“And with us, to drink is to die.” ~Alcoholics Anonymous, p.66

– Michael R., Alumni
How many times have we all heard it before? It’s a fatal disease; it’s the first drink (or drug) that gets us in trouble, not the last one, etc., etc.

We also continually hear of the importance that we “keep coming back” and this is a big one for those of us who have a long and exhausting history of relapse that is a central part of our Recovery story.

This week I was reminded in a big way, though, that none of this sober life can be taken for granted and that the option to keep coming back just may not be in the cards if I choose to treat my sobriety in a casual way. Just before my regular Monday evening Meeting this past week I was catching up with a friend on the phone and was informed by him that someone we both knew had relapsed, struggled to get back into Recovery, failed and then taken his own life.

I didn’t really know this guy particularly well, but I liked him a great deal, shared more than a few very fun Tuesday evenings playing trivia with him and several other folks at a local hamburger joint here in Asheville and laughing. One thing I know is this: we had and have the exact same disease, no matter how different the particular symptoms may be or have been.

I’ve seen it happen more than once in my experience, that this…thing, this horrible, mysterious disease can come back out of nowhere and claim the life it always had its sights set on from the very beginning. When this occurs—and I hate it when it does—I’ve realized that my choices are limited but crucial: give in or keep battling this thing one day at a time.
Today, I choose to bless those I’ve lost and keep fighting,