A Letter from a Mother who Lost her Daughter to Alcoholism

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"My 37 year old daughter lost her life to alcoholism. I am hoping you will let me help out more people. If you are so inclined, please read and/or make copies of this enclosed written remembrance of her to those in need. Thank you, Nancy (Doreen’s Mother)"

Doreen Lorraine,

The phone rang one August morning at 7:30am. It was my oldest son. Something was terribly wrong. He went on to say “Doreen had a heart attack,” then there was a long pause...

Doreen was a gorgeous beauty inside and out. The pride I felt for her was evident throughout her life. Her blonde hair sparkled from infancy. Toddler years were full of laughter. As a teenager she was a devoted daughter, an average student with a love for learning, art and respect for her teachers. She would talk through dinner with such enthusiasm about her day. We planned her wedding together with love, joy and respect towards each other. It was the most perfect mother-daughter time. Doreen thought she was marrying the love of her life. They were married 13 years before they were divorced and had no children.

We had been as closer as ever, talking at least once a day. Shortly after September 11, 2001 I received a call from Doreen telling me that she had been arrested for illegally obtaining prescription pall killers. Previously, when we were on the phone or together she never told me she was taking Vicodin. During the call she told me that she had been addicted for a couple of years and was looking for a rehabilitation hospital. Doreen admitted herself the next day with her husband and me by her side. We thought all it would take was this arrest, rehabilitation and she would be fine, CURED.

Inpatient, outpatient, family sessions went on for eight years. I felt devoted to her recovery, but she never seemed to take sobriety seriously. Her husband lost patience, then divorced her. Doreen and her two brothers had been adopted by my second husband when Doreen was thirteen.

Their biological father’s (my first husband) alcoholism had progressed to the point that our safety, security and sanity were at risk. He dropped out of their lives, but he encouraged and agreed to the adoption. In her 30th year Doreen reconnected with him and the disease of alcoholism took over her mind and body. It was a tragedy. Then came the lying, insults, stealing, manipulation, offensive swearing, blame, and trust and control issues. Most holidays were met with a crisis.

The heartbreak of addiction overpowered her and the family. Doreen gave up caring. The DUIs, court appearances, and hospitalizations from her overdoses were draining. It took a toll on our relationship, because she did nothing to help herself. The love was always there for both of us, but the addiction stole our closeness. The family fractured under the stress.

When the long pause was over my son said “she did not make it.” She was only 37 years old. The autopsy would prove that alcoholism was the cause of her death.

Think for a moment... you do not want this for your future.
Take your recovery seriously. It could save your life.

In Loving Memory of
Doreen Lorraine
February 25, 1973 – August 10, 2010

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