From “A bed for my Heart”

This is the truth of being a bereaved parent: “People have asked me what’s it like to live life with a deceased child because they “just can’t fathom”… Well let me do my best to explain it in a way that can be understood.

It’s being dead but still being able to breathe, barely.

It’s like having your entire world thrown into a blender and mixed up to a liquid. Having your heart and lungs ripped out of your body so violently and never put back. Leaving a hole in your chest that will never heal and seeps pain, tears, anger, hate and regret.

It’s like living in a dream that you can never wake up from, except it’s a fucking nightmare. A life long fucking nightmare.

It’s like having a large glass jar filled with happiness and you drop it on the ground and all the happiness blows away in the wind to never return.

It’s like having a million people around hugging and loving you but you still feel completely alone. Going from having people to talk with to having not one person message or call anymore because they don’t know what to say to you … at all, about anything…

It’s standing in the kitchen cooking food for the ones still here and crying so hard you can’t see yourself burning the food.

Some days it’s falling to the floor, screaming so hard that no sound comes out and you run out of breath but don’t stop screaming until you are hyperventilating and dizzy.

It’s a million little demons battling one single tiny angel in your brain, testing to see if you’re strong enough or not to survive this.

It’s like always trying to convince yourself that people want you around even though you feel like you’re just a placement for convenience in this world and in people’s lives.

Honestly. It’s like knowing that you’re going to die eventually and embracing it with open arms like a long lost friend.

It’s like this picture below of you holding on with everything you have and feel it all melt away.

No it doesn’t get better. It doesn’t get easier. You just learn to live, to survive.” – Unknown Author

It takes a village. Join ours. @abedformyheart
#grief #loss #childloss #abedformyheart #moms #dads #parenting #grievingparents #loveneverdies #saytheirnames #holidays

Get the #1 best-selling book, “You Are the Mother of All Mothers.” A gorgeous gift book for #grieving moms. ABedForMyHeart.com/buy/

Grief Is As Individual As A Fingerprint — thelifeididntchoose

It’s a nearly universal human tendency to try to fit another’s experience into our own. Even though I try hard not to, I still often find myself saying things like, “I know just how you feel” or, “This worked for me, it ought to work for you”. Trouble is, grief is as individual as a […]

via Grief Is As Individual As A Fingerprint — thelifeididntchoose

So This Is What I Looked Like: It’s Hard Watching Another Heart Grieve — thelifeididntchoose

Watching my father grieve my mother is the second hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Grieving my own son, watching my husband and children grieve him too, is the hardest. I observe Papa’s expression, hear the weariness in his voice, note the far off stare when conversation drifts to mundane and unimportant things and […]

via So This Is What I Looked Like: It’s Hard Watching Another Heart Grieve — thelifeididntchoose

Guest post

“It won’t happen to me”

or

Party animal

I live on a steel bunk in a warehouse. Everything I own in this world is in the footlocker beneath me. It ain’t much; a photo album, a stack of letters, a few books. I’ve been in prison 10 years this time. My release date is 2032. A few hazy, drug-soaked months of strip bars, casinos, and fast living cost me most of my adult life.

I run across old friends and associates from that era on the yard sometimes. They look bad — rotten teeth, track marks, gnawed nails on shaky hands. They give me news of other old friends who weren’t as lucky: overdoses, shootings, suicides. Occasionally I’ll recognize the names of women in the arrest report of my hometown newspaper. Those wide-eyed college girls who were just beginning to experiment with coke and ecstasy in 2003 are now haggard streetwalkers, hardened repeat-offender prostitutes.

This is the natural evolution of drug abuse. Cause and effect. I know you’re thinking it won’t happen to you. I thought I was an exception too. Believe me, no one plans on destroying their life and coming to prison. No little kid daydreams about growing up to rob gas stations for dope money, or getting doused with pepper spray and beaten half to death by abusive guards in a confinement cell, or dying alone in a motel room with a needle in his arm… We call getting high “partying” and like any party, there’s always a mess when the party is over. In fact, the bigger the party, the bigger the mess.

The irony is that the kids we label squares and lames and dorks because they refuse to party grow up to be the doctors who resuscitate us when we overdose, the psychologists who attempt to help us put our broken lives back together, the lawyers who represent us in court when we’re arrested, the judges who sentence us to prison, and the men who step into our families and become the fathers and husbands we failed at being.

So if you’re 15 (or 17 or 24) and you’re popping bars, snorting Roxys or dabbling in meth or molly or whatever, this is what middle-aged drug life looks like. Guaranteed. And if you think it won’t happen to you, we can talk more about it when you move into my dorm. The bunk behind mine is open right now. We’ll leave a light on for you. The one from the gun tower.

From a brother of a brother @ malcolmivey.com

Just keep swimming.

“Don’t be afraid to get back up – to try again, to love again, to live again, and to dream again.

Don’t let a hard lesson harden your heart. Life’s best lessons are often learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes.

There will be times when it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong. And you might feel like you will be stuck in this rut forever, but you won’t.

When you feel like quitting, remember that sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right. Sometimes you have to go through the worst, to arrive at your best.

Yes, life is tough, but you are tougher.

Find the strength to laugh every day. Find the courage to feel different, yet beautiful. Find it in your heart to make others smile too.

Don’t stress over things you can’t change.

Live simply.

Love generously.

Speak truthfully.

Work diligently.

And even if you fall short, keep going.

Keep growing.”

Clean & Serene

Every time I see that phrase, it strikes me as kind of ironic. I mean, of course I’m “Clean”. My life has been built around staying that way for many years. But “Serene”? Um, well…

One of the Promises goes like this: “…we will comprehend the word serenity…” In my early sobriety, I kept a dictionary close by, in order to be sure of what words meant. My comprehension of the word serenity went as far as the definition of Webster’s. I adjusted the promise, for my own truthfulness and entertainment, to “we will know how to spell the word serenity.” THAT promise has come true, for certain. As far as deep-down knowing of serenity, it’s been fleeting at best.

The natural disasters going on all over the world, just this month, are enough to put even the most laid-back person on edge. Just today hurricane Irma wiped a few islands off of the map, and is making her way up the length of Florida. Hurricane Jose looks to be revving up to follow her path. *Note: this post was originally written in 2017*

Ever since we moved from the Gulf Coast back to Indiana, 16 years ago, I’ve been wishing we could go back to Pensacola. Only in the last week or so has not being in Florida been good with me. I’m very grateful that I haven’t forced my self-will on our location, lately. I have to remember to keep God in charge, because the hard lessons of “getting my way” in the past have left deep scars that I don’t want to forget.

I am blessed greatly to work with people every day who are on one end or the other of their Recovery. The Old Timers are deep wells of wisdom, and the ones just making it to day #1, again, all have things to teach me.

Thank God, I am open and willing to learn. Today.

I am in a position to re-examine my views on mental illness, religion, spirituality, relationships, and the human spirit, on the daily, as I carry the message.

That being said, I haven’t felt like I had much to share, here, lately. I know some reading this will know just what I’m talking about.

So, here I am, in the place where writing my thoughts comes most easily…the laundromat. I hope that I can “pay it forward” to the world today, because He has been so good to me.

…and, now, 2+ years after the initial assembling of this post, life has indeed shown up, more harshly than I’d ever dreamed that it would. I know that, even still, I am deeply blessed.

Serene? Not so much.

Contented? As often as I can manage to keep myself grateful, and focus on God’s daily grace and mercy on me.

So, again, the choice is mine. Today I choose gratitude and grace toward my fellow travellers.

This is Your Time!

Hey! It’s almost June!!

What are your plans for the summer?
Here are some thoughts…please SHARE if it speaks to you.

Don’t just exist…LIVE!!

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Own it (so it doesn’t own you),

Design it (so it’s not by default)
and
then LIVE IT (nothing worse than regret)-
this thing called life!

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If you find yourself holding yourself back because of what other people think, it’s time to STOP that shit! Somebody smarter than me said that “What other folks think of me is NONE of my business!

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TODAY – like right NOW – Start thinking about if you were told you only had three months to live –
AND
What would you want to do?
Where would you want to see?
and most importantly
who would you want to spend your time with?

🌟

Then…. Review this every three months

The harsh reality is – it’s only a matter of time and you’ll be right!
Nothing worse than regret!

YOU got this thing called life if you want it! You just have to decide!

If you feel like you are really stuck or not sure where to start, reach out! I’d love to help! I can recommend some of the books that have helped me climb out (of so many deep pits), or share links where I’ve found resources that help me to “get my head in the game”.

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You HAVE to do what makes YOUR spirit fly!
Do the best you can in the moment and be ok and proud of that! Celebrate the tiniest of victories, and build on them!

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Make today the START of the best of your life – WHAT ever that FEELS and LOOKS like to you, not what you think everyone or society thinks it should look like! 🌟

Also in case NO one has told you today…

The world NEEDS you, and what you’ve got. Not you trying to be someone else or something else you may feel you need to be or do.

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Be authentic -the YOU God made you to be, and do what makes you HAPPY! The world needs you! Confident, kind and uniquely YOU, your lessons, your scars, your compassion, your experience, your understanding, your SMILE (this is one of the most important), your courage, your strengths and your vulnerabilities…more than EVER! You are unique to ANYONE else and the world needs YOU, all of YOU!

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