RIP – Robin Williams

I was not going to write about Robin Williams passing, but when I woke up this morning it was still heavy on my mind….not because he was famous, funny, or a film star, but because he was one of us and we lost him.

Robin Williams suffered from alcoholism: a three-fold disease that is described as an allergy of the body, an obsession of the mind and a spiritual malady.

Yes I understand that Robin Williams’ cause of death is apparent suicide via asphyxia. His publicist said that he had been battling severe depression and insisted that his recent stay at Hazelden earlier this summer was nothing more than relapse prevention. I doubt we will ever know the full story, nor do we need to know. What I do know is, relapse or not, anyone suffering from alcoholism is in real danger if any of the three facets of the disease are not treated.

Abstinence (or putting the plug in the jug) is only one part of  recovery. For a person to live happy, joyous and free in recovery the mental and spiritual aspects must also be addressed. Addiction brings about high anxiety,  deep depression and overwhelming despair that are impossible to describe to people who don’t suffer with alcoholism/addiction. The impending doom, self-hatred and fear that tend to be byproducts of untreated alcoholism often don’t make sense to non-alcoholics especially when the alcoholic is not drinking and appears to have everything together. However taking of one’s own life is not an unfamiliar ending to those of us who battle alcoholism/addiction.

As this new day begins my heart breaks for Robin’s loved ones. There is absolutely nothing I can do to help him, his friends or family, but what I can do is get up and go to HM1 and HM2. I can sit with the two new women who came to the house yesterday broken and very sick: physically, mentally and spiritually. And one more time I can have the privilege of carrying the message to the next suffering alcoholic.