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Addiction Doesn’t Just Kill Addicts

Sober Mommies Addiction Doesn't Just Kill Addicts

Last Saturday someone I’ve known for over 30 years was killed in a car accident. The driver had two prior DUIs and was driving drunk…AGAIN. My loved one was killed upon impact. She was a mother, a grandmother, and the kindest woman I have ever had the privilege of being cared for and mentored by.

I was devastated by the news of her death. When it was confirmed that the other driver was drunk, I became enraged. I spent the whole day vomiting from anger and grief. I put aside everything I know and believe about recovery from addiction, and found no compassion, no tolerance, and no forgiveness for the suffering alcoholic

I wanted the bastard’s head on a platter. I wanted vengeanceI wanted him dead.

I then turned my rage and grief inward. I was overcome with guilt because I drove drunk HUNDREDS of times. That could’ve been me. That should’ve been me.

Then I started to feel superior to this man. I’ve managed to get the help I needed to end my dangerous behavior. Why couldn’t he? I’m sure at some point he was given a, “nudge from a judge” to get some help for his obvious problem. Did he just not care? Was he ignoring the gift of recovery? Why isn’t he, “getting his shit together” like me and so many of my friends? I put myself above him and put out of my mind completely the cunning nature of  alcoholism.

My anger calmed down a bit. I have started to allow myself to feel and be present for the stages of grief. I am not yet at a place of acceptance and forgiveness for the man who killed my loved one, and that’s okay. Having recovery knowledge doesn’t make me exempt from natural, human emotions. I don’t want to be exempt from feeling these things. I’ve decided to take care of myself and not internalize my emotions until I’m physically ill.

I won’t hold a DUI against anyone else, because that isn’t fair. I won’t lash out in pain on someone who doesn’t deserve it. I will honor my feelings and feel all of them. I will remain grateful that I am growing and changing, and know so many others are doing the same, so just MAYBE one less innocent will die to feed the disease of addiction’s insatiable thirst for death.

But, you guys, I hurt deep down in my soul for that life that was taken. That laugh that could be heard from a block away. A young woman now has to raise her children without her mother to lean on. A husband is without the love of his life. I will cry for her today because dammit, it shouldn’t have been her.


This post is dedicated to the memory and family of Gayle Naiman.


photo credit: jpalinsad360 via photopin cc

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  1. I am so, so sorry for your loss. While I hate that you had to, I am glad that you wrote this. I hope that it helped release some of the anger and sadness because we all know that keeping it in is a very dangerous thing to do. I felt the anger at this person myself and then I felt shame, thinking as you did about how many times I drove drunk and how easily that could have been me. I know you need to go through this and my heart breaks for you and this lovely woman’s family. You are right. It should not have been her.

  2. Sandy, you have absolutely warmed my heart. I cannot thank you enough. I was so ashamed at myself for my anger, and writing this was the first step to healing. It feels really great to know that you understand. I appreciate you to the ends of the earth! Thank you!

  3. oh wow , defently brought tears to my eyes . im so sorry for your loss , but so greatful to get to read this . it is not an easy line to walk , i rember and this was before i got sober about 5 years ago now a friends brother being killed by a drunk driver a 16 year old kid driving drunk and being so painfully angry at this kid thinking how stupid where were his parents why was he out , lock him up forever . reality was he was a kid doing stupid things i myself have driven more then once when i shouldnt have , done things that were unsafe for myself and others . i am painfully aware of these things now and still adjusting to feelings and how to deal with them .

  4. I’m finding balance today between my guilt and my anger. I’ve let much of the anger go, because that’s excactly what my loved one would’ve asked me to do. Her own do. Asked us to do that very thing at her funeral service. “Anger is drinking poison & expecting the other person to die.” Is what he said. Powerful stuff. Thank you for your support Ginny!

  5. So sorry for your loss. That’s an awful thing to ever happen.

    And yet somehow…it’s not quite compassion, but understanding of the mindset of the person who did this and caused such a rift to open in so many hearts, that will only help get you through this.

    And (presumably) strengthen the resolve of anyone who reads this, and is trying to quit drinking. I hope it does. And for that reason, as well as to get your feelings out there and organised, this post is important.

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