Chris Neustadt Memorial Page

Michelle Pleimann
Tell us about your (or your loved one's) recovery journey. What has been the most rewarding part?

Addiction affects not only the person with the addiction, but anyone who loves or cares for him. Chris had so many people who desperately tried to help him. The roller coaster of detox and then binges were so painful to watch. Chris refused AA. He thought he could 'do it' on his own. My sister is also an alcoholic, but sober. She is very healthy, both mentally and physically. She chose AA and released the power of her addiction to a higher power of God. I have two teenage boys. They have seen first hand the power of the disease of addiction. As a parent, I have tried to educate my boys about genetics, and risks of trying addictive pills, drugs, and drinks....especially at a young age. Our family does not hide behind the stigma. We talk about the disease openly. We put in Chris's obituary that he lost his battle to alcoholism. The reaction from family and friends was overwhelmingly supportive and positive. We did not want shame associated with the disease of addiction.

Do you have a message for the Shatterproof community?

Thank you Shatterproof community for giving loved ones a place to go where we don't feel so isolated. Losing a loved one to addiction is a different kind of grief. There are so many layers in the grief process....survivors guilt, etc.... There needs to be more open discussion and education about addiction. Thank you for being a resource, anchor and support system.

Chris was a smart, witty, caring, and selfless geologist. He was always a moderate drinker, but over the years, he started using more alcohol to medicate his anxiety and depression. In 2014, he experienced some life changing events and went over that invisible line into the disease of alcoholism. Genetically, it does run in our family. DUI's, rehab, car accident, mild head injury, more DUI's and then finally a two week hard binge on whiskey and pills finally took our dear gentle loving brother. He didn't want to die, but the battle of the disease became too much for him.