It was the first Saturday morning in May of 2021, and in retrospect, we greatly appreciated the time that day. At daybreak on this glorious spring morn, Mike and Glenn were joined in the sober.coffee cafe by Lindsay O, a sister in recovery that we both “loved.”
Death took Lindsay from this life just 270 days after her time at the virtual coffee shop.
Death has been part of our lives since birth. We have lost family. We have lost friends. We have lost the healthy, and we have lost the sick. We have lost many to the disease of alcoholism and many from the recovery rooms. More death will surround us in the coming days, weeks, months, and years. Death will come to others, and death will come to us. It's inevitable, and the fact is that death comes to each of us- in its own time.
All deaths have their own level of grief. Lindsay's death, on scale, was one of the toughest that we have had handed to us - for many reasons. And as we don't know the details surrounding her passing, our time on the podcast provided details of what surrounded her in life. The message was and continues to be one of strength and hope. She embraced her experience and shared it so that others could experience recovery:
When we asked Lindsay to join us at the coffee shop, she was initially fearful and somewhat reluctant. We begged - she folded. Now, we appreciate that some things like public speaking, roller coasters, and clowns scare some people. A number of people would argue that sober.coffee possesses all three of those elements. Lol
Anyway, the point is that Lindsay woke up at 4:00 am that morning to be in the studio at 6:00 am. Her participation fee was a big financial nil. Her motivation, she confessed to us, was that she might, through her story, positively impact one struggling alcoholic.
With the travel time added onto the 28.2 minutes spent with us, Lindsay invested three hours of her life to share the message unselfishly - a powerful statement on the hope found through discipline, perseverance, an attitude of learning, and principally based living.
Anybody with a problem with alcohol can relate to the fact that Lindsay used to change how she felt. Boy, do we get that! She knew what she was doing was not good for her, but she did it anyway and professed that she didn't know how to stop it. Recheck the boxes - we connect – yes, it is the broken who connects to the broken. It is the healed that are most qualified to heal. And Lindsay helped heal us that morning.
Lindsays’ story included falls back into abuse, but her determination and resilience brought her back into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. There, she found people who would help her get up again. There, you learn about this proven recovery program's 12-step practices and principles. Did you catch that folks? She just “kept coming back” until the learning took on a whole new level.
Student of the Program and its’ Principles
The program of Alcoholics Anonymous outlines its’ guiding principles as virtues that embody each step. They include honesty, hope, surrender—courage, integrity, willingness, humility, love, responsibility, discipline, awareness, and service.
Lindsay's game change came when she embraced these principles as her blueprint for life. While she was out there active in alcohol abuse, she was, like almost all of us addicts, short on positive qualities.
It was for her and should be for us, to live a life that we author. Looking more for whom we want to be and what we don't want to be and become our want. Where we used to drink to escape – we are now living a life based on principles doesn't demand escape.
Alcohol is cunning, baffling, and powerful; we never know when it will cunn us to relapse. Lindsay was prepared for those days with the toolkit that she customized that included prayer, phone calls, hanging out with other Alcoholics, doubling down on meetings, and daily readings.
She filled herself with so much AA that there was no room in the cup for nasty thinking or damaging activity.
Admittedly, life would continue to happen on life’s terms. She was set on the fact that she was not the creator of the universe and had to learn to accept what was happening around her in most cases.
We watched Lindsay grow through struggles and suffering and learned along with her that the program teaches us to suffer better. We agreed that suffering is as unique as the individual. “To each has his own,” we concurred. What we found so inspirational was Lindsay’s response to that suffering. She was resilient in her efforts to protect the gift that she was living. And that is all we believe that anybody can do.
This disease does not discriminate and has a powerful pull on our minds - and bodies once consumed. Lindsay knew that and had a special awareness and appreciation for each 24 hours she had sober.
Glenn and Mike had the honor and privilege of sitting in many a face to face meetings with Lindsay. She always shared honestly and always inspired. We hope that is a legacy statement that we will leave as well. She claimed that she kept a list of promises from the big book of AA. 196 of them. She promised to get those to us and we promised to post them in our resource room. Promises made, promises kept.
As Lindsay conveyed at the conclusion of our time together that glorious morning: the promises will come true to us, and promises that we don't even think will come true will.
Our promise to Lindsay is that we will continue to carry the message to the next struggling alcoholic and that we will watch over Glenn and Landon.
Thank you for the time we spent together!
Eternal Hugs our friend.
Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from sober.coffee #B5 Bonus: Lindsay Shares her Experience, Strength & Hope The podcast dropped on 5/2/2021. Click here to hear the podcast.
Alcoholics Anonymous and AA are registered trademarks of Alcoholics World Service. Inc. References to AA, the 12 steps, and 12 traditions does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. This publication is intended to support personal growth and should not be thought of as a substitute for the advice of healthcare professionals. The author’s advice and viewpoints are their own.