As part of an amends to my brother, Will, I wrote him a letter. I sat up pretty late one night to write the letter. It is something I had put off for a while. I don't know why I put so much pressure on myself about this letter and what to say, but I did. I mean, he was never going to actually read the letter...or was he?
After I wrote the letter, I prayed to God asking Him to use and guide me...and for me to have the willingness to go where I could be of maximum service to those still suffering from alcoholism/addiction. I had no intention of ever posting this letter, but it speaks volumes about the power of prayer and that the things that are happening in my life is all God…I have nothing to do with it.
Man. I don't even know where to start. I hope you can see down on everything going on because there have been some pretty amazing things happen as a direct result of your death. I hope you see how much I miss you. And not to make you sad...I'm pretty sure you don't get sad in heaven, but for you to see just how much I love you. Because that's what I cry about the most-- hoping you knew how much I loved you. I didn’t show you or tell you and even realize it until it was too late…and that really sucks. I wasn't a very good sister to you the last couple of years before you died and I can’t begin to tell you how sorry I am for that. It haunts me daily, but I am trying to live in a way that you would be proud of. I feel guilty that it was you and not me. You know I would take your place in a heartbeat, right?
On a brighter note…I'm sober. I know, right?! I got sober on June 11, 2012. Just six weeks shy of your sobriety date. I mean, I am assuming heaven keeps you sober ;) I had a bit of meltdown on your 30th Birthday, or as they call it in recovery--rock bottom. I hope you didn't see it. It was a mess--I was a mess.
I buried my white chip at your grave as soon as I got back from rehab, but I am assuming you know that. I owe you my life, you know. It really sucks that it took your death to wake me up to my own addiction, but I am trying my best to honor your memory through being open and honest about my struggles. It's working out pretty well. By the way...your funeral was out of control. Everyone was there. Jay Z’ s 'Forever Young' was played...the pallbearers wore all black Yankees hats…and so did all the nephews. They were adorable. I even stole money from Dad’s wallet while he was sleeping to buy a pair of Louboutins to wear to your funeral. You would have been impressed. We represented with all black everything.
But, on a more serious note… I just want you to know that I wish I could have done things differently. I wish I would have been able to recognize and deal with my alcoholism before you died. I wish we could have gotten sober together. I wish I could have been the sister I should have been. I wish we could share recovery together. I wish you didn’t have to die to wake me up.
I'd give anything to have you back, but since we both know that isn't possible...and even if it was, I am pretty sure you would politely decline the offer...I will honor your memory by being the sister to others that I should I have been to you.
And so I promise you this--I will be as open and honest, carrying the message of recovery to alcoholics and addicts still suffering in any way I can. I'm hoping you and God can maybe get together on this and direct me and provide me with the opportunities where I can be of maximum service to those still suffering from this shitty disease.
I look forward to seeing what you and God come up with and I hope I make you proud. Just know that I do what I do because of you. And for every person that I can help…it’s because of you.
Love you to heaven and back,
I went to bed, prayed, and woke up to opportunity after opportunity. It’s been so overwhelming in the most amazing way.
I was asked to speak as a family member who lost someone to prescription drug overdose at a Health Expo on "Prescription Drugs: Healing or Harmful" that is coming up this month. I have gladly agreed to speak at four local high schools this spring as part of an Alcohol & Drug Awareness program. I was offered the opportunity to blog on The Huffington Post, an international online news aggregator and blog with millions of followers, as a voice of addiction & recovery. And God showed himself most beautifully and boldly by sending me a person who was directly involved with my brother's death and at the top of my list of resentments for a long time. I was not only willing but grateful to have the opportunity to help this person get into a rehab treatment facility for his own addiction--the same treatment facility I went to.
And this isn't all. These are just the most obvious. I know, right?! God puts opportunity right in front of me every day.
I've said it before and you will hear me say it a lot more...nothing breaks my heart more than people living and dying from the disease of addiction--a disease that has a solution and can be treated.
Some people may get tired of seeing me constantly post about the people that I have the opportunity to be of service to through recovery...but the way I see it is this:
My brother died. I hit bottom. I got help. I got sober. I think I do a pretty good job at making recovery look attractive...because it is. So, people reach out to me. And in some way...helping them reminds me that my brother did not die in vain. For every person that I can provide a shred of hope or an ounce of inspiration to makes my brother's death a little less harsh and I see Will’s signature smirk of a smile every time I offer a hand to someone who is hurting. And that my friends is why I do what I do.
I thank you all from the very bottom of my heart for all your love and support.