I have not been shy when it comes to talking about my struggles with addiction and specifically alcholism. Writing about it has become a therapeutic process for me. I’m not afraid to recall what I went through. The blurry nights, bloody noses, waking up with a bottle of vodka at my bedside, my ongoing battle with depression, the list goes on, and no matter how traumatic it has been, I see a great good in talking about it. That’s why, I related to, and found comfort in watching The Way Back, a movie about a man that drinks the pain away, loses all sense of self, looks for redemption in a sport he loves, and finds a new purpose in life. At one point, that man was me. I was a former high school football coach. I know this story because I lived it. I remember the nights crying on the floor, the ultimatum my wife gave me, the paralyzing fear, and seeing no way out. For director Gavin O’Connor, he is no stranger to making sports movies (Miracle; Warrior), but he also has a unique ability to stay away from the sports cliches and subvert the genre just enough to make it feel fresh. The Way Back is an addiction picture first and a sports movie second. It’s also a comeback for Ben Affleck, whose own struggles with addiction has been documented in tabloids, and he is finding his own path to redemption. The Way Back is a roadmap, filled with emotional turns, big highs, rock bottom lows, and a reminder of just how hard it can be to keep going. Thankfully, I’m 9-years sober, so if there’s a will, there is a way.