I had a friend who had cirrhosis of the liver. She used to always tell me about the pain that she was in. She always would let me know what episode she had to endure that day. I used to talk to her every night when I got in, but she stayed in pain. One time, I called the ambulance for her. She used to live in Baltimore. I live in Suitland, Md, but I called 911 and they connected me to Baltimore.

I told them the situation, and they went to pick her up. She discharged herself the next day. I’ve been an alcoholic for 20 years; I’ve been drinking since I was 18; I’m 51 now. I’ve been in five inpatient programs and one outpatient program twice. I’ve been fighting this fight for a long time. I had a short time clean, and I’ve been clean a good amount of time, but eventually, I always go back to drinking. The cycle gets worse and worse. I’ve tried non-alcoholic beers, because I drank beer. But, I never liked the taste of it. So, I would go back to drinking my regular brand.

My friend was found in her apartment unresponsive, after trying to call her for three days. Her daughter called me and told me that her mother’s life was gone and all of her organs were failing. She even started to hallucinate. I called her every day and tried to let her know that I was there, but I never really got to have a good conversation with her. She knew my name, but that was all she knew. I remember talking on the phone to her every night, while she had her half of pints and her beers, while I had my beer. We would laugh all night long on the phone. We had some great conversations. She always made me laugh. She passed away last month. I couldn’t make it to the funeral, but I wanted to so badly, just to see her and let her know just how much she was loved by me and how much she would be missed.

Well, on Friday, April 1, 2022, I was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. The doctor tells me that my whole liver is scarred and cannot be reversed. I put up a good fight, I just wish I would have fought harder. She also told me that my liver was stiff, yet still functioning like a normal liver, though that would only last for a few years. Yes, of course, I’m scared. My friend used to say all the time, “Vennie, I don’t want to die.” She knew it was coming, though, because she tried to get some life insurance for her kids. It was too late.

My doctor also said that she thinks I got Hepatitis B, which comes from sex and drug needles. I don’t use drugs, and I haven’t had sex in a very long time. No, I don’t want to. I have menopause, and it’s very painful. But, Hepatitis B can cause liver cancer. So, I can’t win from losing. I say that to say this: if you have a problem with any addiction, never give up, keep trying and give it your all, because in the long run, it will take you down eventually.