A year ago I was living in Las Vegas with my girlfriend Jordan. We were sleeping peacefully when I suddenly woke up after having a dream about my cousin, Kristen. Since I rarely, if ever, remember my dreams I decided to write a little message on her facebook wall and just say "hi".
The next morning I found out that my aunt had found my cousin unconscious just minutes after I posted on Kristen's wall. She was in a coma for a week and then passed away on November 23, 2010. I didn't get to see Kristen before she passed away, but I did attend her funeral. I don't remember much of it, but I'm grateful that I got to be there to honor her.
Although Kristen and I didn't see each other often, I always looked up to Kristen. She is about a year and half older than I am and I always loved it when she would hang out with me. When we were little, we would torture the younger kids together. I have lots of good memories with Kristen and lots of things that I wish we could have done together.
One thing I regret is the last time I saw Kristen, she was passing through Cedar with her boyfriend and they stopped to see me at my work to see me and asked me to go to an AA meeting with her when I got off work; instead I got drunk with my friends. I hated AA so much. And, of course, I wasn't an alcoholic.
When Kristen died it was a big wake up call for me but it still wasn't enough. We are both alcoholics. Instead of getting the help I needed when Kristen died, or even long before that, I waited until I couldn't keep drinking- physically or emotionally. I was pretty much the walking dead. The last year or so that I was drinking, that's all I did. I drank at school. I drank at work. I drank at home. I drank in the morning. I drank in order to spend time with my family. I drank while hanging out with friends. I carried liquor in a water bottle at all times. If I wasn't drinking, I was sleeping. My life got to the point that I would have rather been dead than keep drinking and feeling like I was going to die all the time. I hated myself and I hated everything about my life.
I lost friends. I did things that I regret. I cheated people. I was a bad sister, daughter, employee, etc. Even still, whenever I would call my sister in the middle of the night drunk, she would talk to me and tell me that she loved me. My dad drove to Las Vegas more than once to pick me up after a drunken fight with Jordan. I'm very grateful to have such a loving family and friends. Although I felt like my life was over when I came to Utah on the Greyhound bus in April to go to rehab, I'm so grateful that I had so much support in doing so.
I feel a lot of guilt that I got this wonderful opportunity and my cousin didn't. I feel guilty that I made it out alive and that I'm able to live my life and be sober. I hate that addiction takes people that I love and often wonder why or how I'm still here. I know that everything happens for a reason, but sometimes it just doesn't make any sense to me. I hope it all makes sense someday...but until then, I'll just keep doing this for myself and also for Kristen. I know she's up there cheering me on and I'm grateful for that.
Thanks to all my friends and family for supporting me and loving me even when I probably didn't deserve it or act like I wanted it.