Forgiveness, Grief, Shame and Addiction

Before my sister died, there was a lot of conflict between us because of her addiction. She would mass text and email me and lock up the crappy little phone I had way back then. Most of her rants made little sense, and there were things said between us that were very angry and hurtful.
Then she died, and all that just washed away in grief and guilt. I forgot about those texts and emails for 6 years, until the other day when I was exploring my old Yahoo account and found them.
I was three years sober at the time of her death. But two years sober when the emails were sent. I was very intolerant, unforgiving, ready to attack, swear, shame…
I had a responsibility, as a sober Christian person, to be more loving, not to swear, to pray through my anger. To use a calmer head.
I am not saying that I am perfect now, for I am far from it. But grief and loss have taught me to take a more subtle approach when possible. Yes, absolutely tell an addict that they will die if they go on. But love them. Make sure that they know that there is always HOPE.
Why did I drink? Mostly because of guilt and shame. If we seek to show how forgiving we can be, while also not tolerating the act of addiction, how much easier it would be for an addict to seek treatment. And the phrase “You can’t do it on your own,” is a very true statement. None of us can do this life alone.
I have found my peace with Jesus Christ, He stands firmly behind me in my walk with sobriety. He forgives my past slips and relapses, with His abounding grace. Knowing that He does so makes me desire alcohol less. I would not be here today but for Him. That is agape love.