It’s been a heavy few weeks. It hit me all at once, kind of hard to believe..
As a kid, I was told that smoking lead to doing drugs. Marijuana was a gateway. If you were hanging out in the streets, you were a “vagabond”. Drinking lead to being a “bum”. I never believed it. That was not me.
Somehow, I sought comfort outside of my home, where there wasn’t any. That road was paved with smoke, mirrors and an oasis at the other end of the rainbow. Eventually, the unicorn got exhausted, the magic carpet stalled and the crystal ball shattered into a thousand pieces, the explosion unlocking a passage into the unknown. It gave new meaning to the land of the lost.
They say you can’t be found if you weren’t lost to begin with and I can attest to that. Somehow, I’ve made it through jails, institutions, hospitals, chronic disease, heartache… and still here to continue learning from it. Sometimes I wonder, “why me?”
Two years ago, an old bandmate was on his way to a party from another party at 3am. He was killed instantly after his car crashed.
A dear friend moved away to the West Coast in order to take care of his sick mother. She had lung cancer which came to light twenty years after she had stopped smoking and passed away a few months later.
Almost a year ago, a dear friend and old roommate died of a heart attack. He spent many many years bringing the party on with lots and lots of love for everyone. At the end of the day, he was on his own. He was 49 years old.
A few weeks ago, another dear friend who was my employer years ago passed away. He was a mellow guy that loved the party. He had moved away seeking a quieter existence. He had pancreatic cancer. He was just shy of his 60th birthday.
A few weeks ago, an artist many of us adore passed away from an overdose. He was loved by millions, yet he was found alone in his 65,000 square foot home, unconscious in the elevator.
Last week, I found out that a former recoveree passed away due to a brain aneurysm. He was in his early thirties. He had been drug and alcohol free for about six months after battling addiction for years.
In all of these cases, the common denominator was Alcohol and Other Drugs.
May these beautiful souls forever Rest in Peace as we think of all of our loved ones who have passed as well as the ones who continue to suffer. Unfortunately, it is extremely likely that everyone knows of a similar story, if not many others, that has happened to someone they love or know.
I imagine you might have had similar thoughts. How did so and so end up in the hospital and I didn’t… How was so and so beat up and robbed while stumbling home and it never happened to me? How did so and so get taken advantage of at that party and I didn’t… How did that person get pulled over when I don’t even know how I made it home… and so on and so on and so on.. How am I still standing?
I don’t really have any answers for this. I do know that the fact that you’re reading this and identifying is likely to mean that you’re as much of a miracle as I am.
Maybe you haven’t gone that far down skid row, but the reality is that it doesn’t take that much. That one day that you get tipsy and happened to take some medication you’re not used to could be all it takes. That one “buzz” you got at the family barbecue could be your last one. The happy hour wears on you. That dinner “aperitif” and bottle of wine wears on you. Your weekly one night out wears on you. Your daily toke wears on you. Smoking wears on you. That bachelor party wore on you. You might have done it hundreds of times, but that ONE time is all it takes.
Even if you’re here to talk about it, you are still at risk. Smoking, Alcohol and Other Drug use have both short term and long term effects. We are all at risk. The sooner you STOP using, the sooner your risks begin diminishing.
I will never say that it will never happen to me, for the grace of God, there go I, but it doesn’t have to happen to you. Hopefully you will never have to deal with any health issues. That is easier experienced without consuming Alcohol and Other Drugs. Regardless of what we have been through, we can use our previous experience to learn and pave the way to a healthier, happier tomorrow. Your new life awaits.
Much HeALtH to YOU and YoUrS,
Love Life Today, THiS ReCoVeRY LiFE