Just heard about a middle-aged woman in an alcohol / drug recovery house who was in severe pain from crippling health problems. She had a script for legal opiates, but took too much, so had to leave. Someone picked her up. The next night she didn’t wake up. Sounds like it was an overdose. Another person living on the fringes of society got taken down by addiction. Will anyone know who her next of kin is? Will her next of kin even care if they are notified? Because when you’ve been strung out for a long time, ties to family and friends can get incinerated. I’m pretty sure she didn’t want to end up that way.
I went to elementary school with a guy who became a raging alcoholic. His marriage blew up and his kids hated him, all due to what alcoholism does. His mom died and he inherited some money. His sister tried desperately to block him from getting the money because she knew what would happen. He got the money, and disappeared. Two months later she tracked him down to a hospital in Florida. He was dying. She called his son and said, “Your dad is on life support.” The son said, “They can pull out the plug for all I care.”
Sometimes though, the seemingly hopeless – who may be homeless or one step from homeless – get it. They leave the alcohol and drugs behind and create a new life for themselves. Give them a few years and you’d might never guess or even believe where they came from.
Other times though, like this one, someone who had probably been trying for years to get clean and sober didn’t make it. I’ve been drug and alcohol free for 27 years now, know how to stay clean and sober, and know how to pass that knowledge on. But why some make it and some don’t, I may never know. In recovery it’s called “hitting bottom.” It’s the realization that addiction / alcoholism is destroying you and in desperation you reach out for help, accept the help, and – most importantly – stop drinking and using one day at a time.
And some never make it. Damn.