Her eyes were dead...alcohol had killed them.
Updated: May 28
She, obviously, was coming off of a big night (maybe multiple) of drinking.
Her face was swollen and her eyes were red and full of shame and hopelessness. Her eyes were dead with no sparkle left in them. Her eyes told me that she felt defeated. Dead eyes.
She could hardly make eye contact, but still, she tried hard to smile pretty and pretend that she was fine.
But, she wasn't.
I knew it.
She knew it.
Others in the room knew it.
I wanted so desperately to hug this sweet, fragile woman and let her know that there's a solution...if you're just willing to work for it. If you're willing to save your own life. I wanted to hold her and tell her "You don't have to live like this." So, I did.
I could easily offer her my experience, strength and hope because I understand who she is. I saw and felt her shame. I understand her shame. I understand her because, I used to know another woman exactly like her. I remember that woman and know her well.
She's the same woman who I used to be. She used to live here, in my body, so frightened of the world that she could hardly breathe. She used to live here, so full of shame and guilt about who she had become and the only answer, she thought, was to drink through the pain. To numb away so the feelings wouldn't be so scary. So, the cycle continued. Over and over again. I was the woman who, almost six years ago, lived with dead eyes.
Your family and friends might try to scream, coerce or shame you into getting help, because they love you. Because they are so damn terrified of who you've become and where you might fall, but all of their screaming, begging and pleading won't get you sober. You need help. You have a problem and you want a solution. If you want it. It's there. I'm here. We're here. But, you have to let us help you. Nobody, but you, can want sobriety and do the hard work. Only you can decide how much lower your rock bottom needs to be before you are willing to fight, claw, grasp, and beg for your own life. Only you. But, you don't have to do it alone.
You don't have to live with dead eyes. I promise.