Cory Monteith's Tragic Drug Overdose Is Keeping Me Sober Today

Heartbreaking 16

Cory MonteithCory Monteith’s untimely death was a shock. No doubt. A complete and utter gut punch for his friends, family, and fans. However, the only people who are shocked that he died from a combination of addictive substances are clearly not addicts themselves. Being a recovering alcoholic myself, it doesn’t shock me at all that a self-pronounced addict would go back. Because any of us can go back. Just like that. “Going back” sits and waits, lives and breathes inside all of us. It can come knocking anytime.

I drank from age 13 to age 30. A LOT. Usually as much as I could get my hands on any given night. I drank because it made me feel unstoppable, beautiful, lovable, whole. I drank because I thought it helped me tap some unattainable truth and beauty in the world. But more than anything, I drank to try to obliterate everything I hated inside. Of course, none of those drunk feelings were real and ended promptly with the good buzz, the vomiting, or the three-day hangover. Some shame-filled mornings I wanted to die, more from the emotional pain than the physical pain. But even then ... I never wanted to stop.

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One of the worst parts about Cory Monteith’s death, or any death of any addict at the hands of their disease, is that it means none of us addicts are safe -- no matter how many rehabs or meetings we attend, how many positive, loving, supportive people we surround ourselves with, or how successful we are in our lives. Sure, making positive changes helps greatly, helps keep us sober, and can even save lives. However, if I’ve learned anything in my sobriety, it’s that there are no guarantees. I've seen people with decades of sobriety go back to drinking and using. I've seen people lose arms, legs, even half their asses. I’ve watched people lose marriages, relationships, jobs, homes, even children as an outcome to their disease -- and I don’t mean to the system, I mean their children died as a consequence of their drinking. This shit is serious. Do you get how serious and real it is yet?

But Cory was so happy. So successful. He was so sweet and good and genuine. He was in love. All of this is probably true, but it is also true that addiction can topple all of that. The one thing maybe none of us really understand is that while addicts love what our drugs of choice give us, our addictions don’t love us back. If we feed them, they will kill us. Even sitting here with over 12 years of sobriety tapped and knowing what I know about what alcohol does to me and could cost me, I consider going back. A glass of wine with dinner ... maybe I could do that. Just a beer or two on a hot summer day, that could be nice. The lies sound like truth in my screwed up head. And sadly, that's why I'm looking so deeply at Cory's death this week. Because for this fleeting moment, his death feels truer than the story my addiction is telling me.

Only by some miracle (or God or whatever you want to call it), I will not drink today. This week it’s partially because Cory Monteith died going back to drugs and alcohol. Next week, it might be because a sober friend who really had it going on falls off the wagon. But Cory is my sobriety talisman this week. He is my truth. I could be Cory Monteith if I listen to the lies that swirl around in my head. But for today, I will not take a drink. God help me, I’ll find a way to see the truth again tomorrow.

Have you seen the consequences of addiction in your life?


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alcohol, drugs, drinking, celebrity death, glee


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zmont... zmontague

Yes I have.  My boyfriend was involved in a drunk driving accident that killed his two best friends and now he's in prison for up to 4 years.

Lori Harrison

Thank you for writing this. So many people are putting him down and saying he deserved what he got. 

Deborah TruthfulMommy Cruz


You and I are on the same page. His death has unsettled me to my core. People need to understand that being an addict is not the same as willfully choosing to harm yourself. THe addiction is right there beneath the surface, trying to get hold of you at all times. It is a lifetime of recovery. Stay strong mama.

I wrote something along the same lines.


caleb... calebsmama12312

I have lived this as well. Though I don't have as much sober time as you, it's all the same & you're right. We can all fall at any time. Being in recovery is beautiful & terrifying. All you need to do is listen to one of those lies you're addiction tells you one time & it can all be over. God bless cory & his loved ones. God bless the people saying awful things about him as well. May they see we all have faults, but this is a disease not just a bad decision.

nonmember avatar Myname

I've struggled to see any good in this story. However, if his death can keep just one person from taking drugs or getting drunk then maybe it wasn't a waste.

Chana... Chanandler.Bong

Thank you for the humbling reminder that we are all broken, and we all deserve to be loved and supported despite our brokenness.

Ashle... AshleyB1984

Yes. My brother is an addict and we're in the crux of it now. He's turned to stealing from my parents, selling his own belongings, has spent every penny he has on this habit. We're all trying to help & support in any way possible but we also know, unfortunately, that ultimately it's up to him. He's in his twenties and can't see what all of this is doing to him and everyone around him. Some days I feel angry, some days sad, but always scared of what might happen. Like you said - this is something that will have to be dealt with forever, it almost makes it seem bleak which is uninspiring to me. So I can't imagine how an addict would handle it. Best of luck to you & stay strong!!

nonmember avatar J

Thank you for such an honest and TRUE sentiment. The only way I can even tackle it is 'one day at a time'. You only have to stay sober TODAY. You only have to conquer the lies TODAY. You only have to face the fears of TODAY. Looking at FOREVER and you will always fail, forever is the hill you can't see the top of, so why try. Each day is a chance to live free, free from your addition, free in the Grace of in a healthy mind, body and soul.

Every slip is not the end, it is a chance to get back up again and stay sober just one day.

nonmember avatar Katie F

My husband is one week and two days sober today. My cousin passed away 7 years ago this Halloween after being sober for a while. He had a great job, great girlfriend, promising future, but the same thing as Cory - addiction stole him from us. Cory's death has hit me like a ton of bricks.

insei... inseineangel

I spent my life watching my mom kill herself with drugs. I witnessed all the terrible things addiction could do. From her almost dying to stealing the family car (multiple times) to putting my dad tens of thousands of dollars in debt. She would take off for days, or even sometimes weeks. When she came back home, she would pass out on the couch and sleep for a whole day. We always knew everytime she said "I'm going to the store" and wouldn't let any of us go with her, that she wasn't coming home for a couple days. She passed away in 2009 at the age of 54, 4 days before her birthday. She managed to get clean before then (we were sure she had been clean for a few months at least), but the drugs damaged her body and her mind so much, that we suspect she took her own life with a combination of her medications. I never want to go down that road. I never want to put my daughter through that. I miss my mom so much. She is my talisman.

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