I was planning to do my March Word of Mouth 5 — my once a month column where I like to shed light on people and/or organizations I think are great. So, as I usually do, I went on Facebook to check out what my friends are up to so I could see who I might surprise with a shout out in my Word Of Mouth 5.
And then news of a sober friend dying came in.
I saw the first post on Facebook saying RIP and my heart sank. She was young, beautiful, fit and working very hard at trying to stay sober. We weren’t close but we knew each other. The way women who meet and connect in the rooms of recovery do. It’s a different kind of knowing. A unique friendship. One that often requires no words — just a look, a hug, a holding of a hand.
We looked deeply, hugged heartily, held hands tightly. And now, just like that, she is gone.
I don’t know any facts other than she collapsed and traces of cocaine were found in her system. I’m sure more will be revealed… it always is. But honestly, the facts don’t really matter in the end. In the end there’s just the end.
Only a few days ago I was “liking” an adorable picture she posted of a dog on her Facebook page. Now her page is filled with friends expressing their shock, sadness, heartbreak. Only a few days ago she was taking a selfie after running the Santa Monica stairs. Now there are pictures of her with friends with the words “You Are Missed” in the caption.
Drug addiction and alcoholism kill. They kill families, friendships, marriages, children, brains, bodies, hearts. They kill men who hit home-runs, celebrities who win Oscars, singers who earn Grammys… and women who run stairs.
But you know all that. Right? You don’t need me to sit here and get all preachy. So, I apologize. I’m sad. Angry. Scared. Sad this person died. Angry at a disease I hate. Scared for all the loved ones I know who suffer from it.
So, what can you do, Susan? How can you help be part of the solution and not just sit and wallow in the problem? You could write a book about growing up with alcoholism. I did that. Share with people your own story of sobriety. I do that. Write for a television show that deals with the subject. Gratefully, I get to do that.
What else? WHAT ELSE??
That is what I plan to find out. Stay tuned…