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My youngest sister just recently ended her own life (October 2008). She was diagnosed with depression and alcoholism, and received professional treatment, but ultimately she chose to rapidly drink herself to death. She spoke of being suicidal, and she was taken seriously by everyone; however, there was nothing anyone could do to stop her. She had recently been released from employment, no doubt due to poor performance as a result of her drinking. She had been married five years and was having marital problems, and her husband had been laid off due to the economic recession. I believe she decided that taking her own life was a solution to end the pain.
After her funeral, my other three sisters and our parents were in shock because we just did not see this coming. We all believed she would enter rehab, stop drinking, and recover. Instead, she refused further treatment, drank until her liver failed, and she died a horrible and agonizing death. Afterwards, my entire family blamed ourselves for her death. We felt we had all missed the obvious signs -- surely there was something we could have done, perhaps some kind of further intervention. In retrospect, I finally realize that there was nothing anyone could have done. I am a recovering alcoholic (sober for more than 20 years), and in the depths of my drinking I wanted to die too. But something inside of me was a fighter, and I reached out for help and recovery. Some people have that intrinsic desire to overcome all obstacles; however, when disabled with deep depression, unless one asks for help, the prospects for recovery are slim.
I believe that there was little anyone could do to change her outcome. Even with professional treatment and intervention, some people will still succumb to illness and perish. Although it is tragic, horrific, and bewildering to the survivors, the only way I have been able to go on is through acceptance. I have grieved for days, weeks, and months on end, but acceptance has finally prevailed. In addition, I have attended enough AA meetings to know that some recover and others do not. That is the sad fact.
I want to thank everyone at "Think Outloud" for allowing me to speak openly on this topic.
posted 4 years, 4 months ago
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