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Maybe this will wake us up

Old 07-19-2013, 11:51 AM
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Maybe this will wake us up

A friend of mine shared this on Facebook today and hopes it will help others:



An open letter to my brotherís friends

My baby brother died today. He was 36 years old, and he was an alcoholic.

Thatís a terrible epitaph of a life ended too soon. I donít want that to be the sum of how my brother is remembered. Eddie was a sweet and loving little boy, with a generous heart, and many people loved him. Now donít get me wrong, Machete Eddie was a holy terror in his day - he lived his life to the fullest, but he didnít know where and how to draw the line, and that troubled him his entire life.

As a kid, Eddie knew everyone who worked at the emergency room at Suburban General by name, and they knew him. He lived life full tilt, with no hesitation, and broke bones, got stitched back together, and created general mayhem. He rode his big wheel full tilt down hills, pitched face first over the front of a kid-sized dump truck ridden full speed down a neighborís driveway, and roller bladed down a slide.

He loved music. I guess we should have known how much he loved music when he played the Pepsi jingle on his toy guitar. He was too little to say the words right, so it came out ďCatch that Fefi Firit.Ē He got a little older and picked up the bass guitar and took lessons for the first time, and fell in love with making music.

He struggled in school, and never really found his place there. He had lots of friends, and many of those childhood friends still remember him fondly. He wanted to cook and play music, both things that brought him into contact with alcohol and drugs.

I guess he thought he was immortal and invincible - nothing bad could happen to him, but he was wrong. He thought he could stop at any time, but he was wrong. He would go and party with his friends, and Eddie was always the life of the party, and everyone loved him. He was like the pied piper. He genuinely loved people and they wanted to be around him. The addictions that he would battle the rest of his life were born in those seemingly carefree party days.

Many of his friends grew away from him, had families and their lives changed, but his never did. He drew deeper into the vicious cycle of addiction, and spent a dark period addicted to heroin. He was a shadow of his former self, gaunt and weak. He went to rehab. He relapsed. The painful cycle of broken promises and heartbreak took a toll on the rest of our family. It seemed endless and hopeless. We tried everything. Everything. And then we tried it again. And our hearts were broken, again and again.

At some point he started drinking to try to overcome his craving for heroin, and the chasm got deeper. Heíd had so many second chances. Many of his friends turned away from him. Nobody believed anything he said anymore. He couldnít find a job, because he was unreliable. He couldnít be counted on to keep his word, and his relationship with his beautiful daughter was damaged. We tried everything. Everything. And then we tried it again. And our hearts were broken, again and again.

The cycle of detox and relapse kept him in a vicious grip for years. He despaired that he had ruined his life and several times reached out to others he saw starting down the path heíd trod, and pleaded with them not to make the same mistakes. Iíd like to think that he may have had an impact on someone elseís life. Many of his friends have reached out to our family to tell us that he has touched them. But Eddie couldnít help himself. He was lost, despaired that his life was ruined, sinking deep into depression. He repeatedly said that he wanted to die. He tried to commit suicide. And the drinking got worse. We tried everything. Everything. And then we tried it again. And our hearts were broken, again and again.

He drove drunk. He spent time in jail. And it got worse.

On the day of my wedding, he was drunk. I can see it in the pictures, and it broke my heart a little more that day. He wasnít interested in celebrating because I wouldnít let him drink, so he left. And it got worse.

On the drive to my grandmotherís funeral, he had to stop and go drink in a restroom during the trip so that he wouldnít go into withdrawal. And it got worse.

Many of those closest to him, his friends, turned away. He was out of control and sinking fast. He barely ate, couldnít sleep, and was haunted. He couldnít drink and he couldnít not drink. His body was ravaged by the years of abuse. He started keeping a diary of sorts on his Facebook page, in the hope that seeing his battle would save someone else.We tried everything. Everything. And then we tried it again. And our hearts were broken, again.

He went to detox, again. This time it was different. His body had nothing left to give. His liver was ruined, and his kidneys badly damaged. He was on life support, to give his body a chance to fight back. But it was too late. He suffered. We tried everything. Everything. And then we tried it again. And our hearts were broken, again.

Our parents are shattered. I want to wake up from this horrific nightmare, but cannot. Eddie is out of chances, and all I can think about is how much he didnít get to do, and I wonder if there was something else I could have done. I didnít think my heart could be broken again, but I was wrong.

Many of his friends say they partied with him, and too many have reached out to tell me that they struggle with addictions. Some I have known since they were children. Some of them begged me to tell his story. This letter is for you. My heart breaks for each and every one of you. I donít want your families to experience this kind of heartbreak. If you are an addict, or an alcoholic, get help. If you know someone who is crying out for help, don't turn away. Try everything. Try it again. Your heart will be broken, but try again. If these words touch one person and make a difference, it will help us get through this dark time. Eddie would want us to try.

If Eddieís story will help you reach someone else, feel free to share it. Families hide their story, in shame. I am NOT ashamed of my baby brother. I loved him dearly. I couldnít help him, and that will haunt me for the rest of my life.

So I am asking you, in memory of Eddie, to put down your glass tonight.

In loving memory
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:08 PM
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I put my glass down....thank you
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:11 PM
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I am so very very sorry for your loss of your beloved Eddie. He sounds like someone that was very special, and also who suffered so much. brings to mind something in a song about a light so bright and burning out too fast....can't remember. God Bless your entire family and God Bless Eddie.
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:15 PM
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Thank You for posting this. Sometimes we think we are invincable and that our bodies can take the abuse. I feel sad for this Eddie, I hope he is at peace now.
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:25 PM
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Thank you for posting your brother's story. I hope someone can learn from it.
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Old 07-19-2013, 03:14 PM
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I watched a video on you tube of a fellow that died really young ,from alochol .

Alochol has killed more people than any other drug-imo
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Old 07-19-2013, 05:52 PM
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I see my husband in your brother. I have tried and tried, only to be heart broken once again. My husband suffered massive head trauma in a motorcycle accident on 7/3. He has, once again, picked up the bottle.

I'm going to Let Go and Let God. Maybe that will be more effective. I'm detaching with all the love in my heart and hoping it will save him before he joins your brother and thousands of others.
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:47 PM
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Heartbreaking, and so very real...... I admire your friend for speaking openly and hope it helps a lot of people (sounds like it already has). Thank you for the post, LookingOut.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by LookingOut View Post

My baby brother died today. He was 36 years old, and he was an alcoholic.

Thatís a terrible epitaph of a life ended too soon. I donít want that to be the sum of how my brother is remembered.
Yet the rest of this memoriam focuses on his addictions and failures rather than the positive things about him.

This is a terrible, insidious disease that has senselessly claimed another victim. After reading the quote above, I was expecting a positive story that highlighted what the world has lost because of this tragedy. But what I got was another bitter rant by someone with a lot of resentment. I can only hope that the author can eventually find some peace.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:30 PM
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did the letter and the author really need a critique Charlie?

I'm sorry for the loss of this young person.
prayers for all those who knew and loved him

D
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
did the letter and the author really need a critique Charlie?
Perhaps not. But I found that the tone of the letter casts alcoholics/addicts in a very negative light.

In any event, thoughts and prayers to this man and his family.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:44 PM
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I probably should have made it a PM - mea culpa.

I didn't read it that way but even if I did, personally, I think I could forgive the author that, seeing as s/he just lost a brother.

Diff'rent strokes.

D

Last edited by Dee74; 07-20-2013 at 03:05 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 07-20-2013, 02:49 AM
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RIP Eddie, my thoughts are with his family
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Old 07-20-2013, 03:29 AM
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My thoughts are with this family. It is tragic. I do not want to make light of them in any way. They are real people. They are in pain.

But from my point of view, from an alcoholic, it would not make me throw the bottle away.

I personally have had two people close to me die of alcoholism and I did not wake up.

My brother was an alcoholic and took his own life in 1984. He was eighteen. I did not drink until I was eighteen because of this. Not because I was afraid I may become an alcoholic too but because he caused so much havoc in the household and I saw my parents go through so much grief in the years before he committed suicide that I never wanted to do that to them. I figured at least if I was eighteen it was on me and not on them.

Waiting made no difference and I never saw my alcoholism as it progressed over the years. Not one time did I stop and think "Whoa, I am like Danny". Not once, ever. Maybe it was because I held so many resentments toward him that it blocked me from taking a clear look.

My ex-husband, the father of my children, died of alcoholism in 2008. He literally drank himself to death. In the BB there is the story "AA taught him to handle sobriety". It tells of the esophageal hemorrhage. My ex-husband was told if he ever drank again he would die and he did, of that condition. Seeing him in the end was heartbreaking. Seeing my children go through that was heartbreaking. It was still not enough to wake me up. Again, I carried so many resentments from our marriage and my desire to have him be the kind of father I wanted him to be that I did not see clearly. He had the problem. Not me. I was not that bad.

It took me over four more years to have that moment of clarity. I heard from my sponsor, we learn when we learn. That is the truth, at least for me.

Maybe this story shared will help someone. Maybe the experience I shared may help someone. There is no way to know.

I think it is important to remember why it is shared. Am I trying to scare someone straight? Am I trying to throw all my hurt at the world so they can see it with the hope that other alcoholics out there will not want to hurt their loved ones this same way?

I used to do this when I told people about my brother. I did not want them to see the alcoholic as I did not understand the alcoholic. I wanted them to see the boy that took his life. The boy that created all the issues. The brother that I wanted and never had. I wanted them to feel my pain. I wanted in some small way, to make me feel better.

Now when I share an experience it is not to make myself feel good. I don't do it to shock or scare people. I do it because that is all I have to share. Experience, strength and hope. These are what I have now.

If I help someone then it helps me. That is the whole idea. I stay sober helping others do the same.
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Old 07-20-2013, 09:58 AM
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I believe she posted it sincerely hoping to help his friends. I believe she wanted to honestly show the raw pain. She wrote this just after his death, after sitting by his side in the ICU for weeks.

If it helps just one person, then it is a positive thing.

My husband's aunt, after burying her husband too soon because of severe COPD from smoking, made a plea at the funeral for those who smoke to consider quitting. One of my brother-in-laws put cigarettes down and never picked them up.

We are not God. As alcoholics, we admit we are powerless. We allow others to be who they are and we allow God to be in control.

I was touched by the story and didn't see all the negativity. Maybe that is because I also watched my father die this way.
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Old 07-20-2013, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by SoberBella1 View Post
I put my glass down....thank you
This is what it is about right here. Good luck on your sober journey!
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Old 07-20-2013, 10:30 AM
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This story helped me. May Eddie RIP.
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Old 07-20-2013, 11:02 AM
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Lookingout, Thank you for sharing your friends story with regards her Brother Eddie, Im sure it will help people to understand what drinking can do to our bodies and our familys. They must have felt so helpless as a family watching Eddie destroy himself and I for one who has only just started my sober journey(23 days) will not be picking up a glass tonight

Last edited by aw58; 07-20-2013 at 11:03 AM. Reason: spelling
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