I think about 348 sober people I know posted a link to the story in the NY Times today about who gets addicted to drugs and who doesn't. Interesting as it is, I already know the only real answer that's important to me – I DO get addicted to drugs.
Of course, the reason it's NY Times material right now is because of the death of Amy Winehouse. The autopsy won't be available for a while, but the general consensus is that the death was – either directly or indirectly – caused by her addiction. She was 27.
That's the part that's been haunting me. If you read my blog, you know that I (and many of my friends) have seen an inordinate amount of people die before their time this year. I don't know for sure, but I think at least three of the people I know that died were under 40. It's really caused me to reflect.
What if I had died at 27 years old. I would have missed the last 20 years of my life (plus all the years I still have left). Think about that. I know I'm thinking about that because really, the first 27 years of my life weren't so great. I hated myself and I was pretty sure everyone else hated me too. I think I was right around that age when I told a very good friend of mine that I was pretty sure that no matter when I died, it was going to be at my own hand. I really thought I didn't have any good reason to live.
Well, I'm just going to jot down really quickly a few of things I would have missed if I had checked out at 27:
I would have never been in a relationship that lasted longer than a year.
I would never have gotten into a water pistol fight with my father on the sidewalk in front of his house.
I wouldn't have graduated from college.
I would never have had anything I wrote published.
I would have never been to Europe.
I would have never lived in Manhattan (which was my biggest dream when I was in college – be careful what you wish for).
I would never have gotten sober.
I would never have met approximately 600 of my 731 Facebook friends (of course, I think there are a hundred or so I still haven't met).
I would have never heard of Facebook
Or America Online for that matter.
But of all the things I would have missed if I had left this earth before it was time, none would be as much of a loss as never having gotten to see the two kids that have become probably my favorite people in the entire world. I can't even imagine how much poorer my life would be if I never got to meet them.
And you want to know what's really crazy about that. If you had told me at 27 that the my favorite thing in my life would be somebody else's kids, I'd have laughed in your face. So, if you're wondering what you have to live for, stick around. You literally have no idea what you might be missing.