Last weekend my sponsee died from her addiction to alcohol. She fell and hit her head while intoxicated. She was the first lady I ever sponsored and I had just given her the 1 year chip at a ladies meeting. She has a 14 year old daughter. Turns out she’d been drinking the entire time I sponsored her. That wasn’t a surprise really but the loss of another alcoholic (one who was so familiar) left me stunned. I thought about all the phone conversations and meetings we went to together and reading we did, and I just felt –feel–empty. What was it all for? Did that work we did or time spent discussing recovery and the steps matter in the end? Someone said that others die so we can stay sober or at least appreciate life. But that’s not a happy or helpful platitude. I believe alcoholism is a deadly disease that leaves so much destruction in its wake. Lots of people don’t share that belief. I read this opinion in the NY times last night about how our addiction to alcohol is a learning disorder. And if we are just loved enough we can learn to change our thinking. Well I don’t agree. Love doesn’t get anyone sober nor keep anyone sober. If that were true there would be no grieving mothers or fathers, brothers and sisters, children of addicts and alcoholics. I don’t know why some people can stay away from drugs and alcohol but I’m certain a fellowship, a sponsor and most importantly a Higher Power play a huge part in our recovery and continued sobriety. It’s a tragedy that so many will not remain sober and go back to active alcoholism and possibly, eventually, unavoidably death. A member in the AA meeting I attended last night said something that helped me understand. In the book it states “Live and let live.” He said he penciled in under that “die.” That truth hits hard but lets me know some of us will only find the peace and serenity we so desperately desire not in living but in death.