She Drank

It’s now been many years since I was an active member of the “recovery community”, ie attending meetings of 12-Step programs, etc.  But my time in them as well as my outspoken status as a recovering alcoholic (which is just another way of saying addict) made me many friendships and relationships with people of just about every walk of life, and people of extremely varying success with staying clean and sober.

There’s a woman I’ve known for about 6 years now.  She’s about ten years younger than I am.  She is an alcoholic of the absolute most acute variety–she can get sober for a few months at the most but never, ever stay sober.  In the few years I’ve known her she must have relapsed fifty times and been to as many rehabs.  It got really heartbreaking.  We never stayed out of contact for long; according to her I was one of the only people who never, ever judged her, who really did stick to the story that her troubles didn’t make her a bad person, that no matter how hopeless it got, she could still write a good ending to her story.

She struggled so mightily with drink.  I’ve never met anyone who struggled so.

We’d been texting somewhat frequently in the last few months–her travels had taken her to a Recovery House very near where I lived.  We never got together, but our proximity did increase our communication.  In the five months that she lived near me she relapsed three times and went to rehab twice.  In the past few weeks she had moved back with her parents about twenty minutes away and was, for a time, sober.

I logged onto Facebook today to see posts about her death.  I felt sick and lightheaded.  We’d texted last less than a week ago.  She was massively troubled but was just a sweet little girl encased in all that mammoth pain.  I texted someone to ask how she died and I got this simple text back: She drank windshield washer fluid.  I have no great words of wisdom here, and no tidy sentence to end this thought.  This is what the human mind and body can drive some people to.  I breathe deeply for her tonight and mourn.

3 Responses to “She Drank”

  1. Sorry for your loss, Seth. My heart is heavy reading this. I am so happy you found such peace, love and happiness these days. ❤️

  2. Kyle Sundgren Says:

    That’s just heartbreaking. You no doubt helped her through some rough times though simply by keeping in touch. Sometimes all it takes is knowing that someone in the world cares.

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