This could easily be you. Or me.

This story was from February of last year. 

http://wishtv.com/2016/02/04/addicts-discouraged-by-lack-of-options-for-uninsured/

And a year later, almost to the day:

http://whtv.com/2017/02/08/mother-of-fatal-od-victim-shares-story-in-hopes-of-helping-others/ 

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I’ve had people look at me strangely, even people who are in recovery, when I talk about how it disturbs me when relapse is treated like “no big deal.” Of course, it happens, but it DOESN’T HAVE TO. “Everybody relapses” is something that just makes my blood boil. Addiction is a progressive, fatal disease. 

When I got clean/sober, it wasn’t unheard of for a recent relapser to be told to SHUT UP during the meeting. “You obviously don’t know how to stay sober, so sit there and listen. You may hear something that will save your life.” I’ve heard of much “worse” things said or done, and the people who took suggestions eventually learned how to quit and STAY quit.

I was told similar things in early recovery. They hurt my feelings!! (Insert pouty emoji here) The truth will do that when you’re not used to it. That’s where I learned about caring enough to tell you the truth even if it pissed you off. I can live with you not liking me. If there’s a way that I can prevent or at least help to postpone that next drink/drug, I will do it. Like me or don’t.

The Old-timers weren’t there to make friends. They weren’t there to pat me on the butt & tell me everything was gonna be OK (if I wanted to hear that, I could get it at the bar). The Old-timers were there to carry the message. 

Thank God there were crusty old farts sitting in those smoke-filled rooms who cared enough to confront me on my bullsh*t. If they hadn’t, I may still be lying to myself. 

So, don’t smile & joke about people relapsing. Not around me. My friends whose kids are dead aren’t laughing. The kids whose Mom will never kiss them goodnight again, they’re not laughing…

Do me a favor, will you? Say a prayer for those left behind when addiction claims another life, and while you’re at it, pray for the still suffering alcoholic/addicts. God loves them, too, you know. 

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10 responses to “This could easily be you. Or me.

  1. Heart-wrenching, I wish you, and all others impacted by this, all the strength needed to overcome the grief and continue living. Also this is a strong reminder to never take things for granted. Thanks for sharing.

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    • Thank you for coming by and for leaving your thoughts! They say we have “selective forgetters”, and sadly, we need to be reminded. Complacency is one of the alkie/druggie’s worst enemies.

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  2. Very poignant. At a large AA meeting I used to attend, there were two poster boards that they set up with photos of people who had died THAT YEAR ALONE from the group. It was eye-opening to see someone’s photo that you remembered hearing share just a few weeks before.

    As long as we’re venting here, what also drives me crazy are parents that act like their children’s partying is just a rite of passage. You DO NOT have to be addicted in any way to be blindsided by a drinking/drugging episode. Parents think that their children are safe because they’ve discussed drinking and driving. It’s not enough. And a dangerous lifestyle shouldn’t be a rite of passage.

    Thanks, Abbie. ; )

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  3. Brutal. This post needs to be read. Because it does just happened like that. And I’ve seen it. And how we conduct ourselves toward one another sometimes determines whether we live or die. Thank you for writing this Abbie. I know it must’ve been tough.

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    • Thanks, Mark. It’s had me sick since I got the news. My boys aren’t addicts…Yet. By the grace of God, I pray that they won’t ever be. This post, for me, is all about “there, but for the grace of God, go I.”

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  4. Powerful post Abbie. Resonates here too. I was in denial about MH issues for years and I’ve seen people looking down on addicts or depression as if it could never possibly happen to them…yeah, I’m sure once upon a time I thought the same…maybe always had more empathy towards others than most, but sure as hell did not see low mood dropping in and making a home and decorating it with despair. I often think if you’ve lived with something too long are you ever really over it? For me I’m more aware of roads that can drive me backwards so choose to avoid them. Doesn’t always work mind. Recovery hurts plenty though as folk tell you stuff your brains shied away from. It’s like it shuts down executive brain function to stop rational thought once certain traits take hold. Heck…your post has stirred up a ramble rant in me here !!!

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      • Thank you Abbie….you may regret such open invites! Most things that show prejudice or ignorance on matters of the mind really frustrate me. Kindness costs nothing at all and yet, as a concept, I see it less and less when I’m out and about. Little things can make the world of an addict or MH sufferer so much easier…it’s when nobody gives a stuff, ignores and isolates someone that the trouble brews….see…about to rent again !!

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  5. I am volunteering for a non-profit foundation dealing with opioid addiction, and I have met too many people who lost a loved one after relapsing.
    Addiction is a serious problem.
    It is not to be taken lightly.
    I have and will continue to pray for those people who have lost a loved one.
    xo
    Wendy

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