Getting ready to write about this caused me to pause and be grateful that I did not become a member of this club. I could very well have become a member except that I am not a famous musician. I can’t give anyone credit for creating the list of members, but I am grateful my name is not on the list.
Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones (there is still controversy about his drowning), Kurt Coban, and Jim Morrison, all full of talent and incredible possibilities all died at the age of 27 in part to alcohol and drug abuse. If you google the 27 Club or famous people who died at the age of 27 it is not short.
My life began with alcohol before I was born. I was drunk and ill when I was born and my twin sister only lived a few minutes. A family member continued my substance abuse by adding paregoric to my bottles. It was a drug anyone could purchase over the counter to help folks, especially children who were having stomach issues or a bad cough. The paregoric days did not last long as gin, vodka, rum, whatever was added to my bottles. By the age of 2, I could and did maneuver my way to the liquor closet and help myself. Absolutely no one even noticed I was drunk. I never got sick, never had a hangover, and functioned well day to day. If it was today, I would have been put into foster care. I am not sure which would have been worse; being an alcoholic/addict or being in a foster home. I think my addictions, just like the cancer and AIDS my body contends with helped me to become an overcomer. This coming April 1st I will be clean and sober 40 years. I am 56 years old and count myself very blessed.
Anyone can become an addict to something. Sometimes the addiction is to drugs or alcohol…and as an aside, alcohol is a drug. You can be addicted to food, shopping, plastic surgery, gambling, working out, sex, love, etc..
If you are doing anything that has a negative impact on your life, your marriage, your career, your relationships, I want to encourage you to take a long look at yourself. Can you see that under all that addiction you are a person that matters? You have a purpose on this planet of ours. We will not all become singers, song writers, artists, but we are still somebody and the world needs sober people.
It has been my intention since I got clean and sober to reach out to those who are not and do what I can. Sadly, only 1 out of 4 people who walk into an AA meeting will ever get sober and or clean. It can run in families, it can be sparked by a childhood trauma, it can happen for no special reason at all.
No one can make anyone get clean and sober. You may try an intervention, and if the person is sick and tired of being sick and tired enough, they may go to a good rehab and get themselves together. If you think you can talk someone out of drinking or using you’re wrong. As far as hitting bottom, well everyone’s bottom is different. I know folks who never hit bottom and they are clean and sober today. Today, this moment, is the only time I can promise you I am not using or drinking. I think of it often. That need or supposed need has never left me. I just focus myself in a different area. I read, I walk, I play with my dog, I work this business of Life Coaching. I wish I could promise you I will stay clean and sober, but I wouldn’t dare. It is my intention to remain this way and each day during my times of prayer I thank God I am am still sober.
There is help for you. If you are a family member or friend of an addict, there is help for you too. Enabling an addict becomes your own personal addiction.
Live one day at a time. That is all we have…this very moment we are in. No one needs to die from this horrid disease of addiction.
Love & Peace Always