Monthly Archives: September 2017

Facing Death In Sobriety

accacb19e8617fcb577a52ddd18377ccIt’s been an incredibly long time since I’ve posted here on Ask Recovery Rob. I’m not going to apologize, as we all go through changes and challenges in life. The last few years have been the most challenging in my 25 years (August 23) of sobriety. In fact, this past year has been the most.

A few years ago, I left the blogging world and working for a detox and rehab. I snatched up a marketing position with a start-up company that offered me good money, good exposure, and quite frankly this new position seemed to pull nearly every job experience I’ve had in to one position. I had to pinch myself, as it just seemed to good to be true. I won’t go into the specifics, but let’s just say that I should have taken more time, listened less to the promises, and paid more to the actions. As they say, the world is filled with good intentions. Or, we judge ourselves by our intentions while others judge us by actions.

I nearly went broke. They didn’t pay me the money they owed me, but that’s also on me. I stayed on way longer than I should have, but I finally had enough and found another paying job in October of 2016. It’s a crazy busy job that challenges/frustrates/rewards me nearly daily. Is it the end all? No, but it pays well, and I can start clearing up the wreckage.

As some may know, I have an ex. We split way back in 1995. We were both active alcoholics/addicts and got sober at the same time…before the split. We were lucky and maintained a friendship through the many trials and tribulations. In May of 2009, my ex picked up. I was living in San Diego at the time, which is many miles away from Boston. I tried over the many years to stay in touch, but when he disconnected his phone, his email, his work, and even all his friends, I knew there was one of four ways it would turn out:

  1. He’d call me asking for help.
  2. He’d call me saying he was sober.
  3. He’d land in jail
  4. He’d be dead.

Through the years, I made many calls, and I honestly can’t say a month went by that I didn’t go looking for him in some way. In Feb 2017, I received the call. It was the one I didn’t want. He’d died a couple weeks prior.

I was devastated. I could barely move.

I went to an AA Meeting. I cried. I was the most vulnerable I’d ever been.

I didn’t drink. I didn’t use. I didn’t break, although it felt like I was breaking each day.

I questioned my sobriety somewhat though. I question why I was there. I questioned the reasons I stayed sober. I questioned out loud.

My AA family was there for me. They nodded, offered condolences, hugs, and support. Some even understood when I said, “A part of me got sober for him. A part of me stayed sober to be that role model for him. A part of me got sober so that he would have a person to come back to. And now, those can no longer be motivators or me.”

Don’t get me wrong. I know I’m an alcoholic. That was never in question. It’s just that a part of me was doing this with him, for him. I do hope I am explaining that clearly.

It still remains tough. I have good days and bad days, and I still can’t speak about him without emotion and fighting back the tears. I know it will get better.

And that’s what keeps me going back to meetings….at least today.