I hate death.
I don’t have plants or fish in my home. I like the look of both but I can’t keep them alive. I remember in my younger years (ahem, late teens…) I had a goldfish I cared for. His name was Shermie, named after a good friend at the time. I tried to remember to feed him every day. Some days I’d forget and give him extra food the next day. He ended up getting really fat and died. I remember the funeral around the porcelain toilet. I remember feeling really sad. I really had tried to save him.
But I didn’t really realize how adverse to death I was until my close friend was diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer. I did what I do best – something. I threw a benefit for her to help raise funds for bills, her funeral, her kids – whatever she needed funds for…and to keep my mind busy. To avoid feeling the pain I was feeling. And when it was over, I disappeared from her world and mentally blocked all feeling associated with the situation.
I didn’t have the courage to watch her battle two more years nor the strength to watch her die. The pain of losing someone I cared for was too great. So I emotionally shut down to avoid it.
In recovery, I know I am one drink away from my death. As alcoholics, we all are. It is why it is so incredibly important for me to make sure my spiritual connection is solid and my eyes are always focused upward. If I spend any time looking off to the left or to the right at distractions and life throws me my next blow, I am susceptible to fall – and it could be a fall I may never have the opportunity to get up from.
Which is why I still have to push against the reluctancy to befriend people in the recovery rooms. We all have a Stage 4 Addiction…with the next fall.
I don’t want to watch you die.
As I write this, I have a friend that I care for relapsing in a bar after almost a year of sobriety. And I feel helpless. And hurt. And disappointed.
But this is his disease. And I am reminding myself it’s not about me and I can’t change it. I can’t keep him alive any more than I can a plant (believe me when I tell you I cannot), nor can I go to the bar he is in and watch him die.
So instead I am going to do what I do best – something. With this blog I am sorting out my emotions and when I’m doing I am going to pray. And I am going to continue to get healthy, with my eyes focused upward…so I don’t have to watch my own death…