Moving On Without Guilt – Alcoholism Affects Others

Sober doesn’t Suck!is a safe place for people to share their stories of drinking, addiction and recovery openly and honestly. There is no requirement of sobriety for posting, if you’re concerned about your using I want to hear from you too.

If you’d like to tell your story, your feelings about your own addiction or that of someone else in your life please head over to the Sober doesn’t Suck! page. Addiction affects the people around us, I’m interested in sharing all sides.


It’s hard to say, looking back, that alcohol didn’t ruin my life, after all it took so much away from me so quickly. But after I continued to move on past the tragedy that occurred in my life, I knew it was wrong to blame alcohol when people who drink need to take responsibility for their own actions. There are always consequences to every choice.

Here’s my story:

My best friend Sam, loved to drink-we were young just barely 22 and we were having the time of our lives, until one night in June of 2010, when my life changed forever. Being in our 20’s, we partied and drank often, it was just something to do, but Sam unfortunately often drove home after a night of drinking. I did NOT approve of this in her lifestyle but she was an adult that made her own decisions. I could tell her until I was blue in the face to not drive drunk but she did what she wanted to do. She had also begun using cocaine and smoking pot but I knew I had to stay by her side, even if I didn’t support her life decisions.

On a cloudless night in June of 2010 Sam made a choice that would ultimately end her life. After a bonfire and party with some friends, Sam had been fighting with her ex. She was highly intoxicated which didn’t help and after a while she wanted to leave. She was frantic but we had already taken her car keys away.

We were all drinking because the plan was a sleepover, and no one else was going to be driving after drinking. Sam & I got in a huge fight about her leaving which escalated into her literally kicking and punching me to get her keys back. We tried to block in her car but she almost ran a few of us over trying to get out. With that Sam was gone, she didn’t even say goodbye, my last memory of her was her car blowing dust in my face as she drove away. Sam took off and died about 5 minutes later when she crashed her car into a tree and was ejected from her sunroof. She died on impact.

The next few months were a blur.

I blamed myself for letting her get those keys back, for not restraining her more and for not ultimately preventing her death. I had to come to terms with the fact that nothing would have stopped her from driving that night. She made a choice that ended with the ultimate consequence which was her life. I miss Sam everyday, I try to remember her as the fun-loving person she was and always will be in my mind. To this day I can’t look at her parents, I just have too many emotions and I’m pretty sure they blame me for her death. Like it was my fault….or I made her do it.

Through this experience I have learned that letting go of guilt is essential to moving on and healing. People that are struggling with alcohol are making choices, whether good or bad they control the outcome of their life. While I’m sorry my friend died, I know that she knew the consequences every time she drove. Sam was well aware that her choices were wrong, and we would often talk about it the next day when she was sober. Her response was always the same, “I know it’s wrong to do, I just don’t care, I’m always going to be a drunk.” Sam had thought through various AA meetings that she was a victim of alcohol, but to be honest I never viewed her as one and really didn’t think that AA was helping her at all.

I wish Sam would have just gone to sleep that night; how different would our lives be now?

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2 Responses

  1. I’m sat on a bus , going to recover my car from a town 3 hours away , 5 days after I left . It’s almost 2 years since my alcoholism peaked , which resulted in me arriving in New York (I live in UK) , very drunk and very alone . It’s been a tough two years . I didn’t drink apart from a handful of low level incidents for 12 months . This past year I have slowly declined from potential non binge drinker , back to disastrous 3 day sessions which have cost me a lot of money , a lot of losses, and the shame of ending almost back at a place I said and promised to others I would never return to. Feels like the last chance , not sure if sharing my story will help . My ‘lost weekend’ (which was actually 10 days) included at forced stay at the Mount Sinai west looney bin . Something that I’ll never forget but is almost like an incident that never happened .
    AA doesn’t interest me (I can’t go along with the higher power stuff) . Wondering if talking about it somewhere like here may help me come to terms with it . I arrived here after googling ‘how to move on from guilt’ and I’m wondering if it’s ever truly possible ?

    1. Thanks for typing….truth is there is always the possibility of moving on from guilt. For me it didn’t happen overnight…it’s a process of slowly learning to let go and live without being numb. AA isn’t the only choice but what if you choose to apply the words “higher power” to something that speaks to you? I have a friend who applies it to the sober life they’re seeking.

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