The recovery community is shaken by the death of actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman. It was reported that he was more than 20 years sober. He had a relapse earlier this year. Then the reports of drug use, more drinking, heroin and death.
Shockingly there are some--even in recovery-who think "that could never be me". But it could. We might, those of us of a certain age who were addicted to alcohol, think, "Well I'd certainly never do heroin; even if I relapsed I'd probably just drink and then come back. But as this heartbreaking story shows us, coming back can be very, very hard.
What we forget or do not realize is that if we relapse on alcohol we would certainly "forget" that we don't do drugs. It's a new world. That's what we have to remember. Alcohol kills pain but heroin does it better. And these days heroin is cheaper than a cocktail, you do not have to go to a bad part of town to get it, and very nice people--very nice people that you know--will offer it to you.
Research shows that the longer we are in recovery the less likely we are to relapse. But--if we do relapse we are much more likely to die and die quickly.
While we pray for Hoffman and his partner and their three children and all of his friends let's please remember that we are not immune. We have a chronic illness and the remedy is ongoing.
Here is the link to an article in today's New York Times detailing the last days of Hoffman's life and what those around him saw. This is progression. This is tragedy.