Alcohol + Alcoholic = Death, RIP My Sweet Friend

This Scripture must be talking about alcohol and alcoholism:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10

The crazy thing is that alcohol in and of itself will not kill and destroy. It will only kill and destroy the alcoholic—and I suppose anyone who is unlucky enough to be in the path of a drunk driver.

Most people can have a drink or two at the end of the day or at a wedding and nothing changes. But an alcoholic who takes that first drink immediately changes. Something in the brain and the body changes and the alcoholic (like these mice in laboratory experiments) will continue to take more and more despite the negative consequences to relationships, health and life.

A dear friend of mine passed away last weekend because of her alcoholism. She was a beautiful girl, 36 years old and a single mother. She has been in my meetings for the last year and a half.

She WANTED sobriety.

She had a beautiful soul—knew the goodness of sobriety was within her reach and she kept trying to get it.

She loved beer and football. She was always smiling and shining her light—unless she was crying and recovering from another relapse. She shared in many meetings that she had reached her limit and was going to stay sober. But then she would always drink again—usually because she liked to have fun. I completely relate to her on this.

At one point back in November, she had made a bigger attempt at sobriety than she had in the past. She was willing to do whatever it took to stay sober this time. She and I had/have the same sponsor. She started working the steps–like me, getting hung up on the 4th Step–and even attended a women’s sobriety weekend retreat.

She was a morning person and she and I would text at 5am when we were each talking to God–she would send me Bible verses and when sober she was filled with the holy spirit. But she couldn’t ever get more than about 30 days of sobriety.

And her alcoholism wore her down. Eventually she stopped trying as hard—after giving it her all over and over and still not being able to stay sober, she sort of resigned to her fate–she kept trying, but her periods of sobriety by this past Spring were mere days–she apparently began to add pills to her drinking.

And she passed away in her sleep a week ago—just like that. She didn’t wake up.

Below is an email from Stacey last November talking about how happy she was as well as a poem she wrote after that retreat:
—–Original Message—–
From: Anonymous <@gmail.com>
Sent: Tue, Nov 13, 2012 8:49 pm
Glad you enjoyed the poem. Writing is one of my most cherished passions that in being sober I am able to tap back into. 🙂 Got my 30 day chip today! So happy!

 

Victorious
by Anonymous
What an amazing place to be
In a place where I am faced to face me
There is no place I’d rather be
Than the here and the now
Looking back at my life
I can’t help but to think wow!
It all seems so surreal
I’m having to face how I feel
About all of the things that have been said
And all of the things that have been done
It’s surreal to be 36
And to feel my life has just begun
What a blessing it is
The gift of a new beginning
Right now, today, I feel like I am winning
Thanks to my God
For never leaving my side
I now have the courage
To no longer hide
The closer I get to Him
The more that I find
That all my life’s hardships
I seem to not mind
God is teaching me so much
But mostly about perception
To not dwell on the past as hindrance
But to embrace it as lessons
They say when the student is ready
The teacher will appear
These lessons I’m learning from Him
Are slowly ridding me of my fears
I’ve been shedding many tears
Not even sure of why they’re there
Whatever the reason is
I don’t even care
They’re obviously meant to be shed
So therefore I let them fall
And when they are done streaming
I thank my God for them all
This program of AA
Was truly God-sent my way
And each and every passing day
More gratitude sets in
The serenity I feel within
I can now accept as my friend
My prayer to my God
Is to never let it end
Serenity is not the only friend
That has come into my life
My new friends are all of you

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Galatians 6:8

You will be deeply missed, my friend. Look out for the rest of us please?

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30 thoughts on “Alcohol + Alcoholic = Death, RIP My Sweet Friend

  1. I’m so glad you wrote this, Reg – It’s wonderful!!!!! In a message dated 6/28/2013 7:11:10 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, comment-reply@wordpress.com writes:

    Number 9 posted: “This Scripture must be talking about alcohol and alcoholism: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10 The

  2. I’m so sorry! She sounds like a wonderful, passionate woman who left this world much too soon. I pray for comfort for her daughter and those who knew her. I have no doubt that she is with the angels in Heaven. This breaks my heart, but is such an important reminder to the realities of alcoholism. Hugs to you!

  3. Incredible post. That you attached the photo really sent it home for me. I am feeling an abundance of gratitude for my life today. Think I’ll share this with some that I know will aprreciate. Lots of love, Lisa

      • Not all alcoholics are anonymous (like me). Many can benefit from reading her story. There are beautiful moms everywhere that need help. We shame our self with our inability to stay sober and then we stay out and continue to drink. I get anonymity, but sometimes we just need to call a spade, a spade and not feel shame. Talked to a couple of my friends and they appreciated the story, even w/o the picture. I see she was a dear friend and I think that post took courage for you to write. I feel so fortunate to have such a great sober network of women. xox

        • Thank you Lisa! I think I feel the same way. There’s anonymity that is good but there’s also much good that can come from being open about who I am and my struggles. If God uses me to help even one other person then who cares who knows who I am? You are such an inspiration with your blog. Thank you so much.

  4. Tragic. And this happens far too often. She sounded like a wonderful soul who just couldn’t escape this thing we have. This is a wonderful tribute to her, Regina. Such a beautiful way to honour her, and also show us just how deadly this thing is.

    Blessings to her family and to you 🙂

    Paul

  5. Great tribute in a sad moment, Regina. We should remember her words “To not dwell on the past as hindrance
    But to embrace it as lessons.” She can help us with our various temptations even though she has departed for a new life!

  6. I am sorry to hear of your loss, I have been there, and I do understand how hard this reality can be. I hope, however, that if I died, my friends would not post my writings and photos and name me as a member of AA on a public blog (presumably without my permission). Please forgive my frankness…I am just truly curious as to your take on Tradition 12.

    • I was sure not to include her last name but you’re probably right. I’m no expert on the traditions but it sounds like you are. Ill make it more anonymous. Thanks for the tip.

      • I am no expert either…I just know what I was taught, and we are all taught a bit differently. Best bet is to talk to your sponsor about it…see what she suggests.

        I run another blog about my sobriety, but I never mention outright that I am an AA member, nor do I include photos of myself or people I know (I say I attend 12 step meetings, but that could mean NA, Al-Anon, etc.) since tradition 11 states “we
        need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and film.” I assume if the internet was around during the time our founders wrote this it would have been included as well.

        Thanks for keeping an open-mind about this. I was hesitant to say anything for fear of offending you and plus because it is really none of my business, but I was nudged nonetheless to take that chance.

        Many blessings.

  7. Such a sad story…I will pray for your friend & her family. The more ill my mom gets from the results of her addictions, the more I realize how big a cross it is to bear…for her & for my family. My mom never got to the point of embracing a spiritual program like AA…her denial & pride were to strong. I often wonder “what if” & wonder what life would have been like with a sober mom. The hardest part now, is that she has no memory of why she is sick & that it was due mainly to her addictions. Alcohol dementia, kidney failure, a shunt in her brain from head trauma (falling), 2 broken hips that never healed & made her a cripple confined ro a wheelchair are the major ailments…but there have been more. Broken bones, surgerys, a broken marriage, forced into a nursing home….But through it all I cling to Gods mercy & grace. I have learned so much & pray for all who suffer with this cross…God is with you
    http://maryjsnustad.wordpress.com/

    • Oh Mary my heart breaks at your story. It is all too familiar as I hear stories like yours at meetings all the time. It is SO HARD. All things are possible with God and he is obviously using you to reach others and help them. God is good. If you’d ever like to write or share your story on this blog let me know and ill send you log in info. XO

  8. Pingback: Five Months Sober | Recovery Lot.us

  9. Prayers and sympathy for your loss. Been there. With my stepfather, the most un-anonymous alcoholic I have ever known, bless him. He would say his full name at meetings, tell anyone and everyone he was an alcoholic. But it did destroy him in the end. Wonderful, kind, thoughtful man- when sober.

    I don’t know about alcohol only destroying the alcoholic,though. Sometimes the co-dependent (right term? Been awhile) can get destroyed too, unless they’re strong enough to walk, sprint, or run away or to Al-anon.

  10. I am so sorry for your loss. Early in my recovery I connected with a woman I had known as a casual acquaintance, I didn’t know she was an alcoholic, nor did she know that I was. I had first met her during one of her “remissions”, shortly after that she relapsed and had a horrible accident and her secret was revealed to me so I reached out to her and shared my own secret. We met regularly for about 6 months, she told me that she had once been sober for 6 years but she had suffered several relapses since then, she said she had never been able to get back to where she was before that first relapse.. She soon relapsed again and quit answering my calls and emails. I was disappointed and wondered why God had put her in my life if we couldn’t save each other. I recently heard that she is dying of drinking related causes, I have figured out why God put her in my life, it is for those times I am tempted. For those times when I think, “What would one drink hurt?”
    We hold a very precious thing that once it is lost, it is not always retrieved.

  11. I would personally like to thank you so much for sharing her story. I have been in an out patient rehab for the same thing. I had been telling myself thst I would eventually be able to have a social drink in time, lying to myself the whole time. I had written in my jornal the night before reading this about feeling exactly the way your friend did in her poem. I am also 37, very close to her age. After reading her story I came to the realization that I AM an alcoholic & if I ever start to drink again there is a very strong possibility I will not make it to see 40. Thank you so so much for sharing her story. It may have very well saved my life. I pray that God heals your pain & for your sobriety as well.

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