Scott Lay was a good dude, a democrat, but a good man. He ran a publication that aggregated articles and was widely read by insiders. I knew that Scott had an off and on problem with substance abuse. I knew that Scott had a big heart but he was a lost soul who was always trying to do good but could not chase his addiction.
That generosity and passion was evident in much of Scott’s pursuits. I know from experience the amount of hours he would dedicate to a new passion project, not because he expected some big financial reward, but simply for the sake of doing it. Of course, he was motivated at least in part from some of the rush that comes from putting something out into the world that other people read and react to. For all of his talents as an advocate and budget guru, Scott was a generous spirit who lived to publish. His biggest rush came from informing and entertaining others.
But he also struggled with demons that created distance with even his closest friends. While he would post enthusiastically on social media about his latest score from the farmers market, or the taco stands in front of Southside Park on Sundays, those who knew him best knew that Scott was sick. Over the years, many of us tried to support him in efforts to confront some of those demons. We failed.
Like anyone who passes too soon, it is impossible not to look back on Scott’s life with some sadness and regret. But it also demands celebrating his generous spirit, his willingness to help others, and the role he played in helping shape and inform the Capitol community.
The people at the Capitol Weekly pretty much told people that Scott’s death was related to his substance abuse and possibly suicide.
The author wrote: Over the years, many of us tried to support him in efforts to confront some of those demons. We failed.
To the folks at the Capitol Weekly – I want to share something that is part of the “How it Works” portion of the AA Big Book
Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.
I’d posit that Scott missed something in his program. Alcoholism is self-diagnosed. Only Aaron Park can admit he is an alcoholic. Only Aaron Park can ask for help and weather or not that help is effective is contingent upon Aaron’s ability to be honest.
I know this does not make it hurt any less. I can not imagine what my father in law felt when he found my Brother in Law dead at age 46 in a halfway house. My wife still cries occasionally for her brother Casey. But, when she and I talk (Jodie is also public about her sobriety of now 16+ years) about it we are reminded that Casey never surrendered his will to his higher power nor was he able to be consistently honest.
So to those of you at the Capitol Weekly – you tried to help. Many people try to help addicts and alcoholics. I am closing in on 19 years of sobriety without a relapse. The odds of reaching 5 years without a relapse are 1.4%. It is a tough road for even the strongest among us.
Remember that we deal with alcohol — cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power — that One is God. May you find Him now!
It is not your fault, Capitol Weekly. Please let go of Scott, he is gone now. Please move on without guilt, Alcoholism/Addiction kills without regard to much of anything and only God has the power to stop it.
IN Honor of Scott Lay, Mike Spence and a list of others I have known in politics, I am linking https://nationalrehabhotline.org/california/
This link will be on the blog permanently. Help is out there but you have to want it and be willing to do whatever it takes to stop using or it won’t work.