By: Tina Cook
I read a statement recently about alcoholism being a disorder of remissions and relapses and, often, premature death. It further stated that roughly one-third of all alcoholics die before their 60th birthday.” I believe it completely because I have experienced it firsthand. I am a recovering alcoholic who spent 28 years going in and out of rehab and12-Step meetings. I have had my share of close-calls with death. I am sure there are countless other brushes I am not even aware of! I watched many of my drinking buddies die directly and indirectly from alcoholism. During my 6+ years of sobriety, I have seen folks die from relapse and sober people die from irreversible damage done to their bodies from previous drinking years. Alcoholism is a disease that wants us dead!
Even though I was aware of the death sentence that alcoholism wants to condemn alcoholics to, I did not know the statistic about 1/3 of all alcoholics dying. But after I read that statement, things became real clear for me. I was given a mental picture of myself as a little girl holding hands with my two best friends. We were racing around the playground enjoying life to the fullest. According to those statistics, one of us would potentially die from alcoholism. I can tell you with great assurance, from the way I lived my life and the way they chose to live theirs: I was the designated die-er! I think that most all humans grow up with friends like I had; they ran along and played without a single thought of drinking themselves to death. Yet, the reality of it is without argument through the evidence of my own life and what I have heard countless sober people share over and over again.
The fact that my recovery is a matter of life or death is now deeply rooted in me by the clear picture God chose to paint for me. For so many years, I was unable to see the facts. I know that it is ultimately up to each individual to discover the truth. But that will not stop me from continuing to provide statistics. I will be undeterred in asking about friends they have lost, as evidence to support those statistics, and discuss close-calls they’ve had with death in their own lives. I will not be hindered in my attempt to breathe hope and life back into dreams that people once had of life with purpose and fulfillment. I will endlessly remind them that they have a disease that wants them dead; but one that will settle for drunk.
By: Tina Cook