I Love Being Sober
I Love Being Sober
Nov 11, 2020
Remembering Those We've Lost
Play • 19 min

In honor of National Recovery Month, Allison Merlo is on the show to share the tragic story of how her brother lost his battle with addiction and what she’s doing to raise awareness and raise funds for a special scholarship in his name. Learn how difficult it can be to support a loved one struggling with addiction and how you can help somebody in need right now by contributing to the Mike Merlo Scholarship Fund.

  • The unfortunate reality of addiction is that it often takes the lives of those who can’t escape its grasp. Allison Merlo is on the show to talk about the story of her brother and how he lost his battle with addiction.
  • Many people have loved ones that are struggling with addiction and don’t know what to do.
  • Growing up Mike was always an entertainer with dreams of being an actor. One of Allison’s favorite memories is of Mike surprising people at a talent show dressed up in a bikini and a blond wig.
  • The turning point for Mike was fairly early. Allison remembers a weeknight where Mike had to get his stomach pumped from drinking too much at a very young age. The severity of the situation scared Allison and her younger brother considerably. Mike continued to struggle with his addiction for the later part of his life from that point on.
  • Allison never really believed that her brother would die from his addiction, but she wasn’t surprised either.
  • The pandemic is putting a lot of extra stress on people right now, which is only making the struggle with addiction more difficult.
  • When Allison was younger she wasn’t sure how to help. Once she moved out to Arizona and built out her network she had an opportunity to teach yoga to inmates in jail, which helped her understand how to communicate with people like her brother, who had been in jail a few times by then and help support them.
  • Looking back at Mike’s later years, Allison realized that she wasn’t in contact very often with him. There is no clear cut answer about how to support someone suffering from addiction. You just have to do what you can with what you have where you are.
  • When you lose someone you will feel like you haven’t done enough. For Allison, there is a sense of wondering if she could have done more, but she does feel good about what she’s done to be of service.
  • Allison is setting up a scholarship fund in her brother’s name to help people that don’t have the resources to get the help they need. If the scholarship fund can save just one life, it will be worth it. The way that she’s fundraising is by doing a rim to rim to rim hike around the Grand Canyon.
  • Donate to Allison’s cause because every single dollar that you contribute is going to help somebody out there that is in need.
  • Follow your heart and lead your life like that. We need to connect and that helps connect with others, and that ultimately helps us heal and recover.
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