It’s a “We” program

No matter how many times I hear about someone I know dying from the disease of addiction, it still feels like a punch in the gut,  then as if the heaviest, darkest storm cloud has descended and is following my every move. 

I found out this morning that a woman with whom I’d been inseparable for a time in early recovery had died…as a direct result of her addiction. 

I remember her as being friendly, outspoken, tons of fun, and unable to stop the slow suicide that comes in a bottle, or a baggie, or… whatever. 

Back when we hung out, she carrried around with her a 64 oz.”polar pop”- EVERYWHERE, including meetings. At some point, I can’t remember when, exactly, I discovered that there was much more than Pepsi in there. 

Then a few years later I discovered that my friend was struggling to put together a few days sober. I made sure she knew that I was there for her.

When a newcomer at the Women’s meeting we both attended mentioned that this same friend of mine was Sponsoring her, I asked her how long her Sponsor had been sober and she said “a couple of years.” The truth was, it hadn’t been a week. My friend was so much like every other addict… We’re so “smart” that we outsmart the part of us that wants to LIVE. I prayed that she would find a Higher Power that could remove the obsession. 

My friend could recite the Steps, Traditions, and How it Works from memory. She knew how to welcome the newcomers, and the not-so-new comers. She made people feel “a part of”, and she was generous to a fault. 

I’m so sorry that she never won the fight. She really was a fighter, too. 

Sometimes one has to die so that others can live. At least that’s what they tell me. I’m so tired of grieving. But it’s the price we pay for loving. So I guess I’ll get used to it. โค May we learn from everyone whose path we cross. 

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You can never go home

This post is more about a life thing than necessarily an addiction thing, but since I don’t ever know where a post will end up, let’s just see where it takes us…

When I was young, due to family restructuring, we moved around a lot, for a couple of years. Like 4 moves in 1 school year. A lot.
People say “kids are resilient” and “they’ll adapt” and the like. Maybe that’s true. But maybe “people” were thinking of kids with a stable home, who didn’t have (yet to be diagnosed) mental illness.

When I finally got settled in what would be our last move, I  began to think about the friends I’d left behind, and the places we’d played. I’d gone to school with the same kids for K-3rd grade, and I missed them.
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Changing schools 4 times in a year left me unable to make strong connections for a long time (there may have been other contributing factors). What with Dad leaving and us moving so often, I must have concluded that it’s just not emotionally safe to form strong friendships. I stayed on the social outskirts for the remainder of my academic life for the most part, only making a few friends, even after a year or more in the same classrooms.
I sometimes daydreamed about what my old friends might be doing now, the ones from where we’d moved… I looked at yearbooks and remembered the fun times, and I cried. Loneliness is a hard thing to bear at any age. And being the “new kid” is tough, on top of that.

Being away from Dad for long periods were difficult, even though, looking back, I know that the good times with him, as a little girl, were far fewer than the harsh and painful times. But in my memory, I chose to only keep the good memories. I guess I kind of spliced them together in my mind so that all I had when I thought of Dad were happy times. That must be the resilience & adaptability that people were talking about.

I’m thinking of my own children, and how they had similar experiences when life required us to move…
Thankful for the happy memories, but knowing now that the mind sometimes has a way of being selective in what it holds onto. The good times may come to the front of our memories, and the  sad, frustrating, and lonely times of those days, well,we just don’t choose to think about them.  I understand now that part of the wondrous quality of those memories comes from the fact that I was so young, so niave and didn’t have the baggage and scars then, that I have now. A counselor pointed out to me once that maybe I didn’t miss the people as much as I missed ME, back then. I’m a firm believer that ignorance is bliss. I didn’t know, then, what I didn’t know.

I know that my God works everything out for my good, according to His (loving) purposes. He has taken painful experiences time and time again and brought beautiful things from the ashes. I also know that children haven’t lived as long and haven’t the experience to be able to look back on, to remember that He WILL bring us through…
I hope and pray that my boys will find life-long friends, just a couple, with whom they can form that sacred bond of friendship, the one that spans across decades. 

Hindsight, they say, is 20/20. I don’t know if it is, or not.

I remember the pains of being a teenager, of trying to make sense of things that truly, never would make sense.

Today, I wonder how those people are, the ones we left behind when we moved. Sure there are some I’d like to see, but even now I know it wouldn’t be the same.

I also know that the reason I didn’t feel like I “belonged” was because I didn’t. When I’m not where I’m supposed to be, even after the initial “new” wears off, it’s not gonna feel right.
But sometimes I just have to wait. And pray.

I can’t leave you without a reminder of that cheesey old saying about home being “where the heart is”. It’s true. My home today is where my family is…related by blood
or not. It’s not about geographical locations. It’s about who holds me and my needs in high esteem. Who can I count on, whenever, and whatever? And who will tell me the truth, even if it’s gonna hurt?
Those are my family, and no distance can change that.

Posted from my hut in the forest.

Would you be my, could you be my…

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The one man who loved me just the way that I was.

…won’t you be my Guest Blogger? Hi, Neighbor! ๐Ÿ™‚
So, do you now hear Mr. Rogers’ voice singing in your head? And the “ding-ding” of trolley cars?? Yeah, me too. Just checkin’.
Regardless of whether or not you recognize that handsome fellow, I’m looking for some help. The time has come for some brave and wonderful soul to be my very first guest blogger! I’ve not done this before, so I hope you will be patient with me. If you would be so gracious as to write an Intro for my readers, and then answer 2-3 questions about your own experience with mental illness/addiction, PLEASE leave me a comment below, saying as much. I haven’t any idea of whom I particularly want, but there are a few of my fabulous readers that I’m really hoping will step up.
Don’t be shy!
Remember, kids, “a friend who cares is a friend who shares“. ๐Ÿ˜‰
Look for a way-cool bit of Special Guest Bloggishness here-abouts, soon. (Woohoo! Are you excited? I am.)

Posted from my cabin in a pasture.