Monday, November 14, 2016

Conversing Sisters: Reflecting

Me & Lisa, circa 1978

This post is part of a series of writings I did with my sister Lisa, in 2012. Our thoughts and perspectives reflect a moment in time. They may or may not have changed in the passing years.


Lisa's Thoughts  

Our journey...

Wow, I too have found so much joy in getting to know you better and understanding your perspectives on God and all that is good. I appreciate you taking the time to really learn and understand what the recovery journey is all about!

I am really looking forward to doing something similar with you, maybe in the Articles of Faith or something you would like me to learn about.

I was really happy to learn how the 12 steps can really impact anyone who chooses to learn about them. They are powerful in their own way. Words cannot express how I feel about you and who you have become! If I am ever in doubt about what is possible, I remember the day you left here without much and created a life that is nothing short of inspiring.

You inspire me everyday and more than you truly are one of those people who live in my heart and light up my soul on a constant basis.

Thank you for your compassion, love and patience over the years. I know, now more than ever, it was not easy for you to witness and experience. I am so grateful that the good Lord has brought us all to some clarity, so we can be of service to those who may be experiencing life as we did.

I am so excited for you to come home and share this Holiday season with you!!!

I love you!

Liz's Thoughts  


I can’t find what I wrote in 2012. I assume I wrote something. I imagine I would have expressed my gratitude for the project, the insights, the shared experience...I know I would have told Lisa that I loved her and looked forward to our next project. The next project didn’t materialize. Life happened…

Lisa relapsed. Why? Ultimately, that’s a question only she can answer. I do know that she made attempts at sobriety. It was the topic of our last communication.

She texted me, “It’s groundhog’s day here in my world. I know I just need to change one thing.”
I replied, “You can change that one thing.”

She died 15 days later.

Grief swallowed me whole. Ripped out my internal landscape. Thrusted me into the inky abyss.
Resurrecting this writing project has been a beacon. Reviewing the Alcoholics Anonymous steps has helped me to see I am powerless over grief - it must be experienced. I came to believe a Power greater than myself could bring me out of the abyss. I had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps - to carry the message of healing, love and light to those impacted by addiction.

In sharing mine and Lisa’s conversations with you, I’ve found connection and meaning. I’ve loved hearing from the people who Lisa impacted during her life. I’ve loved hearing from people struggling with addiction and those who love people in that struggle. I feel a collective embrace and I’m reminded that we are not alone in our suffering and that we are on this Earth school to care for one another. Thank you for being part of this with me.

There are more writings. I have some of Lisa’s journals wherein she continues to work the steps. I haven’t been in a space where I can read them and thus am not ready to share them. I will - in time.

I want to end in the same format the previous posts where written - responding to my sister.


You’re beloved AA and treasured steps have been a balm during this painful time. Thank you for bring AA into my life. It has given me perspective and tools on how to cope with loving addicts and living my life.

Per your wishes, we hosted an AA meeting in your honor a few days after your funeral. It was a choice moment hearing your community speak affectionately about you and share their stories of addiction. Something happened to me in that meeting. The line between the addict and me blurred. I no longer felt like a visitor. Your addiction no longer felt like this other thing - it all became part of a bigger whole. Your community became my community. Your cause became my cause.

For so much of our adult life I was your champion. Now, I feel the roles have reversed. I hear you tell me that I can do this hard thing.

I’m eternally grateful that you are my sister.

I miss you! I love you!

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  1. Liz,
    Thank you so much for sharing these posts, they have been such an inspiration, but thank you more importantly for taking the time to do the project in the first place! That is the hard thing :)
    All of us who have followed this journey with the two of you have really benefited and will for as many times as we want to go back and read them.
    Liz you are such an inspiration, your life is such an inspiration. I love you and thank you for all our talks. You inspire people to be a better form of themselves, you do that for me.
    With love,
    Aunt Kristy

  2. Aunt Kristy,

    Your support, love and encouragement give me strength. I love you!