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  • Writer's pictureSteve Braun

Grief and Groundhogs

Happy Groundhog Day! Apparently our local prognosticator Okanagan Okie did NOT see

his shadow and we can expect an early spring! I have no reason to doubt this, our ‘trusted

meteorologists’ can’t predict the weather worth a shit, so I have nothing to lose by putting my

trust into a large rodent. 😀

One of my favorite movies is the 1993 classic ‘Groundhog Day’ starring Bill Murray as the

arrogant weatherman Phil Connors; forced to live the same day over and over again. I’m not

sure who can relate, but have any of you noticed how Phil’s journey in this movie parallels

the lives of many people in addiction?

No matter how much we tried to change the circumstances, the addiction just didn’t seem to

go away. The movie shares similarities of a person going from addiction to sobriety. It even

utilizes the Kubler-Ross stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and


Check out the similarities between the movie and my addiction:


Phil: Can’t believe the situation is real. Tries to discover the truth by breaking a pencil before

bed only to find it unbroken the next morning

Me: I don’t have a drinking problem. Promising to quit repeatedly only to fail miserably.


Phil: Gets increasingly volatile, yelling at people who confront him and punches Ned

Ryerson (my favorite part) 😀

Me: Start to avoid people who confront my drinking and lash out placing the blame on others


Phil: Engages in risky behaviour with friends who actually believe him, knowing there will be

no consequences for his behaviour. Challenges God out of spite.

Me: Pleading with my girlfriend to give me one more chance. This time will be different!


Phil:Through repeated efforts of not getting what he really wants (girl of his dreams or an

end to the insanity) starts attempting various ways of killing himself to no avail.

Me: Pretty much the exact same as above.


Phil: Realizing the futility of his situation, he changes his perspective and starts making it the

best day possible by giving back and helping others.

Me: Realizing the futility of my situation, I change my perspective and start making the best

life possible by giving back and helping others.

Phil finally emerges successfully out of the Groundhog Day loop and so have I and countless

others emerged from the grips of their addiction. It isn’t impossible, and you have it within

yourself to change your perspective and break the cycle!

Enjoy the (hopefully) early spring everyone! If you find yourself stuck in your own Groundhog

Day, let me help you find a way out! Thanks for reading.

Steve Braun

Call or Text: 778.932.1978

About the Author: Steve currently resides in the sunny Okanagan in British Columbia Canada where he spends his free time camping at remote lakes chasing monster rainbow trout with a flyrod.

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