In this blog you'll find mostly my thoughts and experiences as well as poems in regards to my Al-anon 12-step recovery.
I hope you enjoy. Please feel free to leave me comments.


If someone's drinking, drugging or sobriety is bothering you or if you grew up with drinking or drugs in your home, please find an Al-anon meeting.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

An explanation for you. A letter for Jacob.

Most of you know that I am a member of a 12 step program. I don't think I have specified which one. I'll do that now.

I am an active member of Alanon. This is for family and friends of alcoholics. In many cases this also unofficially includes drug addicts. Alanon was created over 55 years ago and was born from the Alcoholics Anonymous program.

This program has saved my life. It has given me an opportunity to have a life that I never dreamed possible. But the single most important thing it has given me is permission to love the alcoholics and addicts in my life.

Most people who have never been affected by or grown up with the disease of alcoholism or drug addiction will not understand this. They will say things like.. Just leave him/her... Throw him/her out...etc. They don't realize that we can't. In many cases it is just not an option.

I am here to tell you that I love many alcoholics and drug addicts. I have many that are family and friends. They are all children of God and are struggling on a daily basis with a disease that's cunning, baffling and powerful. Some have found recovery, some have not and some have died.

Joshua and Jacob. Two boys raised by their father. Grown into men that cared for their father as he aged. Always together... forever taking care of each other.
Two incredible men suffering with the disease of alcoholism and drug addiction.

Joshua was my husbands cousin. He was my family by marriage. I loved him. He has 3 beautiful children. We lost him on January 17th 2008. A gentle giant standing over 7ft tall. He was a musician like his father and his younger brother. He was a loving father and a loyal friend. He was a good man. We lost him to this horrible disease of drug addiction.

He left his children, his younger brother and his father to move forward without him.
He is missed and he is loved. He will forever be remembered by his children.

Jacob, Josh's younger brother. The one I spent the most time with over the years and even more time with after Josh died. Jacob was lost and devastated from Josh's death. I loved him unconditionally with all of my heart. We lost him in the early morning hours of December 22nd 2009. He was a musician, he was an uncle, he was a comedian, he was a loyal friend, he was a bright shining light. He was a good man with a heart of gold. We also lost him to this horrible disease...

I hate this fucking wretched disease!

Shortly after Josh died we had also lost a mutual friend, again to drugs. Such pain and tragedy. Such loss.
I watched Jacob struggle with his addiction, with his loss of Josh. I watched him try and try again to clean up. He stayed with us for periods of time. Because of Alanon we were able to just love him, let him share the secrets of his pain and struggle with us. Not enable him, not do for him what he should do for himself, just love him with acceptance of who he was and where he was.

These last few months things were better. He was no longer using and he had entered AA, had a sponsor and was working toward recovery.
Recovery teaches us that we cant rest on our ass's. We have to stay ever vigilant in our recovery work. It's a daily process. We don't get a quick fix.. We don't get healed. We get a daily reprieve contingent upon our spiritual maintenance.

By nature we are great 'forgetters' and this disease is patient. It waits, it grows, it gets stronger every day. I don't know what happened or why Jacob picked up his drug of choice again. I don't have to know. It doesn't matter now. I couldn't have saved him... but I cant help but wish he had called me or his sponsor or anyone. I am angry that he didn't.

They are both at peace and no longer struggle with this disease. They no longer feel the guilt and the shame that comes with it. God doesn't make junk or garbage. No matter what horrible choices they made, or horrible actions they took. These men were children of God and they were loved!

So what I will say to those that love an alcoholic or drug addict is to remember... This is NOT a choice. This is a disease. A very real one and people struggle and fight and die everyday from it. Including the family and friends. Don't enable them, don't do for them what they should do for themselves but simply love them and know that they are not trying to hurt you. For all the pain you feel watching them struggle know that their pain and guilt is far worse. Lastly, GO TO ALANON: It will save your life!

To the alcoholics and addicts still struggling with the disease, I will say...I understand. I know you're hurting and I know you're baffled. There is help for you and you don't have to do this alone! Please seek help if and when you are ready.

To Jacob,

You were a bright shining light in my life. You held so much love in your heart. Such a special man with a special soul. I know you and Josh are together making music once again. God is holding the both of you. There is no more pain, no more addiction. Your sense of ease and comfort has finally arrived. We spent many nights together. We talked about the disease and we talked about recovery and most times we laughed and laughed. I read to you from the Big Book of AA and also from my favorite book "The Greatest thing in the world" by Henry Drummond. I know you remember. I remember too. Those moments I will hold dear. So I will leave you with the prayer from that book.

*The book can be found here.
"THOUGH I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not LOVE I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not Love, it profiteth me nothing.

Love suffereth long, and is kind;
Love envieth not;
Love vaunteth not itself is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly,
Seeketh not her own,
Is not easily provoked,
Thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, Love, these three; but the greatest of these is Love.—I COR xiii."

These three remain always Jacob. Faith, hope and Love...And yes the greatest of these is love.

You were loved Jacob! You still are.

Love M.