THE IMPORTANCE OF STAYING SOBER
Saturday was going to be a happy day--as are most of my days. I was met at the door of my 7 AM meeting, by old (she must be 25?) friend Polly, of chocolate chip cookie fame. By the way, Polly has been elected annual chair for the 'cookie' meeting, at which I am the "humble" -grin! librarian. We have a good group of about six actual members , at a meeting which usually hosts 150-200 people. And I do feel the flying sparks of enthusiastic willingness, and a strong spirit of cooperative friendship among the six members.
Well, Polly was at the door when I walked in this Saturday morning. She informed me that a 'special friend', an AA member for a number of years and/or months--more or less--had died by her own desire the night before. So sad. She had tried so hard (too hard? TRIED? Oh my!). "D" was so mixed up. As tragic as it is for me to hear of such happenings, it is even more so when I have a personal relationship with the deceased. We talked briefly...daily. D called Prayer Girl and me two weeks ago, then went to detox, then spent a 'couple daze' in a rehab, then was brought home.
The real tragedy is she left behind a nine-year-old grade schooler, and a thirteen-year-old middle schooler. Also a husband (2 years) and the ex, the children's father, and D's mother--none of whom I know--are now searching their consciences. They are trying to recall who said what, and when, but none of that matters now. To me, this is not about guilt, right, wrong, would-a, could-a, should-a or anything--except a deadly disease. And the disease won the war.
Periodically I am sent a message like this, one of our number dying horribly, suddenly, tragically, and without warning. It brings me back to that realization how deadly this illness IS. The alcoholic sometimes has no defense against the first drink. And after the first one, well--forget it! "D" suffered, true. She was tormented by the demon drugs which have visited so many of us. And sometimes, as in D, those demons camp out...they stay. They just would not let her be.
As sometimes I become enthusiastically nonchalant about the seriousness of this stuff--even while going to many meetings, sponsoring, and mostly walking the walk--I am more than ready to hear the message "...we absolutely insist on enjoying life." Well, that is not the ONLY sentence my Big Book brings me. There are many more sentences, paragraphs, pages, and chapters which stress the importance of taking the Steps, observing the Traditions, attending meetings, telling everything to my sponsor--especially those things I do NOT wish to discuss. Include in those instructions the importance of the maintenance of my spiritual condition, all to help me stay sober.
Truly, I realize that....tonight I am not "covering all the bases". But my mind keeps drifting to the scene of what I was like, what happened, and what I am like now. "D" let us all know what she had been like, we now know what happened (it could happen to any one of us), and we know what she is like now. DEAD!
In love and service...and a heart which hurts,