We eulogized my sister on her 46th birthday. I just turned 46. Its the last thing we will have in common, until I join her in death.

Anniversaries are odd mixes, like the old Brach’s bins of candy that nobody really even liked. Its a mix of remembering and mourning – wanting to enjoy happy memories but finding them hard to find because they are buried under the grief of lost potential.

Addiction is a demon. It prematurely severs authentic relationships and places a substance or activity where loved ones should be. Mental illness, addiction’s bedfellow, is equally destructive and isolating.

Fight friends. Fight hard for sobriety and for health. Fight for the birthdays that can only be celebrated if you are alive. Fight for the people who are waiting to welcome you back into their arms and hearts, even if there is anger there now.  Fight for the person you always hoped you would be and can still become. Fight for better memories to replace the sad ones you have and for the tomorrows that hold more promise than you can even imagine.

Fight because nobody wants to just remember you. We want to celebrate and hug you, not your gravestone.