It’s been both an emotional and enlightening month. As I reflect on June- how it began and how it is ending- I truly feel I’ve come full circle and am finally understanding what I can do to fulfill both my purpose and passions.
I can’t do it alone, though.
My friend Nicoline is in town this weekend from NYC- the same friend I went to visit two weeks ago. I’m thrilled to have her here for both her company and her insight on life. She feels like a kindred spirit or sister to me- so having her around is comforting.
Tomorrow marks one year since Joe passed away- someone who was special in both of our lives. She was with him until the very end, which is something I don’t think I would have had the strength or patience for.
I hadn’t heard of a person dying of alcohol complications at 35 before, despite being involved in the recovery community since 2011. It was always an overdose, suicide, or another disease that killed friends or family of mine- not liver disease at a young age.
Despite the complications, he continued drinking. Right until the end. It makes me wonder, what went through his mind to give up all hope? Why didn’t he see the light?
Even when given the opportunity to be put on the organ donor list, he lost it due to his continued drinking. I had spoken to him near the end of his life, and Nicoline shared with me that my insight was helpful and comforting to him. For that, I am glad. However, it makes me sad that there was never a point in his life where he thought quitting was a possibility, or that treatment was an option.
This is why I am starting a conversation.
After the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, people around the world asked, “why? They had everything.” I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about this- must of all, frustration for the lack of understanding of how complicated mental health is.
“Having everything” means nothing when you don’t have inner peace.
When I met Joe, he had “everything,” too. A director job at a mobile tech startup in New York City. A great one bedroom apartment in Chelsea with exposed brick and updated appliances. Stories of work trips to Switzerland and many friends from all around the world, who he referred to as his “Ship Fam.”
However, he always had the “fun guy” image. I don’t think he ever built an identity for himself. That’s what Nicoline and I talked about last night- how he never was willing to let go of the party guy persona. He didn’t know any other way.
Building a foundation of confidence, self worth, and purpose is key to anyone’s recovery, whether they’re a drug addict or suffering with depression. There’s no difference what the drug or vice is; it all comes down to the person’s foundation.
When I decided to get help, I knew I needed to start my own foundation without crutches, family, or friends to hold me up. I knew I needed to live minimally, modestly, and mindfully in order to finally see the world clearly.
So, I came to Boston to build my own foundation.
It’s been quite a journey to say the least. I am forever grateful I started my blog when I did- just two weeks out of treatment. I was fortunate to meet some amazing people who helped show me the way, which ultimately lead me to a deeper spiritual foundation.
I hope that I have been able to help a few people by sharing my stories, and now, finally beginning to explain what happened to me before I came to Boston.
I didn’t have any hope. I thought my dreams were dead, I didn’t have anything to show for myself, and all I could do to cope was to date and drink.
Thankfully, my friends and family intervened- because they knew my potential and worth even when I did not.
My hope is to continue this conversation and inspire others to build their own foundation. It’s not easy to start from square one, or to let go of the negative things in your life that hold you back from success, but I promise- it is worth it.