Last night at my Thursday night meeting I found out a man I have known in AA for years died on Wednesday. After the meeting, I asked his sponsor how he died and he only said that a 54 year old body and cocaine aren't a good combination. This man has been "in and out" for years and years. Someone said that he had ten years of sobriety at one point, but I have never seen him get more than a few months strung together. He leaves a wife and two daughters. And a sponsor whose heart is broken. I could go on with what he leaves, but I will skip it because it doesn't sound very loving or kind. Tornadoes, roaring through the lives of others...
Last week I found out a man who was a very good friend when I was in my 20s and early 30s drank himself to death. I haven't seen this man in over 20 years because when I left my marriage to my kids' dad, I walked away from all of our friends. I felt I needed to because they all drank. Of all of our group back then, I would have thought that Greg was the least likely to die in such a manner. He was probably the most "successful" - he was educated, intelligent, hysterically funny, charming, and handsome. Now he is dead.
My 22nd AA birthday is on Monday. I am going to celebrate my birthday at my home group (The Morning After) next Saturday morning. My name is on the calendar. Most of my good friends are going to be out of town and my sponsor no longer lives here, so it will be different. On Monday - my actual sobriety date - I will show up at Sunrise Serenity at 6:30 a.m. and just respond to the question - "is anyone celebrating a year or multiples thereof?" I will do that at the New Life Thursday night meeting as well.
I am sure by then I will not be feeling as glum as I am right now. This disease is so lethal. That makes me incredibly grateful to be sober, but if you hang around AA for a while, you will come to love many people - many of whom will tear your heart out when they self-destruct.
"The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 83