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"This empty chair in the middle of the circle...

Old 03-22-2010, 12:21 PM
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"This empty chair in the middle of the circle...

is in memory of Eric. He won't be coming back. Ever."

Folks, i walked into my normal noon meeting today to learn that this cunning and baffling disease has taken another life. My friend overdosed over the weekend. I first met Eric in my 1st NA meeting in this town about a year ago. He'd been clean for over 18 months. He was a kind and generous person and made me feel welcome there and at all the meeting i attended in my first few months. He had a home group, a sponsor, and appeared to be living the program.

I relapsed last september and by grace, and i do mean grace, i made it back in one piece on 12/28/09. Eric wasn't so fortunate. I saw him in a meeting just last thursday and that ended up being his last full day on earth. So sad.

Guys, this is serious business. As dam serious as serious can be. This disease we suffer from wants us dead. Nevermind the unmanageability, the deriliction, the low self esteem, unemployability, paranoia, financial and relationship problems. Those are all bad and it's certainly noble to be striving to change such problems. But do not forget that addiction left untreated will kill us. Period.

Whatever you're doing for your recovery today, give thanks for the fact that you have been granted this precious gift. Be dilligent. Give yourself fully to whatever recovery path/program you have chosen. If you have yet to commit yourself to recovery and are reading this because you feel that you need recovery, please don't delay. All we have is a 24 reprieve from the horrors of addiction, from our past ways, from ourselves. Don't end up like my friend and countless others who didn't make it. There is a solution. Thanks.
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:28 PM
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You are so right. It is such a sad fact that some have to die so others can live.
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:33 PM
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We use the statement sometimes quickly sometimes slowly

It occured to me, sometimes quickly sometimes slowly but it will take your life if you let it

Awful painful reminder. So very sorry for your loss
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:34 PM
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sorry to hear about your friend. I'm current trying AGAIN to quit drinking and like you said it is very powerful and I hate it. I'm struggling with a higher power and opening up to help but I hear AA works and I'm going on Wed but I struggle everyday and all day long and I feel hopeless to fight it at times. If you can help me with words of kindness or advice I would greatly appreciate it!
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:40 PM
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Welcome to SR Help04. I'm glad you're going to AA. Many of us need support to quit drinking or using. Please read our stories and ask questions. We're here to help ourselves and others stay clean and sober.:ghug3
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:13 PM
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August, I am sorry for the loss of your friend, Eric.

You are so right about this disease and its relentlessness.
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by help04 View Post
I'm struggling with a higher power and opening up to help but I hear AA works and I'm going on Wed but I struggle everyday and all day long and I feel hopeless to fight it at times. If you can help me with words of kindness or advice I would greatly appreciate it!
Hi Help,


Most people who walk into AA have a problem with the Higher Power. But it is through working the 12 steps that we find our Higher Power. That Higher Power enables us to live a happy, joyous and free - free from the obsession to drink.

Meetings are a wonderful place to meet people who understand exactly how hopeless you feel. There's plenty of happiness and plenty of unconditional love in the meeting rooms........but at times, there is sadness, like has been shared in this thread. It is ever a reminder that alcoholism and addiction kills. I am glad you are seeking help now.
Please let us know how it goes at the meeting on Wednesday .
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:21 PM
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Hi Augustwest, I am sorry for your loss of your friend, Eric.

Thank you for sharing here.
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:24 PM
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My thoughts go out to Eric. His story is a powerful reminder to us all.
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:43 PM
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Thanks Augustwest for sharing..Sorry for the loss of your freind....Was it his liver heart that packed in? how old was he...Had he had Warnings from the doc..You maybe dont wish to go into detail...Man this again is a big wake up call..I Relapsed again last night an gotta bottle of wine,an a couple of beers..An the warnin signs for me are Flashin..like i did 8 days off..The week before i did 7 days then had a one night blip...Its no use...Its like i wanna jazz the night up bored after a weeks soberness...ITS Insane i really gotta nip it in the Bud..Like the hangover today after just that meager amount is like the Hangover of a 2 week Bender...not good..Since a couple of serious benders over christmas an new year..Really beginnin to feel the bad affects like never Before..Its ok the urgency for change is Apparent..back in line today... THANKS.
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:46 PM
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I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your friend, August.

What a painful reminder that alcohol/drugs are not our "friends" and indeed wants us dead and will stop at nothing to lure us back into its grip.

There but for the grace of God go I...one day at a time.
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Old 03-22-2010, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Kerbcrawler View Post
Like the hangover today after just that meager amount is like the Hangover of a 2 week Bender...not good..Since a couple of serious benders over christmas an new year..Really beginnin to feel the bad affects like never Before..Its ok the urgency for change is Apparent..back in line today... THANKS.
Every time you drink, it will just get worse. This is how the addiction of alcoholism is - it's progressive.

You mentioned change and if nothing changes, nothing changes. Quitting drinking like you did the last time will just get you the same results......what can you change and do different this time?
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Old 03-22-2010, 02:32 PM
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yes True Intention...Messed up and cant really offer any excuse..Other than havin booze in the house..An fallin for the old re,assuring voice that makes me beleive i could have had a couple then thats it...Takin steps an makin progress slowly but surely..Like one or two others have said this alcoholism is powerfull..And runnin with a history of abuse and bad habit...struggling to change it overnight...Need to busy my butt off on the weekends and get doing things...avoid the trigger opportunitys ive been fallin on..
Here we go again...Thanks again Intention. as its only ever the weekend i struggle.
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Old 03-22-2010, 02:47 PM
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Sorry My Friend-
That hits home. I hope his family, and you, have it ok- not sure what else to say except love to you all.
Dub
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by help04 View Post
sorry to hear about your friend. I'm current trying AGAIN to quit drinking and like you said it is very powerful and I hate it. I'm struggling with a higher power and opening up to help but I hear AA works and I'm going on Wed but I struggle everyday and all day long and I feel hopeless to fight it at times. If you can help me with words of kindness or advice I would greatly appreciate it!

It is a fact that you can quit drinking. You have the desire, so build upon that with some willingness and keep an open mind. Don't worry about the higher power thing. Just go to meetings. The higher power stuff is step 2 anyway, and it can be whatever you want. I know plenty of atheists and agnostics that are in 12 step programs and it works for them. The most important thing is that it works, how or what you beleive is irrelevent and entirely up to you.

Once i was able to put a few 24 hours together without any drugs or alcohol things began to get better pretty quickly. I went to meetings every day, got a sponsor and a home group and started doing service work and step work. I started exercising, praying, and meditating daily. I did what was suggested and it's worked thus far! It's pretty simple really.

I wish you all the best. You can do this thing my friend. One day, one hour, one breath at a time.
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:13 PM
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Thanks August, for sharing Eric's tragic death with us.
Prayers for you and for all who cared about Eric.
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:36 PM
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Thanks Carol. I lost a couple of friends in active addiction but pretty much chalked it up to casualty of war type stuff. This has been different. This is the first person close to me in recovery to die like this and it's just heartbreaking. It reinforces the powerlessness we all have over other people and things and shows how insidious and horrible addiction is.

I feel an even stronger resolve to continue with my recovery. This has burned into my brain that "just 1" could easily be my last one. Now that i've gotten some recovery there's no excuse to go back out there. There's no good reason. It's just so freaking sad that someone has to go out like that. It feels incredibly weird that someone that i love, someone that's helped me in my recovery; that their death is strengthening my recovery. It just feels....dirty almost. I can still hear his voice and the little things he would say in meetings, just last week...

sigh.

They say in NA that more will be revealed, and this has certainly been one of those experiences. I hope, and am certain that this unfortunate death has impacted many in a positive way. It's sick that some have to die but that's what this disease does.

Jails, institutions, and death.

Thanks to all for their kind words. I'm sad, but am ok. I'm more grateful right this moment than perhaps i've ever been for being granted this so precious opportunity. Perhaps this story will be a needed jolt for some readers. Whatever the benefit, i find it challenging to reconcile with the death of a kind and sincere man who hadn't reached age 40 yet. But i accept it, for it's another example of that which i cannot change.
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:03 PM
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Thanks for sharing that man!

Maybe this will push someone who is already thinking about going to AA or NA into making that call...as for the active alcoholic/addict IMO it won't even scratch the surface which proves the point you made below!

I'm really pleased for you that you found your way back so quick, most don't...as you implied there but for the grace of God go we!
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:06 PM
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“Living with the immediacy of death helps you sort out your priorities in life. It helps you to live a less trivial life.”
(I'm reading "The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying", thought I'd share this quote w/ you.) Finding strength in his death is the best thing you can do. Sharing here will help many (like myself) remember that one more may be our last. Peace August, thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:18 PM
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I'm sorry for your loss AW.
Prayers for Eric and all who knew him.

D
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