Monday, December 22, 2008

Déjà vu

I am the fourth of my parents six children. Every one of us has been afflicted with addiction in one form or another. Whether it be cigarettes, alcohol, drugs-we all have it. Mostly booze though. I am the only one who is in recovery. Not tootin' my own horn, I'm just sayin'! Let me tell you about my siblings going from the oldest on . My oldest brother has disowned me since I entered recovery. He is an alcoholic. He used to practically live here-but I guess I am not his cup of tea (or Budweiser) anymore. Next brother is also an alcoholic/addict who is in denial and never returns my phone calls. In fact he doesn't speak to any of his siblings. His loss, but whatever. Next is a sister who passed away at age 37 due to alcoholism and addiction. A methadone overdose is what finally did her in in 2000. She left behind 3 children. So sad. Then after me I have a younger sister who I adore (oh, and who reads my blog BTW) She is in a crappy relationship, just like I was. To cope with the madness, she seeks solace in a wine bottle. It scares me because that's exactly how I started. I am not writing anything I haven't already told her, so chill out. She knows I love her and I only want the best for her. Then there's the youngest, a brother, who smokes pot like cigarettes. He doesn't drink but he likes him some weed! Lots of it. Oh and we ALL smoke cigs. So there you go. I love my family, and all we have is one another since we lost both parents-Dad in 1991 and Mom in 1997. They both passed on WAY before their time. What I'm trying to say is that is IN MY OPINION alcoholism and addictive behaviors run in the family. I am very fortunate to have found the rooms of AA. I know this. If I go out and drink again-I will die. This disease want me to dead. It is totally up to ME now.

So I want to talk about my sister who passed away. I don't know how old she was when she began using, but it was pretty young. The only memories I have of her while growing up are negative. She was always in trouble, always causing trouble, always getting into trouble at school. When she became a teenager, she was always out "partying" she was NEVER home. Always hanging out with all the wrong people. Over the years she had three children. Her first child was with one dad and the other two were from another man. You'll see why that is relevant further on in this post. She was a good mother (as good as an active alkie/addict can be) in the beginning. The kids were always clean, fed. By the time they were 2, 4 and 6 they were living alternately at my house, my mothers' house with, their father, my sister. Whatever. She was in active addiction and that became her focus in life. She tried recovery time and time again. She was in and out of rehabs, more than we could count. It just never clicked with her. She was your typical alcoholic/addict. It was all about HER. I'm not knockin' her, I was the same way when I was active. She thought the world owed her. She knew every which way to take advantage of every rehab, government program(welfare, food stamps etc.) Toys for tots (hell those kids got more gifts than they could EVER use some years, all on generous donors) If it was free, she was first in line. OK, now I guess I'm knockin' her. But if you didn't have money for her, or wouldn't take her to the ER so she could get some serious opiates for every imaginary ailment that all the goddamn Dr.'s gave her, then she didn't want anything to do with you. So, we lost touch over the years. We never knew exactly where was or what she was doing, but it was usually bad. I must mention that she was also bipolar. She was on meds for that as well as using alcohol and other drugs. BAD COMBINATION. So in the end, her body could not fight her addiction and longer and she was found dead of what we later learned was a methadone overdose. She was on methadone maintenance and I don't know HOW she was able to OD but she did. I saw her 10 days before she passed away and she was drinking, so maybe it was a combination. I don't know.

My new friend/sponsee Jen is a CHRONIC alcoholic. Not knockin' her either, I was pretty bad myself. I'm just telling it like it is. She was doing ok for a bit and she is now drinking 24/7. would like to tell you a few bits about her. Not breaking anonymity, you don't know me and I made up her name sooo.....

  • she is 37 years old. Same age as my sister when we lost her.
  • She has 3 children, one from 1st husband, two and three from hubby # 2. Same as my sister.
  • Her oldest lives with her mother. Same as my sister.
  • Her youngest two live with their father. Same as my sister.
  • She is an alcoholic/addict. Just like my sister.
  • She thinks the world owes her. Just like my sister.


I am trying to get her into treatment as we speak, but she wants to wait until after Christmas. I don't think she has that long. I really don't. She has been hospitalized 3 times this year due do her alcoholism. Two of those visits were ONE MONTH stretches. We're not talking rehab, just getting her body back to a point where they feel safe releasing her. The last time was only about a month ago, right before I met her. I can only help her if she really wants it. I am not ready to give up on her, but JESUS CHRIST-she is going to drop dead. I told her that the best Christmas present she can give her kids is to give them their mother back. Go to treatment. But she wants to wait. I'm afraid it will be too late by the time she decides to actually go.

When my sister passed away, I felt guilty for a very long time that I didn't help her. I had been in and out of the rooms, so I KNEW there was a way out of the madness. She knew it too. I have often thought that if I had got sober a few years earlier, maybe she would still be here. Maybe I could have made a difference. God had other plans. I got sober when I was supposed to. I went through all my own hell, and I remember it all (well minus the blackouts!) quite well. Well enough to not want to go out and repeat it again.

I need to remember that I can't help someone that doesn't truly want it. I don't know if my sister TRULY wanted it, and I don't know if Jen TRULY wants it. It hurts me to see her like that, it reminds me of how my sister suffered. How all active alcoholics suffer. I can only guide her, I can't carry her. I have to remember this. If you could, include Jen in your prayers. She needs all the prayers she can get.


big Jenn said...

Those are big enough similarities to tell me that you might be investing more of yourself in this person than you would otherwise,just sayin'.
I'm hoping your sponser is helping you out with the emotional side of this. Take care of yourself. Don't forget that you are powerless. jeNN

Lou said...

Wow, this hits me on a lot of levels. You write with the kind of honesty that comes from having reached the jumping off point (as Pam says) & made the decision to stay alive.

It took a lot of years, tears, & AlAnon to get to the point of accepting my son will get to the jumping off point & may make the decision he does not want to live without drugs.

Your sister, your sponsee, hundreds of thousands of others..I think about them. I will always provide a phone number, a ride, a hug. But it is what it is.

God Bless your sober self this Christmas. I hope you have some fond memories of the person your sister was before the disease claimed her.

Ann H. said...

I sometimes have to remember that there were a lot of people who got me to recovery and not all of them were recovering... just little things that happened or that people said here and there. Sometimes, we are just one little piece of God's big plan for someone else's life... remember that He has things under control, we can't force anything. Be there as much as you are called to, but differentiate when its about you and when its about her. But I love your kindness and willingness to help... xo

sKILLz said...

I agree and think it is totally up to the person if they want to get clean or not.
At least you KNOW that if you go out and drink that your going to die. In all honesty the addiction wants us dead. Thats all there is for us beside prison!

Have a happy holiday!
Stay Up!

Dying4Something2Live4 said...

Merry Christmas!


Vivvy said...

Yes I do read them ! Coldn't agree with you more on every level. Even on me ! LOVE YOU

Gledwood said...

Hi I came here via a comment you left in another blog about SURRENDER? I don't get "surrendering to addiction" surely that's what addicts do by using every day..? and giving up hope & quitting the broken promises about "i'll go to rehab and not jump over the wall this time" etc etc

i agree with you about something running in families that can manifest as addiction... i 1st came to this idea via a book i read by a world expert on depression. he said that even when it doesn't pass as a full blown version there tends to be lots of drinkers, druggers, gamblers anorexics etc running in those families... well i can see this in my own. my temperament passes clearly down one side. having said that i'm the only one who's an out & out junkie

great blog here, have a happy new year! + i love your photo btw ;->...