I found out today that this guy I knew from the program killed himself a few weeks ago. This is very, very sad and reminds me once again of why I go to meetings. I go to meetings because I have a fatal disease which has no cure. That is why I get up on Sunday mornings and go sit in a hospital basement for an hour. It is how I stay alive. Now that I've done it awhile I actually do enjoy the people and the meeting. I look forward to going all week. The people there I consider dear and important in my life. But, really even though it's something I look forward to now; that's not why I'm there.
It reminds me that my disease is patient and cunning and it never goes away. He had recently picked up his 2 year sobriety chip. From what he'd shared, it seemed like things were going well for him in those 2 years. He had gone from being homeless to again having a job in his field, having his family talk to him again, having a sponsor and new friends in the program. He was a wonderful artist and was handsome and witty. I enjoyed watching him get his life back. I liked waving to him as I drove by when he was taking a smoke in front of the place he worked. A couple times when I went in he showed me his portfolio and his work. He was very talented. He always gave hugs and seemed to be getting better. One time in a meeting he told a story about denial and how when he was using and homeless in California he'd convinced himself that he was OK because he had a sleeping bag and didn't have to sleep on cardboard or the ground like the heroin addicts. Something about that story hit home with me.
Many weeks ago I'd heard from my mom that someone I knew from the program had killed themselves. I'd missed meetings due to having Charlie and I wondered who it was but she didn't know. When I went back to my Sunday morning meeting, I would feel relieved when the old faces were still there and would walk through the door. Mike hadn't been there and I'd been afraid to ask. Maybe he went to visit family in California, maybe he's got the flu, maybe he moved. Two weeks ago his brother and friend were there and no one mentioned Mike. I'd kinda figured it out but was still hoping he'd come through the doors. Today I had a chance to ask someone privately and they confirmed it. SO SO SO SAD!
I ask God every day to help me stay sober. I never want to be too sure of my sobriety. There are no guarantees. I just know that I don't want to be the one that picks up a chip and the puts a gun to my head after 2 weeks of drinking. Mike is not the first person in the program I have known who has gone back out there and not made it back and unfortunately, he won't be the last.
I wonder if maybe I should have gone in to talk to him more when he was at work, or talked to him more at meetings or maybe if I'd been at the park that afternoon to say hey and wave, maybe he would have not done it...I know that doesn't make sense but that's what I think about.
I also think about how suicidal I was when I was drinking and even early on in my sobriety. I'm so glad I didn't do it. I would have missed out on so much. I think about all the good that has happened and how I would have never known about it all and how sad it would have made my family and friends. It seemed like things were going so well for him. I wonder what wonderful things would have continued to happen for him if he'd not picked up that drink.
So when I drag my sleepy self out of bed tomorrow and leave my husband and two young children to sit in the basement of a hospital for a hour I will think about dear Mike and how I'm not here for fun, I'm here to stay alive.
So this is a disease that can take 2 years of sobriety and within 2 weeks have you dead with a self inflicted gunshot wound in a city park of a small rural Texas town. Alcoholism is serious stuff and I'm here for very selfish reasons. I'm here to stay alive.