To Post or Not.

by Al Smith

                            

I thought long and hard about publishing this post, but in the end, I felt I needed to.

 OK, I want to apologize to all those reading this who might be looking for a “good news” story.  I already had this week’s post written last Thursday.  All positive.  All good.  Trust me.  It will be here later this week.  We all need to move on from the sadness of last week.  (or so I thought)  From the suicides and loss of life.  Tragic, emotional, heartfelt.   Don’t get me wrong: there have been some incredible posts. Mark Schaefer wrote a couple of gems.  And there have been tons of reflection for 9/11.  Brandon Sutton just posted another great one.

 Then I got the news on Friday that someone I have known for several years, lost her battle with addiction and took her own life.  She leaves behind four beautiful daughters and a loving husband.

We were not that close and I hadn’t seen her in a few months, but I always kept up with her and her struggles with addiction.  She had a way of lighting up a room.  Always smiling, hugging and in a loud southern voice, saying; HI HONEY!  Just a sweetheart of a person.

 When I got the news on Friday, I had no way of knowing it would affect me so profoundly.  I was out running errands and came home an emotional wreck.  I have known several people who have taken their own life and my first reaction was always anger.  Mad at them.  How could they do this? But for this person, I felt extreme sadness.  It felt like my heart was breaking for those four girls she left. And then, I have to go to the memorial service for her on 9/11.  Are you kidding me?  Enough with the sadness and grief, I thought.  But, I needed to go.  And I did.

 I did not think I had that many tears in me.  I am not ashamed to say I cried for most of the 90 minute service.  Wow. So sad.  When those four girls got up to speak, read and cry about their mom, I knew it was gonna be rough.  And it was.  Tears and more tears.

 You see, my friend did not “Get It”.  She could not grasp recovery and hold on to it.  She lost hope.  I have been clean and sober for 12 ½ years.  I finally “Got it”.  I am so blessed and grateful.  Maybe, that’s why I CARE today.  Alcoholism and addiction are deadly.  It is no joke.  It affects a lot of people and I know several people on line who are very familiar with it.  Robert Dempsey wrote a great piece back in April. Writing of the benefits of recovery.  His latest post on 9/11 was fantastic, also.  Check him out.  Thanks Robert.

 Whatever you are going through today, don’t lose hope.  Focus on the good things life has to offer.  Cherish your friends and loved ones.  Let them know you Care. 

Gratitude. “Get It.”  Keep It. Embrace it. 

OK, enough with the grieving.  It is time to motivate, inspire and help improve morale in the workplace, at home and in the world.  I promise the post later in the week will be a Positive and uplifting message.  Thanks for allowing me to share my pain and true feelings with you.

 

 Sincerely,

 Al

 

 

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark W Schaefer September 12, 2011 at 5:28 pm

I am so incredibly, painfully sorry to hear this. Cannot even imagine. Thank you for having the courage to write this. You are in my prayers, Al (And I’m not just saying that).

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Al Smith September 25, 2011 at 9:55 am

Thanks Mark. Not sure when you sent this. I just saw it. I apologize. I appreciate your sincere thoughts and your prayers. I continue to pray for her family and those adorable girls. i have to move on. This awful disease kills people every day. I have to continue to stay grateful and share the message of hope and CARE with as many people as possible.

I hope yopu will join us with our Dare to CARE challenge. Thanks again for your great writing and support. Take CARE.

Al

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Erica Allison September 12, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Al, this post was way more uplifting and hopeful than you realize! Thanks for sharing it with us. For those of us who know someone with addiction or alcoholism, it’s a moving post. For those of us who have lost loved ones to those diseases or to suicide, by way of mental illness, it’s indeed a moving post. You never know who you’ll touch or how. Glad you posted it.
Erica Allison recently posted..Thank You: A 9/11 Video Tribute

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Al Smith September 12, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Thanks Erica. really appreciate you and all your support and encouagement. It was not an easy decision, as you know to post this, but it was the right thing to do. I feel much better already. Thanks again for your comment and RT.

Al
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Kaarina Dillabough September 12, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Al, this post will ring with resonance for so many people who have been touched by loss, addiction, alcoholism or despair. You are brave and kind to share it with us, and I’m sure all who read it will be moved. I lost a dear friend who was like a daughter to me a year and a half ago to suicide, leaving behind two young daughters under the age of 5. It still hurts. But some things in life, as in death, will remain a mystery. All we can do is be the best we can be…support each other, and CARE for each other. Thanks for a heart-wrenchingly beautiful post. Kaarina
Kaarina Dillabough recently posted..Business and Life Lessons from a Garage Sale

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Al Smith September 12, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Kaarina, so grateful for you and your kind words. The support I have received from you, Erica and others has been tremendous. I am sorry for the loss of your friend as well. Like you said and we will be discussing in the near future, the best thing we can do is CARE for and support each other. Thanks again for your friendship. It means a lot.

Al
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Brandon Sutton September 12, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Al, thank you for sharing this. I lost a loved one to suicide 12 years ago and it was the most heart wrenching experience of my life. I feel your pain today – trust me. As you said, we can best serve each other by focusing on the positive things that life offers us. We can be a beacon of hope and inspiration to those who are suffering, yet we might not even know it. Every interaction we have throughout our days is an opportunity to spread joy in the world. It’s up to us to recognize this and act on it.

Thank you for the reminder.

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Al Smith September 12, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Thanks for the comment Brandon and your great post tribute to 9/11. Love how you are always emphasizing positive change in the world. You walk the walk too, my friend. So proud of you for all you do and your support of me and many others. Your last line rings so true; Every interaction we have is an opportunity to spread joy in the world. It’s up to us to recognize this and act on it. Wow. Love it. Thanks again.
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Robert Dempsey September 12, 2011 at 9:42 pm

I’m glad you posted this Al. I’ve known many people that ended up in jail or died due to their additions. I consider we, the ones that have recovered, to be some of the luckiest people on Earth.

My condolences for your loss. I’ll keep her family in our thoughts.

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Al Smith September 12, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Thanks Robert. And yes, we ARE some of the luckiest people on earth. Blessed indeed. Your post helped inspire me to be able to write this. Appreciate your support, thoughts and all you do to help others.

Al
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Lori Gosselin September 13, 2011 at 9:18 am

Al,
That is a lot of sadness! I can’t imagine it. I see so much around me these days. A young brother-in-law fighting cancer, and today I learned of the passing of the father of two university/residence friends. They lost their mother when they were very young so I know they will feel this loss profoundly. Life and death, they walk hand in hand, don’t they?
Carry on your mission Al. We can’t stop for sadness or it will overtake us and we’ll never do our work. We pause, we grieve, we feel what we feel and we keep going.
Right?
It’s nice that you care so much.
Lori
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Al Smith September 14, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Thanks Lori. So good seeing you on the video chat today. Those are fun.
Yes, there was a lot of sadness, but it is time to move on and continue to carry the message of CARE. Love what you said; “We feel what we fell and we keep going”
Amen to that.

Al

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Shelby Miles September 13, 2011 at 12:06 pm

I am happy that you stayed true to your heart and posted what you felt. That is what it means to C.A.R.E. as well. When we are true to ourselves we can be true to others. There is a lot of unexpected loss happening as we shift into this new age. We cannot fully prepare ourselves for why certain souls are exiting this Earth plane, but for those who are left we must move through the adversity and see the higher reason for the loss. It doesn’t mean we can’t feel the human emotions. Thank you for posting this because for my personal mission it encourages me to keep going so I can be a light for others. It takes all of us and I love you for doing your part! Big hug!

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Al Smith September 14, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Thanks Shelby. You aere absolutely one of my favorite people in thwe world. I love your energy and your enthusiasm to help others. You ARE a light for others. Keep shining brightly, my adorable friend. Big Hug back to you.

Al

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Jk Allen September 13, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Thanks for sharing this Al.

Life can be hard. Life can propose us with situations that seem as though will never correct. Life can make us seem like we’re the culprit to the troubles in our life. But life, despite those other things is great.

I remind myself how great I have it…even when I don’t feel that way. Kids alone are enough to keep me highly motivated and fully alert. I know this isn’t the case for everyone…but I think everyone needs to find that THING for them.

Thanks for sharing.
Jk Allen recently posted..Conversations with Rob: Learning from a Multi-Millionaire (Final Chapter)

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Al Smith September 14, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Thanks Jk. We need to remind ourselves, how great we have it. Gratitude, my friend is the key. As always, i appreciate all your help, support and encouragement. You are headed to the top !

Al

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Bill Dorman September 13, 2011 at 8:56 pm

Hey bud, I know some people right now battling with addictions and even had a conversation with my wife on how to approach this person. Sometimes you can talk ’til you are blue in the face but if that switch never clicks for that person and they recognize they need help, more times than not the talking won’t help.

I personally know 5 people who decided to end their lives; one was my brother-in-law. Such a waste and so senseless; you see the signs but feel helpless.

That’s why it is so important to live life fully, it should never be taken for granted.

Sometimes you just have to do these posts my friend. Have fun this weekend.
Bill Dorman recently posted..Did anyone else feel that?

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Al Smith September 14, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Thanks Bill and great seeing you today on Lori’s video chat. Yes, this is an awful disease. And you are right, until the person admits and ask for help, things will not change. I know. I was that person for a long time. If you or your wife want to talk to me about your friend, feel free to contact me or call my cell. I am here for you bro.

Take care and Go Noles !

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Bryan Thompson September 14, 2011 at 1:04 am

Al, thank you for sharing this major life-changing event in your life. It’s so sad to think of those who just have seemed to lost hope. It’s often easier for us on the outside to see all that person has so clearly going for them and think, “Can you not see it??” But you’re right, they’re often so blinded by their disease. I will say a prayer for this family. Thanks for challenging us with this story.
Bryan Thompson recently posted..How do you Pick Yourself Up When You’ve just Struck Out?

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Al Smith September 15, 2011 at 7:21 am

Thanks Bryan. Appreciate the kind words and support. And for checking out The CARE Movement. Just read your post on “striking out”. Awesome. Loved it. I will be following you. Great to connect and thanks again.

Al

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Wendy September 14, 2011 at 1:42 pm

First visit to your site Al and I like what I am reading. It takes a real person to wake up and see the light. Congradulations to you for that!
My question to you is how does one live with someone that is a current alcholic and has been for most of their life? With one whom refuses to admit they have a problum and exposes our children to it every day, every hour and every year? How does one become stong enough to move on. How does one afford to move one? I continue to try to balance a normal life for the sake of my children but have a hard time doing so when this addition is NOT NORMAL at all……

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Al Smith September 15, 2011 at 7:25 am

Wow. Thanks for your comment, Wendy. I feel your pain. Hang in there. Maybe you can find a local Al-anon meeting (for family of alcoholics) to attend and get some insight. I will be thinking of you and praying for you and your family. God bless.

Al

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John Sherry September 17, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Al, I’m sorry to hear of a passing that touches you so. You’re a caring man to be unafraid to show the love in your tears in public – I look up to that. I once chose to end my life on New Year’s Eve 1999 but somehow decided not to at the last seconds. My only advice is that where the pain is so immense, so engulfing and tormenting, the true happiness and joy and brightness when you come out of it is 100 times more wonderful. It’s like staying to live in heaven. For all those hurting right now I’ve seen death’s door and this home called Earth is a much more marvellous place where everything special does occur. After all YOU are here!!
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Al Smith September 25, 2011 at 10:02 am

Hi John. First let me apologize for not replying to your comment sooner. Thank you for the caring and very personal words. I am so glad that you are still on this earth to share your beautiful message and help so many people. I know one for sure. Me !

Hope you saw the Dare to CARE challenge. After all, you inspired it. Thanks.

You are here, too !

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Akos Fintor October 26, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Hello Al,

I know it wasn’t easy.
We lost a friend 4 years ago due to depression.
Every year we go to the cemetery to remember and celebrate her…and while we there we always witness something strange: a rainbow out of nowhere, butterflies chasing each other around the grave, dozens of birds start to chirp all of a sudden….
I think it is just a way of her letting us know that she’s ok. :)

Thanks for the share.
Akos Fintor recently posted..Ensure Your Ongoing Progress with a Success Mindset

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