Hard news last night. Just before the start of the Monday AA meeting Matthew got a tweet saying that robin Williams had died of suicide yesterday. What a terrible loss, and yet how perfectly understandable. Williams battled with alcoholism and depression most of his life. I have too. I understand he was bipolar, just like me I battle with suicide to this day. And I shared something at last ight’s meeting I have never shared in an AA meeting before:
From roughly 15 to 25 years of sobriety I did not go to meetings. I copped a huge resentment at Boston AA and stopped going to meetings. I sponsored myself and I went slowly mad. During those ten years I was at Mount Ida College. After ten years at Mount Ida the place gave me a nervous breakdown. This led me to make decisions whereby I quit my job there, lost my career, decided to move to San Francisco and lost my house and eventually my husband. On the drive cross country from Boston to San Francisco I panned to commit suicide in the desert outside Santa Fe. But I was transformed by the desert, th energy around Santa Fe and I decided not to go through with it. When I got to San Francisco I rededicated myself to AA. I have gone to meeting a day ever since. I am always with a sponsor. I worked the twelve steps thoroughly with one sponsor in San Francisco, I sponsored other men. In the middle of all that I was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder, which explained the clinical depression and the panic/anxiety disorder I suffered through during those years and still suffer fro to this day. I cling to AA to save my life now. It is what has kept me sane for the past nine years. I could not survive without the tolls, the steps, the program, and fellowship. For all the fears I have about other people, I force myself to walk through it all and to cling to AA as if my life depended upon it because it does. I am thankful I have never been compelled to pick up another drunk or drug since I originally put down my last drink and have up speed back I 1981. I know I can maintain physical sobriety, But the Program gives me spiritual and emotional sobriety too. I have remained alive thanks to the support and help of very many people and a sometimes shaky trust in my higher Power.
So when I learn of Robin Williams suicide, I think, there but for the grace of God go I. I am deeply saddened Williams’ demons got the better of him. I do know what a horrid struggle it is to live with alcoholism and depression, I know it well. It is a terrible loss of a great talent, someone who brought joy to millions, a wonderful actor and consummate comedian. But his talent and success were powerless to affect his demons. I have known too many friends who have taken their lives when they could not take the depression, the bipolar, the schizo-affective disordered illness any longer. As I say, still wrestle with depression and suicidal thoughts. And I am overjoyed at the new hope that Bear Your Soul awakened in me. I feel there is a chance for me to have a good quality life once more. It will be hard doing it from Cortland, but I have been plugging way, seeing out kindred spirits (I found one in Freddy Freeman, and I may have found others at Easton Mountain.) I have been adrift for the last several years with no idea what to do with my life. And I am serious when I say writing my memoirs has given me a reason, THE reason to not kill myself It has been the one big purpose I have had this past year.
Posted at Origins Coffeehouse, Homer, Ny
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