My son, Eric.
Was a very good man.
He was an alcoholic and recovered drug user. Twice he was addicted to crystal meth. He completed several drug recover programs. He had been clean from all drugs, even pot for over 2 years.
He, however, continued to use alcohol. He felt that he could “handle it”. However, when the stresses of life came bearing down on him, he kind of snapped. We knew his drinking had escalated – way beyond his normal” range – large quantities of alcohol, full bottles of whisky, rum, vodka, tequila etc were found empty in his room, stored in a bin, on his death.
Something happened, like a combination of him turning 29 years old while working out of town for an extended 3 1/2 week trip. Besides his birthday, he missed Father’s Day (he had twin girls about 2 1/2 yrs old then), and missed 2 visitations with the girls.
When he came back from that trip he went down, down, down. We were meaning to talk with him about this change, but we ran out of time. Early one Saturday morning he took his life.
We thought he was doing better, except for the drinking, because he was not using drugs. We thought he was probably just headed for re-hab again, as he had in the past. We had no idea that he was so depressed that he was embracing the alcohol that he craved full force and had planned to end it all.
We were completely shocked and horrified. Looking back, I know we had discussed several times the lasting effects that he was acutely aware of, from his days using crystal meth. It left his brain in a “Swiss Cheese” state, we used to say.
He had acute paranoia, anxiety, hallucinations, and while he was trying very hard to maintain his day to day existence with working, being responsible, paying his bills, this situation that only he knew about, this battle in his mind was becoming increasingly impossible to live with.
We say now, WHAT IF – the only one that makes any sense at all to consider now is WHAT IF HE HAD GONE FOR HELP AGAIN, REHAB, OR TREATMENT, AND WHAT IF HE HAD GONE TO AA MEETINGS INSTEAD OF THE BAR?
HE DID CALL MOST ALL HIS FRIENDS THE LAST WEEK AND THE ONLY ONE HE COULD NOT REACH WAS HIS SPONSOR, BUT HIS SPONSOR WAS ANGRY WITH HIM FOR CONTINUING TO USE ALCOHOL AND CLAIM TO BE IN RECOVERY.
Those two ideas are incompatible and the sponsor knew it. Although Eric thought he was able to handle it, it is very clear to us that using any amount of drugs or alcohol can be very dangerous to those with addictive personality disorder, and previous
So, the only thing I can offer you is that I loved my son Eric very much. His two daughters will have to learn how to manage in life without their father, and some day I will try to find the words to tell them how much he loved him, and how important it is for them to avoid the temptations that exist in the world today.
The only sure way to not become an addict is to not take the first drink, toke, pill, sniff, poke, whatever. I wish you all luck in your recovery, whatever phase you are in and encourage readers to talk with those they love and to not give up hope in achieving sobriety and a drug free life – it can happen, and it is so, so worth it.
People love you and life is too precious to have it cut short so needlessly. Depression is a symptom and it is treatable. It does not have to be fatal.