knew I was not well. That is because I was dying.

Dane in May 2020, coming out of medically induced coma.

So, what’s up with all of this jargon you might ask? Is there a story here? There is … please let me share it and take it for what it is worth.

My name is Dane Glazier and I am an alcoholic. There is such incredible power in saying that out loud. I actually just said it out loud, while typing this story up. There are certain cages to certain monsters that should never be unlocked. Alcohol was that for me. I knew it the very first time I ever drank it. I was 30 years old, and obviously didn’t know anything about real life. I was in So. Cal. with my buddies for the fourth of July. I wanted to drink for the first time, so I did just that. After a 1/5th of Jack Daniel’s and (two) Four-Locos, IFKYK … I was far from drunk. I had a difficult time trying to get that magical ‘buzz’ feeling that you aspire for when you drink. It wasn’t happening. I was just getting sick. Sick because of the raw amount of alcohol that I had to consume to just get ‘buzzed’.

This was a pattern of behavior that would possess me for the next eight years. Almost on the daily, it was a routine of mine. It controlled me in a sense. I looked forward to the end of each night where I could comfortably relax and decompress from my work. Alcohol was no stranger to me. It became a very good friend of mine and I shook hands with that devil on the daily.

Dane in 2020, recovering from pancreatitis at Dixie Regional Hospital, weighing 139 lbs.

You see, here is the interesting part. Somehow, I was able to manage and hide all of this, to a certain degree. Nobody knew the level that I was at. I was highly functioning in so many ways that it made it easy to cover up that demon. It was scary though, even for me. I would off-set my bad habit with intense physical training in the gym. I was the biggest and leanest that I have ever been, and I had even bigger goals beyond that. I was actively hunting these goals down. I was hungry. I kept the alcohol on the back burner in my brain, meaning I knew that I would entertain it eventually that day, I just knew that I had goals first, each day.

Long story short … after eight years of that destructive behavior, and with unfailing loyalty to that glass bottle, I found myself in a coma. Doctors would call it the worst case of pancreatitis they had ever seen. After 39 major operations, inches and inches of bad colon and intestine removed, dozens of bodily drains placed, open wounds on the daily, septic issues that were difficult to reason with and the simple fact that I went into Dixie at 225 lbs and left weighing 139 lbs. I was completely depleted, but hey, I was alive.

I carry a certain degree of survivor’s guilt with me. It is on my mind on the daily. A lot of people died in Dixie Regional. A lot of people died that I was far worse off than. I do not know why I am alive to tell any story, let alone the story of how a 30 year old dude, with a good job, good life, good health, awesome family, incredible friends, and on and on, could honestly jeopardize, and so selfishly hurt the hearts of those closest to me, because of my ‘want’ to drink alcohol and feed the monster, that is addiction, that lives inside of me. I want to put that animal down so bad. I want to put my want for substance abuse in the grave, perhaps even the same grave that I was once digging for myself.

I will spend the rest of my life focusing on things that matter. I live life with a different purpose. It is unfortunate that such a simple education had to come at such a great cost. That is on me though. Life is very different for me now. I live life with an added purpose, and what a cool thing it is to write this short story, the story of a guy that jeopardized everything for a drink, who lost his way, who was still loved deeply, who fought to stay alive, someone who endured, and someone who is very determined to salvage himself and recover. I know it sounds crazy, but I am very thankful for all of it.

To anyone who reads this and can empathize … I see you and I love you. If I can stop, so can you. I promise.




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