View Full Version : My friend died on Monday- as a direct result of alcoholism.


sarahsweets
01-19-17, 05:36 AM
I havent really doubted that alcoholism is a disease-at least in certain ways. But now any doubt about that has been quelled. My friend that Ive know since college- through my 20's had always had alcohol issues and severe anxiety. It kept him from doing more with his life because he was an amazing playright and musician. His one band was/is doing very well but he had a break up with the other members as a result of his drinking. He was much closer to my BFF who feels like he lost a brother.

He was 40. I had to disengage awhile ago because I couldnt help him. My BFF would play me his voicemails- incoherent,rambling,sad and even he stopped taking most of his calls. He called me Tuesday because this friend's sh*tty family logged into his facebook and announced his death! My friend saw it and called those that were close to him so we didnt see it on facebook.
He died in his sleep and it was a direct result of alcoholism. Not sure if they are doing an autopsy but with alcoholism it could be cardiac arrest, liver issues, choking on your own vomit, withdrawal stuff- anything. He was bloated and sallow looking the last time I saw him.

I am going into Philly for his funeral on Saturday. It feels so weird-someone from my "generation", my age, my adulthood is dead! And I obviously identify because I am 41 and had I not stopped drinking, it could have been me.

To anyone who thinks this has everything to do with willpower and bad choices:
F off, its more than that. He lived with a silent pain just below the surface- sort of like seeing your reflection in a cloudy lake- you can kind of make it out, but its still murky and blurry.

I cared for him and this has made me feel like part of my past has died.
And it makes me realize my own mortality and just how fragile we humans are.

Greyhound1
01-19-17, 05:47 AM
Sarah,
I am so sorry for your loss. :grouphug:

Fuzzy12
01-19-17, 06:23 AM
I'm sorry sarah! !

Fraser_0762
01-19-17, 06:32 AM
I'm so sorry for your loss Sarah. Alcoholism is a terrible disease. It ruined my mothers relationship with her own mother and ultimately led to her death.

Alcoholism, much like ADHD has much stigma attached to it and people are made to feel guilty for being the way they are which only causes them to fall deeper into their own addictions.

I send you my heart felt condolences at this difficult time.

stef
01-19-17, 08:03 AM
very sad for your loss, Sarah :grouphug:

Unmanagable
01-19-17, 09:30 AM
(((((Hugs)))))

It's so hard to see others suffer so deeply, most especially when you see them suffering from something you've been able to turn around into a healthier and friendlier existence for yourself.

Thank you for all you do in reaching out to help those you cross paths with. Not everyone hears it, wants to hear it, or takes it to heart, but the seeds of love and caring that you plant are very much needed in this overwhelmingly f'd up world.

Lunacie
01-19-17, 10:59 AM
My sympathies to you. (((Sarah)))

I too believe that addiction is a disease, and addiction to alcohol is probably the deadliest.

midnightstar
01-19-17, 11:13 AM
I am so sorry to hear this sarah, my heart goes out to you :grouphug:

aeon
01-19-17, 01:20 PM
Sarah, may you find some solace in knowing his pain has ended.

:grouphug:
Ian

Hermus
01-19-17, 03:28 PM
So terrible to read this, Sarah.

As a recovering alcoholic I feel tears in my eyes. This could have been me or one of the great people I met in rehab.

I'm so grateful you shared this with us and I wish you a lot of strength.

Big hug from a recovering alcoholic! :grouphug:

jkimbo
01-19-17, 05:30 PM
I'm sorry for your loss! I am a little older then you, I have lost a lot of friends over different things, including getting shot in the head. It's never easy if they go young or for a stupid reason. Peace!

Pilgrim
01-19-17, 05:40 PM
Sorry for your loss Sarah. Condolences

dvdnvwls
01-19-17, 09:10 PM
Sarah, I'm sorry you've lost that friend, and sorry that he died the way he did.

BellaVita
01-19-17, 09:51 PM
I am so very sorry for your loss. :(

Johnny Slick
01-19-17, 10:33 PM
That sucks. :( I lost a friend to drug abuse a few years ago (we'd grown apart but still). It really sucks that death is a part of life.

Letching Gray
01-19-17, 11:15 PM
I havent really doubted that alcoholism is a disease-at least in certain ways. But now any doubt about that has been quelled. My friend that Ive know since college- through my 20's had always had alcohol issues and severe anxiety. It kept him from doing more with his life because he was an amazing playright and musician. His one band was/is doing very well but he had a break up with the other members as a result of his drinking. He was much closer to my BFF who feels like he lost a brother.

He was 40. I had to disengage awhile ago because I couldnt help him. My BFF would play me his voicemails- incoherent,rambling,sad and even he stopped taking most of his calls. He called me Tuesday because this friend's sh*tty family logged into his facebook and announced his death! My friend saw it and called those that were close to him so we didnt see it on facebook.
He died in his sleep and it was a direct result of alcoholism. Not sure if they are doing an autopsy but with alcoholism it could be cardiac arrest, liver issues, choking on your own vomit, withdrawal stuff- anything. He was bloated and sallow looking the last time I saw him.

I am going into Philly for his funeral on Saturday. It feels so weird-someone from my "generation", my age, my adulthood is dead! And I obviously identify because I am 41 and had I not stopped drinking, it could have been me.

To anyone who thinks this has everything to do with willpower and bad choices:
F off, its more than that. He lived with a silent pain just below the surface- sort of like seeing your reflection in a cloudy lake- you can kind of make it out, but its still murky and blurry.

I cared for him and this has made me feel like part of my past has died.
And it makes me realize my own mortality and just how fragile we humans are.

Sorry sweetsarah. Yes indeed, alcoholism is a nasty illness. It destroys not only the addict, but his family and some times even his friends and perfect strangers, if he's the cause of a deadly accident.

If true, if 1 in 7 who pick up a drink become alcoholic, altogether the number of people who are injured by this beast is staggering. Growing up as children of alcoholics is filled with dangers and pitfalls, too, often leaving a trail of devastation in their lives. I imagine most people living in America have been harmed in some way by alcoholism. Cunning, baffling, powerful. It isn't what alcohol does to a person. It is was it does FOR a person that locks them into addiction.

finallyfound10
01-19-17, 11:43 PM
I am so sorry Sarah. He was way too young.

My sister fell off the wagon and I want to show her your post to show her that people in our age range do die from alcoholism not just our older relatives.

Free to Fly
01-19-17, 11:44 PM
So sorry, alcohol has been part of my family for years, we have lost several family members directly or indirectly. And so hard to pull back, when you do all you can. You can take away the car, pour out the booze, even do an intervention, and when they still turn away from you and turn to the bottle you have to realize you do not have the skill or the training to help them. Heartbreaking to realize a bright light has gone dark, again, so sorry.

sarahsweets
01-21-17, 06:02 AM
Thank you so much everyone!

This friend's family is so weird. They are having "visitation" at 9am, funeral mass at 10, and burial at 1130. I fear an open casket, I think those are horrible and never a good way for anyone to be remembered. I also cant deal with mass and this friend would have HATED the way this was being handled. He wasnt religious and neither is his family. My understanding is that they stopped dealing with church when he was a teenager.

Why do people do that? They say they are not religious, never attend a church and then when someone dies they are so quick to set it all up in some fake holy ceremony?

And if they knew him well, which all of his friends no they didnt, they would know he wanted to be cremated and not have a mass. But he was an alcoholic and of course didnt have a will.

The other things his friends and I are buzzing about is his music and plays. He was amazing at both, used to be in two bands, one had a record deal. My BFF directed on of his plays in the Fringe Festival in NYC. He told my friend in March that if anything ever happened to him, he wanted my friend to do something with his plays. No one wants any financial gains with this but we fear his family is just going to throw his sh*t out and not care about the deep stuff. They can have all his possessions and electronics, we just want to archive and preserve his work. No one can think of a way to handle this.

I hate these sorts of things. No one likes it, but I hate these traditional ways of doing stuff.
I dont know if anyone is even speaking and if they are, its not the people who loved him most.
I hope they have some kind of gathering after- I am seeing our friends who I havent seen in years- and I cant imagine leaving with no further closure.
Ill probably check here frequently for support so I can make it through with you guys-my other "family".
xxxooo

Little Missy
01-21-17, 09:22 AM
Visitation is different than viewing. Usually visitation means no open casket but a closed casket and visiting with the family and friends. If that helps. :)

Unmanagable
01-21-17, 10:09 AM
I can't handle viewings, either. And I used to think that about the visitation, LM, but have found more often than not, as of late, the casket remains open there, too, for "the benefit" of the folks who can't make it to the funeral, or so they said when I inquired. UGH!

The traditional ways of doing things tends to be more for the highly programmed comforts of the family (or whoever foots (or can even think about affording) the bill) and less for the perceived comfort of the person who passed, or the people closest to the individual no longer with us, unfortunately.

All that traditional stuff drives me crazy, too. I had a friend take her own life and everything about the ceremony wreaked of all the things she didn't believe in, care to discuss, or especially celebrate, but that's how the mom wanted it.

It just felt so wrong. So I decided to head to the mountains after the show was over and honor her as I know she would have appreciated. It wasn't a gathering, but it brought much peace to my heart after having to sit through such a fake feeling ceremony.

Maybe suggest all the friends gather at a space afterward and share his favorite music, some stories, and the vibes you know he would have loved and welcomed with open arms? Embrace his energetic presence and let it help guide you through the grief process, as it should be, not as it's staged to be. ((((Hugs)))))

Little Nut
01-21-17, 01:54 PM
Sorry for your loss.

sarahsweets
01-22-17, 05:46 AM
Well I made it through. And Little Missy and Unmanageable- it was visitation with no casket. Thankfully he was cremated which is what he would have wanted. I learned some more information though.Apparently he was working from home and only had to leave to buy alcohol, cigarettes and living stuff. His apartment was so littered with bottles and trash that its take a truck and a half to get it out. They havent even gotten to his actual possessions yet. He recently was so drunk, he tripped and fell head first through his glass coffee table and shattered it and gashed open his head. He didnt go for medical treatment because he didnt want them to know he was drunk, so conceivably he could have had an undiagnosed concussion. He is about 6'2" and when I met him in college I would estimate he was about 200lbs. His Dad told me he was over 400lbs and it wasnt necessarily from food. Its what I call the "alcoholic bloat". If anyone knows anything about alcoholism, when you get to a point where your organs are constantly flooded with poison and you are basically drinking your calories you gain severe amounts of water weight and had edema. He complained about his ankles being so swollen, he didnt want to go anywhere to hang with people.
Has anyone ever heard of "zolof the rock and roll destroyer"? He was a founding member of that group and I got to see some of his old band mates that stopped talking to him because he was so out of hand.

They felt bad but I told them that there isnt much they could have done but moved on, he didnt want to change or have help.

It was weird- I saw people I havent seen in years! And they had a nice thing afterwards at a rental hall- in fact I sat next to my friend from high school and then college and I havent seen him in 15 years! Seeing everyone as grownups was surreal and even though this was a tragic situation, I am glad that everyone got together.
We are organizing a thing for him in April where we can all celebrate him the way he should be celebrated.

What irked me was the service and priest. He was NOT religious- so his family are the ones who wanted that but the priest actually referenced the inauguration during the eulogy! Are you f**king kidding me?? He hated politics and a funeral is no place for it anyway.
Also it was my first time at a "re-past" and they served cocktails! WHAT??? Considering how he died, I thought it was in poor tasted- plus I have never seen alcohol at a post funeral luncheon.
I got back in touch with a couple of friends and one of them had some old pictures. You can see my weight loss so dramatically, I was very proud. Ill post a past and present one of us here, you all wont believe it.
I felt confident for the first time in a long time, and this isnt ego- but people gave me really nice compliments on how I looked- and even acted like I didnt age- sweet but untrue- but still made me feel special.

My friend's Father said to my BFF that they were going to pull his plays, music and song-writing once they get into his harddrive and files and allow my BFF to have them- maybe he can do something with it, or just archive it. Thanks for listening all this really helps me.
Love to all of you.
XXXOOO

Free to Fly
01-22-17, 04:19 PM
As for his body of work, thinking that promises made, but not written down, might evaporate. What about you and some of the folks that were involved in his work offer to clean and organize the place he was living? Sort of make the family obligated to do something for you? It would be hard for sure, but if you had a big flash drive, might be able to copy if he kept stuff on the computer, as you were cleaning up. Again, sorry for your loss, and thanks for sharing.

Postulate
03-06-17, 07:45 PM
I havent really doubted that alcoholism is a disease-at least in certain ways. But now any doubt about that has been quelled. My friend that Ive know since college- through my 20's had always had alcohol issues and severe anxiety. It kept him from doing more with his life because he was an amazing playright and musician. His one band was/is doing very well but he had a break up with the other members as a result of his drinking. He was much closer to my BFF who feels like he lost a brother.

He was 40. I had to disengage awhile ago because I couldnt help him. My BFF would play me his voicemails- incoherent,rambling,sad and even he stopped taking most of his calls. He called me Tuesday because this friend's sh*tty family logged into his facebook and announced his death! My friend saw it and called those that were close to him so we didnt see it on facebook.
He died in his sleep and it was a direct result of alcoholism. Not sure if they are doing an autopsy but with alcoholism it could be cardiac arrest, liver issues, choking on your own vomit, withdrawal stuff- anything. He was bloated and sallow looking the last time I saw him.

I am going into Philly for his funeral on Saturday. It feels so weird-someone from my "generation", my age, my adulthood is dead! And I obviously identify because I am 41 and had I not stopped drinking, it could have been me.

To anyone who thinks this has everything to do with willpower and bad choices:
F off, its more than that. He lived with a silent pain just below the surface- sort of like seeing your reflection in a cloudy lake- you can kind of make it out, but its still murky and blurry.

I cared for him and this has made me feel like part of my past has died.
And it makes me realize my own mortality and just how fragile we humans are.

I'm truly sorry for your friend. I wouldn't worry about people who mock these addicts to make themselves feel better about what they might be missing for not trying or for the lack of joy in their own life. They might seem empowered and above others but their empowerment comes at a price somewhat similar if not equal to the price your dear friend paid: The fact that they live a long life does not mean it's a good life.

For a long time I thought addicts had no control, no reason and no judgement, until I read some testimonies on other forums, notably of a meth user who engaged in 7 day long binges without sleep. When I read how he described his modus operandi, the detail in the planning, the execution...it even involved him setting 4 alarm clocks before the high for certain times, so it could wake him up during and after psychosis, use of anti-side-effects medication that would put to shame any doctor, use of GCMS to test compositions, Excel spreadsheets monitoring urine color, blood pressure. All this to create sustainable development so he would be able to do it for as long as he can. So I said, if he has no control, no reason and no judgement, how is he able to do all that?

We're talking about a level of planning and expertise where the addict is able to quantify his pleasure as well as you or I are able to quantify money. And in the same way we have a modus operandi to get money, they have a modus operandi to get pleasure, and the smart ones will astonish you with the level of planning and the detail and accuracy of the execution. Like clockwork. It works every time, and they can go at it for as long as 20 years without any indication that they might need to slow down a bit. They're just operating in another reality that is based on pleasure and not money. And we don't understand their reality. So how can we know for sure that they made a bad deal? Without proper knowledge and understanding?

From our perspective, we look at them "falling apart", become less fluent, slower and we say, "poor man, look what he's doing to himself". Because we look at the exterior. How do we know what happens in the interior. How do we know how many dollars he has in his pleasure bank? We simply don't and assume they are losers, but it is an assumption.

unstableAngel
03-07-17, 11:29 AM
So so sorry to hear :(....my hub is heading in the same direction..

ajaxblu
03-07-17, 02:28 PM
:grouphug:

so sorry :(

sarahsweets
03-07-17, 03:13 PM
So so sorry to hear :(....my hub is heading in the same direction..

Well if you ever want to talk about it or need support just pm me.

Postulate
03-07-17, 03:16 PM
So so sorry to hear :(....my hub is heading in the same direction..

What do his male friends say about his alcohol consumption? In cases like these we have to look at his peers. If his peers say, hey man, we're all having a good time but... this is too much, we have work tomorrow, we're out, you can stay if you want. So if even by their standards, he drinks too much, then yes, abuse may take place.

dvdnvwls
03-07-17, 07:33 PM
I'm truly sorry for your friend. I wouldn't worry about people who mock these addicts to make themselves feel better about what they might be missing for not trying or for the lack of joy in their own life. They might seem empowered and above others but their empowerment comes at a price somewhat similar if not equal to the price your dear friend paid: The fact that they live a long life does not mean it's a good life.

For a long time I thought addicts had no control, no reason and no judgement, until I read some testimonies on other forums, notably of a meth user who engaged in 7 day long binges without sleep. When I read how he described his modus operandi, the detail in the planning, the execution...it even involved him setting 4 alarm clocks before the high for certain times, so it could wake him up during and after psychosis, use of anti-side-effects medication that would put to shame any doctor, use of GCMS to test compositions, Excel spreadsheets monitoring urine color, blood pressure. All this to create sustainable development so he would be able to do it for as long as he can. So I said, if he has no control, no reason and no judgement, how is he able to do all that?

We're talking about a level of planning and expertise where the addict is able to quantify his pleasure as well as you or I are able to quantify money. And in the same way we have a modus operandi to get money, they have a modus operandi to get pleasure, and the smart ones will astonish you with the level of planning and the detail and accuracy of the execution. Like clockwork. It works every time, and they can go at it for as long as 20 years without any indication that they might need to slow down a bit. They're just operating in another reality that is based on pleasure and not money. And we don't understand their reality. So how can we know for sure that they made a bad deal? Without proper knowledge and understanding?

From our perspective, we look at them "falling apart", become less fluent, slower and we say, "poor man, look what he's doing to himself". Because we look at the exterior. How do we know what happens in the interior. How do we know how many dollars he has in his pleasure bank? We simply don't and assume they are losers, but it is an assumption.
People's lives are built around relationships with other people. There are no exceptions to that, regardless of anyone's wishes.

A person's friends are not outsiders.

icantbelive93
03-23-17, 04:19 PM
So sorry to hear this:(