There was a woman I knew in the program who had a few years of sobriety and then went back out. She had some medical difficulties she was dealing with while sober that gave her quite a bit of pain. She always seemed kind of out there. For awhile I would see her regularly at meetings and she just seemed more alive, more alert, more “there”. She was also in more physical pain.

I moved to a different part of town and started to go to different meetings. I did not see her for quite some time. When I ran into her about five years later at a meeting she barely remembered me and was really spaced out. She said she went back out and wasn’t sure about coming back in. Then she alluded to being on the prowl and guys should look out.

Anyway the woman I knew was gone. Here was an empty shell of a woman who was probably drunk or high at the time. It hurt. It hurt because I considered her a friend.

How can I tell everyone I meet in AA to just hang in there? I don’t know the physical level of her pain but I have had my own painful moments and periods in my sobriety. Every time I make it through another painful event or time I feel more “there”. More here. More alive.

I don’t want to go back to being a zombie.

  1. I know exactly what you mean. I find it an odd life that these experiences happen to be somewhat common to our experience. AAers have to develop an acceptance that we will lose some friends. And it sux.

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