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  1. I didn’t participate in sign up boards, not sure if there were any, but I racked up lots of student loans, which I am proud to say I paid off, over $40,000 worth, and for a single mother raising 2 children without child support, it wasn’t easy. So I get angry every time they talk about forgiving loans. Allen, I would have loved to have been in the art class. Unfortunately, I did not get my Licensed Clinical Social Work degree until the 1990s. Had to get sober first!

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  2. Allen shared a song about becoming blind and I wrote a very long comment about how it affected me. I wasn’t sure if it was the song that caused me to cry or if it was because of the recent loss of a member of Alcoholics Anonymous to suicide. It was probably both. For some reason it did not get posted, but I feel it was important enough to try to recreate that post. My comment dealt with the grief I felt about the loss of a soul that I would never get another chance to be touched by. I hate alcoholism and the horror it creates. It tears our very souls and hearts out of the existence of beauty and joy and it destroys all of our hopes and dreams. My friend had managed to put together four months of sobriety, but the troubles in her life and alcoholism won the fight. It overwhelmed her gentle soul and drowned her. I get angry every time I see or hear the infamous “Just Say No”. As if it were that easy. People criticize and judge the alcoholics and drug addicts. They push them out of their world believing that if they would Just Say No, all would be good. Gaining sobriety is more than that. Alcoholism is it

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  3. Ok, this is my third attempt at writing this. My original post somehow got lost in the atmosphere but I believe it was important enough to try to recreate it. Allen’s post was about a friend going blind and he asked for responses to the song that we listened to. Well, by the end of the song I was crying and I was not sure if it was because of the song or if it was because I had recently lost a friend to suicide. I suspect it was both. I lost a friend of light and laughter and would never be able to reach out and touch her again. And even as I cried I was also feeling intense anger. Anger because my friend had lost the fight against alcoholism. She had pieced together four months of sobriety but then became exhausted. And I suspect overwhelmed. I used to think that people who committed suicide were cowards and incredibly selfish. But somewhere along the line, I learned that people who commit suicide are in so much pain they have to make it stop. Pain and exhaustion from fighting the fight, dealing with life, and worst of all, seeing and hearing the judgment of friends and family who think they should “Just Say No”. I get angry when I see or hear “Just Say No”. If it were that easy, my friend would still be alive. But no, it’s not that easy. Many people don’t understand that alcoholism is a disease. A disease that wants to rob us of our very souls. A disease that is “cunning, baffling and powerful”. A disease that will wear you down, humiliate you and then convince you that you are not good enough. Understanding that it is a disease that they have to fight every day, every hour and every second. Sometimes every nano-second. All those people who are trying to help, eventually give up and push the alcoholic out of their I lives, instead of understanding they don’t need enabling, they need acceptance and love. I know because I have been clean and sober for 39 years. And during that time, I don’t get time off for good behavior, a vacation, or even a day to rest. Every day that I wake up I must face the fight and ask my God to help me stay clean and sober one more day. Along with that, I must face life stone cold sober. It is easy for you to “Just Say No” if you don’t have the disease. Thank God you don’t.

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