I got the news that I had lost another friend today. This time it wasn’t an accidental overdose but an intentional ending of life. My friend had struggled with severe depression and anxiety for years before he succumbed to his illness. It is the strangest experience to be a young person and watch other young people pass away before they achieve all they wanted to. This is the experience of being a young recovering person in America. Nowhere else do I know that has suffered the loss of a generation of brilliant, sensitive, loving, warm and kind people like our society has. It seems like every day I log into Facebook and see another young person succumb to untreated mental illness. I guess at this point I’m angry, but also numb. I’m trying to sort through how we handle the unique grief of losing a young life. There is a part of me that feels that we shouldn’t have to. But here we are.

The only thing I can take away from it is to put more effort and more love into the people I know who are still around. Cherish the people & moments you have with them. Be of service to people who need help when they have the willingness to get it. Stay connected in spite of the busy, busy world. Love fearlessly.

There is a story in the Big Book which addresses expectations of others and how they lead to resentment. When my expectations of others don’t match up to the reality of their behavior towards me, I am liable to feel disrespected, insulted or otherwise discontented by them. This separates me from the people around me. It places my serenity in the hands of others and puts my self-worth in a dangerous position. When I begin to define myself by the way others treat me, I am taking myself off the spiritual path. I’ve learned that when others show you who they truly are, we must believe them. We must believe others without making their behavior about us. My behavior is about me, their behavior is about them. This is how we begin to take true accountability for ourselves and allow ourselves to be placed in realistic proportion to the people around us.