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.


  1. May the gods hold you and keep you in this time... I'm keeping you and yours in my thoughts and prayers!

  2. Wow. Thank you for posting this. What an honest, vulnerable look at losing someone so precious to this disease. I'm praying for you. *hugs*

  3. My sweet, dear friend with the enormous heart: I love you.

    My father was raised by an alcoholic. In my 20s, I went to Alanon to understand my father better. It's a wonderful organization full of love and support.

    I'm so proud of you for loving as deeply as you do. God bless your family. I'm so sorry for your loss.

  4. As someone who has had an adult life full of addicts... and not just alcohol or drugs... my heart goes out to you, sweet lady.

    My Christmas wish for you and yours is that you find peace, hope, strength, joy, and love...

  5. I didn't know Josh, and I knew Jacob very little (which was more than enough), but you know why I'm in tears right now. Being the daughter of an alcoholic, my heart goes out to you and the family. I love what you have written here, chica. It needed to be said, and I'm proud of you for voicing it.

    My thoughts and prayers to all.

  6. Thank you for reaching out to so many, even in your time of grief.

  7. After having to take a minute to compose myself from the power of this, I still find I am unable to properly convey the love and gratitude in my heart for what you have written. You accepted my cousins for who they were and loved them with all your heart. Your capacity and willingness to do this unconditionally is one of the true reasons I know you are my soulmate. I love you honey, and can't begin to express my thanks for such kind and loving words.

  8. i hope that someday i can come to forgive myself for not understanding the nature of his disease. For being angry instead of loving him. Shoulda-coulda-woulda- all these things will not bring my beautiful jacob back to me. I know I will go on-I must go and and make him proud. to share his gift of unconditional love and understanding. I WILL NOT FORGET HIM. JACOB!!!! I fucking Love you. I fucking love YOU

  9. Sorry to hear about your loss.

    No matter how long I've been around the fellowships, it's never become any easier to deal the reality of the illness. In that takes many of the people we know and love.

    This year, I buried one of my best friends, who died as a direct result of an illness he picked up, when he was using. He was long term sober when he died, but the reality is, the illness got him in the end anyway.

    In the last twenty years of my sobrity, I've burried almost everyone who got sober at the same time as me, including two of my sponsors. Some died of related illnesses and some relapsed and died using. Drunk or sober, the illness takes a fearsome toll on people.

    In the last five years, in particular, I've come to realise that clean or using, drunk or sober, people with this illness carry a burden larger than most... and that in more ways than I ever really understood as a newcomer, just how true the expression "One day at a time" is.

    Nothing brings this more to the forefront than the loss of a loved one... because the bottom line is all we have are the people we love, just this day and our own humanity.

    I know for many people in the fellowship, a life lost to the diesease is seen as a tragedy. I'm genuinely not sure of the truth of that. All deaths, drunk or sober, are tragedies and all lives lived that give and recieve some love are heroic.

    I send my best wishes to the Jacob's friends and family and I sincerely hope that life treats you all kindly in the New Year.

  10. I hope that your family finds solace in one another and carries on, though your hearts may be burdened. Much love.

  11. My heart goes out to you and your family in this harsh moment. Thank you for sharing this with your honest and compassionate words, words that now fail me to express entirely my love and admiration for you. xxx

  12. You have a gift to be able to get your thoughts down on paper. Your words are honest and show your amazing compassion for those in your life. I love you and am here if you need anything.

  13. What a heartbreaking disease this is. What a moving, lovely tribute. Thank you for sharing this, and for being such an important part of my life. I love you.

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  15. Beautifully told.

  16. Wow. Thank you for this post. My brother is an addict and for years my parents, brother and I went through HELL trying to cope. You know the drill- doctors, psychologists, staying up all night wondering whether to cut him off...I don't know why we never thought to go to AlAnon. That really would have given us (especially my parents) some peace. He's been clean for a while, but only because his drug use has led to some serious health problems, so his being clean doesn't really mean he's in good shape. I am so sorry for your losses and humbled by your ability to love. You are an inspiration.