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On The Loss Of Friends And Strangers To Addiction

It’s worth repeating: everyone struggles

6 min readOct 30, 2023


The first time I found out someone I loved had died from their disease, I immediately broke out into a sweat and the only way I could calm down was to remind myself that I was sober, that I had quit drinking and the drugs and she hadn’t and for a moment I felt better, smug even. I had survived.

I might as well be honest about it. I have survived so far. She wasn’t the last, either. There have been so many. I loved her, and I loved him, and when I found out a few years ago that another friend had died, this time in rehab, I thought about filling a glass with bourbon. I didn’t but I threw up anyway.

Even now, I feel like I should be able to call or text and talk to them, their voices bright like road flares. It’s unfair. I met him for the first time at a party and he wasn’t drinking and he seemed so cool. The last time I spoke with her before rehab, we yammered about how much we missed her, and it’s just impossible that they’re both gone.

They wanted to live. I know this. Even if there were moments when it was all too much. I want to live and there are moments when it is all too much.



John DeVore

I created Humungus, a blog about pop culture, politics, and feelings. Support the madness: