The loss of my sons plunged me into depths of despair that I never imagined possible. Two days before Jeffrey’s murder, I picked up my 8 year sobriety chip at an Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting. Having drank alcohol for over 25 years before I quit drinking, it would have been so easy to go back to drinking with Jeffrey’s loss.

In my mind, what kept me sober at that time was that I needed to help my other son Bud survive the loss of his brother. He suffered from horrible survivor quilt. Two years later, my son Bud was killed, I had absolutely no reason to stay sober, or even alive, other than I did not want to disappoint my sons by starting drinking again.

In the grip of profound loss, people often seek solace in substances. I had lived and witnessed the destructive spiral of substance abuse, and how it turns the promise of escape into a prison. If you are in this state of mind, seek help, professional therapy, or support groups to guide you.

My journey towards resilience kept my thoughts of drinking at bay. Connecting with a psychiatrist was crucial in my journey. Every step to maintain my sobriety was a step towards resilience. Please remember that seeking help isn’t a sign of weakness. Anything that helps you find your resilience to move forward and heal is worth doing.

With Warm Regards,

Dr. KD Wagner