The grief I experienced when I sent my daughter away to wilderness therapy and then residential treatment in the spring of 2015 was the worst grief I had ever felt up to that point in my life. But I thought I was saving her life and so the pain of separation, I thought, was worth it. I didn’t save her life. What she got was a time-out. An extended time out from being a teenager out of control. When she came back it wasn’t long before she was right back where she started.
The thing about addiction and alcoholism is that it progresses whether your drinking or not. You can be sober for years and the minute you ingest alcohol it’s as if you’d been drinking the whole time. Basically, your body, mind and spirit pick up right where it left off. When I got sober in Chicago in 1992 for the second time I heard about a guy who had gone out for 4 days after extended sobriety and died from alcohol poisoning. 4 days.
It’s Good Friday, the day we commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. We commemorate his friends abandoning him, his other friend betraying him, the authorities beating him to the point where he would have had such excruciating internal injuries that when he was finally nailed to the cross death would have been a welcome relief. You can read here how crucifixion would have killed a person. Good Friday means that Easter Sunday is right around the corner. Addiction is a bunch of Good Fridays strung together, tortuous day after tortuous day, until an alcoholic or drug addict finds sobriety and embraces recovery. Recovery, that we call Easter.