While his circumstance was unique, I believe brokenness is brokenness and it applies to all of our lives. I want to share my friend’s story in an effort to fight a horrible lie – that anybody deserves to be alone.
My friend made some critical mistakes and stubbornness played a big part in his struggles, but the part that haunts me the most about losing my friend is the fact that he was alone.
He chose to be alone because that’s where his alcohol addiction started. When he called me this summer, I believe he was feeling lonely and perhaps regretting the way he had pushed away a lot of people who loved him. He openly told me about being an alcoholic. I’ll never forget that conversation because it happened two weeks before he died.
It was 8 a.m. when he called me that day, and even though he sounded like the high school friend I knew and valued, the truth was he had been drinking all night. To my knowledge I’ve never talked to someone who was living this addiction. It was disturbing to hear of the way drinking had turned from something he did for fun, to something he used to escape the world, to something he needed to not feel sick.
I heard the sadness in his voice when I tried to invite him to something … anything … I scrambled to think of a positive activity or a place surrounded by my family in which he could feel a moment of belonging. It wasn’t a matter of if he wanted to or not – it was a sense of knowing he wasn’t able to get out and be among people.
However, within that conversation there was a hope. He told me he was going to get better and was looking forward to the journey.
I felt happy when we said goodbye that day. I felt like I was going to see my friend in the future. I had no idea that moment would be the last time I would hear his voice.
My friend’s stubborn, independent heart wanted to get out of the mess on his own. He suddenly stopped drinking, attempted to de-tox alone at home, and it ultimately caused his death. He was taking an extreme measure with the greatest of intentions, but his biggest mistake was thinking he could do it alone – let alone without professional medical help.
Maybe it’s because being alone is my greatest fear and where I tear myself apart the most, but I hold a passion in my heart to tell people that, “YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE ALONE.” God the Father meets us precisely where we are – in our addictions, in our mess, in our loneliness and in our emotions – and we can’t afford to wait a second longer to JOIN HIM. When we join Christ, we join His Church. It is Kingdom work to be there for others and spread the hope He brings. Together, we’re stronger to fight demons like addiction.
Throw away your delusions of independence because we certainly rely heavily on the Lord, and that’s the way He designed it. That’s the way He desires us – connected to Him through the Holy Spirit. It is not a weakness to turn to God for strength – it is a courageous act of wisdom.
I’ll probably always hurt and miss my friend, but God will use this for His glory. My grief fuels a passion to be there for others, and my prayer is that I may be a vessel for the Holy Spirit to do His works.
Please pray right now in this moment for God to reveal someone in your life who is battling an addiction or the lie that they deserve to be alone.
Becca Haines is a communications coordinator for Christ In Youth.