sadness

i’m sad today, very sad.  I have been lucky through most of my life to not have experienced much loss in the way of death.  But in the last couple of weeks I’ve now lost two friends from the rooms.  One was a guy named Len who had long term sobriety and whom I looked up to.  He seemed to love the program and the people in it.  He was always one of the first people to greet a new comer and to stick his hand out for everyone.  He will be greatly missed.

the second part of this is more concerning to me personally.  When I was in Renascent I bonded with a guy named Colin.  He was a funny little Irishman (like actually born in raised in Cork, Ireland) and was in treatment for a drinking problem the same as me.  He was an anxiety sufferer and we bonded over that.  We had a lot of the same afflictions and it seemed like we became very fast and good friends.  When I was about 2 weeks into this journey there was a guy named Greg who tried to kill himself by leaping from the third floor of the centre where we were living.  I was the last person to see him just before he jumped.  I really struggled with this as I felt like I should have been able to do something to stop him, or to save him from this.  He did not die, but I felt a huge amount of guilt over not doing something.  The counsellors sat with me that evening and Colin stayed with me.  He wouldn’t leave my side that night and I never forgot that.  We were very close in there and when I left and kept going out and having his life fall apart I tried to save him.  I took him to meetings and I called him, and I tried to be a supportive friend.  Eventually I had to distance myself from him because he just couldn’t keep it together long enough to get any time in the program.  The last time I saw him he was almost taunting me about being sober.  He was making jokes about how he “was not a binge drinker anymore, and was now OK”, that he was better than me.  He had a nice place to live in Toronto, had a nice car and made a lot of money in his profession.  But none of that matters now, because eventually his disease caught up to him and he began having seizures.  He passed away two days ago and I found out last night.  I feel terrible that I couldn’t reach out to him, that it was so sudden.  I always figured that I would hear from again when he was ready to get help for real.  But sadly he is no longer with us.

Colin, I hope you are finally able to rest and I pray that your family is coping with this loss.

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