A Sad Anniversary of Sorts

Old 09-17-2013, 08:59 PM
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A Sad Anniversary of Sorts

Yesterday was the three year anniversary of the passing of my mentor.

It's not something I've talked about a lot here because of a lot of it is deeply personal. But what I will share is it was my first experience dealing with something with addiction issues (alcoholism), and he managed to hide it from me for nearly 16 years.

It had gotten so bad by early 2010 that he and his wife (who was battling cancer) agreed to separate, and I flew out to the left coast to bring him back to New England for treatment. He hated the left coast. And how did he celebrate coming back home?

A vodka binge! And this was after he swore he'd never drink again. He couldn't help himself. He fell, gashed his arm open, had to go via ambulance to the ER, and then was admitted to a psychiatric unit to dry out. When I went to visit him, he confused me with his son.

Shortly after this, he was diagnosed with alcohol dementia, and his mental deterioration accelerated such that I didn't know who he was anymore. The last time I saw him, he was in the hospital fighting off some sort of bug, and he was so gone that he thought the IV bags were filled with vodka.

I was so bullsh*t with him. Couldn't understand why he didn't tell me that he was stuggling. But shortly after he died, it occured to me I didn't have the right to judge him. He and his wife were dealing with some serious end-of-life issues, and he couldn't cope. And in not being able to cope, he turned to the only way he could: booze. He made a boat load of mistakes, and he ultimately paid for them with his life.

I'm now thankful that he passed fairly quickly, for there was no way in hell he'd want to live the life he was living: being in a nursing home, crackers, and not being able to do the things he enjoyed doing.

I now know a lot of what was going on behind the scenes, and it wasn't pretty. Still, this guy filled a big void in my life after I lost my dad at a very, very young age. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't have become an engineer, let alone take on and complete graduate school. My one lament? He didn't live to see me graduate as a member of Eta Kappa Nu. He would have loved that.

Shortly after he died is when I met my darling AXGF. And her being both an addict (unknown to me at the time) and a Borderline (likewise), she smelled blood in the water and lured me into a situation where I didn't know I was over my head until it was too late. One takeaway from that debacle?

When vulnerable, be on guard for people that may want a piece of you. Don't give it to them. I'm rambling...

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Old 09-17-2013, 09:07 PM
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((((ZoSo))) - I'm sorry for the anniversary, but I do have to admit. I think people come into our lives for a reason, and good or bad? We learn from them.

I also agree with you that we have no right to judge them. I used to do that, but not since I began recovery. Sometimes, the one thing we learn from someone is to "be wary" and I have to admit, I didn't always heed that lesson.

Over the years, I can see why each person came into my hindsight. Those who have passed on? There were times I was angry, but later on, I saw what I had learned from them.

You have been someone who I learn SO much from, admire, and appreciate. Would you be that person without those you've dealt with? Don't know, don't really care, I'm just grateful for what you share on here.

Hugs and prayers,

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