This has become an annual post for a couple of reasons. First I think its an important message, especially for those having trouble keeping sober and those who are on the fence about getting sober. Second, I would like to give some meaning to my brother’s life and death.
” My youngest brother Brian and I attended our first meeting in 1978. He was my drinking buddy. We were both in our 20’s when we went to that meeting. We attended semi-regularly over the next 5 years. We drank even more regularly. We both got to watch our downward progressions. Jails, hospitals, car crashes, fights, broken relationships, rehabs, homelessness.
I had my last drink in 1983. Brian kept drinking. He would attend some meetings with me but seemed to have a higher tolerance for pain than I did.
In 1984 he went into New Rochelle Hospital for what I thought was going to be anther detox. Turned out he had Hepatitis C and Cirrhosis of the liver. I asked him if he had enough. He said that I was 34 when I quit and he was only 29.
Brian was 6’2″ and weighed 230 pounds when he went into the hospital. A few weeks later, while still there and wasting away, he was down to 90 pounds and bleeding from every possible orifice. While I was visiting him at that time he asked me to get him a bed at St. Vincent’s. This was a rehab not far from where he lived. I could tell from the look in his eyes that he finally had enough. He was serious. He was ready and he was surrendering.
He died a couple of days later. He never got the chance to go to St. Vincent’s. He wasn’t going to attend another meeting. He had no more chances to get sober.
Every time we pick up a drink we are rolling the dice. Every gambler knows that no matter how lucky you may be you will eventually roll craps. Brian rolled craps. The game was over. The end.
Don’t let this happen to you. Don’t be as strong as Brian was. Give up while you still have a chance. One day, even if you want to get sober, you may not get the chance. Surrender. PLEASE.”