FEAR: Face Everything And Recover

Today, I heard that a good friend of mine, age 68, passed away on Nov 23. I had just talked with her. She was convalescing in a "home" and was doing fine. She was happy about her new grand baby - I would have never known, that she would just up and die. The realities, of getting older, when you start losing your good friends.

Lala had Lupus with all the complications, from having it for 40+ years. She also was a recovering alcoholic and recovering Al-Anon.

Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs inside the body). Chronic means that the signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years. In lupus, something goes wrong with your immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs ("foreign invaders," like the flu). Normally our immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from these invaders. Autoimmune means your immune system cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and your body’s healthy tissues ("auto" means "self") and creates autoantibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. These autoantibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body.

I can't say I am shocked - and I am not sad. Maybe it hasn't hit me yet. I am happy for her. I know, first hand, the pain she endured. All the medications, that didn't work together would make her crazy. But she always kept putting one foot in front of the other. She is no longer suffering, Bless her heart.

She was my Al-Anon Mentor/Sponsor.  She would call me on my "shit" and I could call her on hers. Our long friendship had their share of challenges - I had to exert my boundaries with her on many occasions. She respected that. You just could never let your "recovery" guard down with her. She taught me so much, besides my Higher Power (who is God to me) Lala played a very important part in my own recovery from co-dependency and living with an alcoholic.

I am 62. In the last 5 years, I have lost my best friend at age 49. My sister at age 56. and now Lala, at age 68. Two of them,  were unexpected and a total shock. My sister's untimely death, really rocked my world and made me think, of my death - for the first time.

My other real good friend called to tell me. (I live 250 miles away from all my friends, I have had for years.) Mari will be 62, in a few weeks. So we talked a little - about our mortality. I asked her about her health - She is overweight, has diabetes, and she has a fatty liver.

We'll see each other sometime in Jan. when Lala's family will have a celebration of Life. It will be good to see my old friends alive!

I'll take in a meeting within the next few days in her honor. I haven't been to one, since we moved here. (8 years)

"Easy Does It." Reminds me that I am not in a race to get to a destination. Recovery is about the journey. I use this slogan to remind myself that I am striving to learn to love and care for myself. I don't expect myself to be perfect, and I am going to make mistakes. I don't have to get impatient with myself. I realize that I am making progress. It took me all my life to develop the self destructive patterns.  I can relax and be gentle with myself while I am working to change those deeply ingrained patterns. Easy Does It teaches me that recovery should not be a punishment. It is a blessing that we receive in God's time.

Alcoholics Anonymous®


Lupus Foundation of America

Lupus/Mayo Clinic

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