I dropped her off Wednesday evening

…and on Thursday morning she was dead.

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I met X when she was in detox, about a year ago. She was pretty, spunky, and tired of living that life. She had someone bring her guitar in, and played for everyone. She was a delight. A gypsy soul.

Then later, X moved on to a women’s recovery house. She was making progress; got a job, and put together some clean time. Everybody who met X liked her. She was smart, sassy, and sensitive. I had high hopes for her.

The people who keep track of these things say that on average, only one out of 30-some people who get clean will stay that way. The odds are always against us. Addiction is so much more “cunning, baffling, and powerful” than anyone thinks.

And now I’m waiting to find out when the memorial/funeral will be. I feel numb.

Maybe it’s from having lost so many friends over the years, as a result of addiction, that I’m kind of permanently braced for it.

Maybe it’s because I’ve already been wading in the deep waters of grief. Once you’ve been completely soaked, you can’t really get any wetter, can you?

When I got the news about X’s death, I cried. I asked (her, from inside my car, as if she would hear me) “WHAT THE FUCK?!?” and I cried.

Someone said that maybe she died so that she wouldn’t have to endure any more…

Active addiction (which is usually accompanied by mental illness) is a very painful existance. Probably the only thing worse than that lifestyle is having tasted recovery and knowing that it is possible, and then finding yourself back in the misery and chaos of active addiction. Every time a person relapses, getting back into recovery gets more difficult than the time before.

I know that the activities of people with Substance Use Disorder seem crazy to the rest of the world. It took me a while to make sense of the whole “disease” model of addiction, but then I finally figured it out:

Addiction is a disease. It’s a mental illness. Like any other mental illness, the sufferers think their actions are normal, and that the rest of the world is wrong. Mental illness, and addiction,  can show up at any age, with or without any warning.

Regardless of your personal opinion on drug or alcohol abuse, it’s not a hopeless cause.

Do you know someone who needs to get clean or sober? It’s possible. Easy? Hell, no.

A lot of the outcome depends on the person and the family getting help. A lot of family members think that they don’t have any role to play in the recovery of their loved one. That’s actually not true at all.

Think about it. The odds are already stacked against them. Drugs and alcohol usually win, in that struggle. It IS a LIFE OR DEATH FIGHT. Do you want to attend their funeral, knowing that you could have done more?

Or visit them in prison? Or the psychiatric ward? 🤔

The only way the story ends for an alcoholic or addict (besides recovery) is JAILS, INSTITUTIONS OR DEATH.

Soon, I will see X’s Mom during the worst time of her life. Losing a child is hellish.

The next time you see a story about someone with an addiction, or pass an addict on the street, remember that that person is someone’s child. Look at them. In the face. De-humanizing them is the cowardly way. The next one could be yours. Do everyone a favor, and offer to take them to rehab. Detox. A meeting. SOMETHING.

I’m gonna miss you, X. So are a lot of others I know.

 

 

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A few words on adulting.

Adulting is really fucking difficult isn’t it?

Especially when you sometimes feel like you’re still the 14 year old version of you.

But the truth is, everyone is still waiting to feel like a grown up.

And you know what?

You’re not weird or strange for feeling this way.

You’re amazing, just as you are.

♥️

I lifted this from someone on Facebook. I haven’t written lately because I haven’t had anything new to say. Oh, how I hate redundancy.

So it’s entirely possible that the next posts will be just things that resonate with me, and hopefully, you, too.

I want to begin to write again, and I believe that I will. I’m just waiting for the words to come back to me.

I am grateful for you.

“Leopards​ Never Change Their Spots”

Once upon a time there was a leopard. He was crafty and handsome, and he loved the spots on his soft coat. They made him feel better about, well, everything.

One day, after many years of increasing troubles and pain, the leopard had a moment of clarity. “These spots of mine, as much as I’ve loved having them, have been the cause of so much heartache and grief. My wife hates them. My children hate them. They really haven’t been making me feel better for a very long time. I’ve got to change them!”

So, the leopard found a group of others like him and asked them, “What must I do to relieve this guilt and remorse?!” They told him of a place where he would learn to feel better without relying on his spots, and he realised that he didn’t want them anymore. He decided to change his spots by following a few suggestions and taking some steps. These steps lead into a place so wonderful that he could never have imagined it!! And so, the leopard with the changed spots, lived happily ever after, one day at a time.
Ok. So this is what I want to share with my work associate. She was talking about someone she loved, and his addictions. I said “It can be mighty hard for a leopard to change his spots.”
To which she replied, sadly and sincerely, “Leopards never change their spots.”

I know that there are many many good people who feel the same way about addicts and alcoholics. I don’t hold it against them. It doesn’t make them bad people; just uninformed.

Leopards may or may not be able to actually change their spots, in nature. But in MY case, I know a LOT of cats who have done it. And, now, I am occasionally blessed to help them do it.

abbiegrrl

Hey. It’s me.

fb_img_1541271588353It’s been a little over a year since I came by. I’m not sure what made me come back, today, but maybe it’s because a lot of things have happened in the last year or so, and writing might help me process them. Yeah, that’s probably it.

Anyway.

Last April 28th, my boy got married. It was a beautiful event and to say my heart was full would be a great inderstatement. Ben and Tisha were very much soul mates since they met. I have 2 Grandpups, Kujo and Penny. 😁

In June, my younger son, Elijah, graduated a year early, and in July he moved back to Indiana to stay with Ben and Tisha. She helped him get a job, and Ben helped him learn…whatever things an older brother teaches their younger sibling.

Then, 6 months later, on October 28th,  Ben had a massive heart attack. On November 4th, 2018, my firstborn child died. He was 25.

I suppose I will be writing about this, and my continuing recovery journey.

I am SO not the person I once was. Sometimes I glimpse her when I pass a mirror, but not often. I feel…like a large part of me is dead.

Please don’t share your own sad stories in the comments. I have as much sorrow as I can bear. I am by nature an Empath, and I just can’t do it right now.

I would appreciate knowing that you stopped by. 💔