People talk about grief, but until you live through it you will never understand. For weeks I couldn't eat. I couldn't sleep. I cried without even realizing. There is about 6 months of my life that I don't remember. I carried on. I had to. I had my job. I had my son. I had my life that I had to live. My father died 5 years ago today, and I miss him every bit as much now as I did then.
Now I read this article about Sesame Street talking to millions of kids about their parents. Millions of kids whose mommies and daddies have to stay sober using nothing but will power. My son is not the only kid I know whose parent has died from the crisis.. my son is not the only kid I know that needed a monitor to make sure he was safe when his Da was using.
Then he told me, "I wish I wasn't smart". I was completely taken aback. I had no idea what he was talking about. He said that he was so tired and so angry all the time. That he didn't want to do any of his work because of it. That if he wasn't smart that no one would care if he did his work or not and they would just leave him alone.
I think that the problem with finding "true love" is that people want the fairytale, but no one lives "happily ever after". There are always problems, and there are always lulls, and people are always taken for granted as time goes on. None of that has to do with love.. I used to say that love is not a feeling.. it is a verb. Love is an action that we have to do everyday. I am a huge Doctor Who fan, and in an episode he states that "Love is a promise" and I feel that too.
I can tell you that I have had a handful of significant deaths in my life, and I have reacted to them differently every time. Some of the differences are based on their relationship to me, some of them have been because of my age. Some of the differences are just because the more loss you have; the more you get used to it.
Today we all see the police, fire, and military presence memorializing those lost, and a great deal of them were armed forces and emergency services, but a lot of them were just everyday people who smiled at the front desk girl every morning. Today is about them and their families.
Two years ago I finally said enough was enough. He was out of my house for the third time, and back in jail for assaulting his mom when I told him that he had to go to re rehab. Not a 2 week or 30 day dry out, but a real program that really worked on the heart of his issues. He refused. His mother agreed that as long as he had dried out and promised to stay sober that was all that mattered. I knew that one of these days things were going to go to far and I didn't want my son or me anywhere near it.
I am a believer in medication when needed, but I also believe that it's a band-aid to help take the edge off so that you can do the real work with thoughts and actions. We are our brains. Our emotions come from chemicals released in our brains.. our thoughts activate those chemicals being released. He had an overwhelming amount of "stress" (cortisol) hormones and low amounts of "happy" (dopamine) chemicals in his brain. He would try to fix that with drugs, and for the short term they would help, but he had no one to help him through the rest of the process when he was younger and still forming.
I was never married to Neil. I wasn't even with him at the time of his death, but I was his family. I was his person.. and I was his widow long before the last hit killed him. Opiates stole his life. They stole him from us. I am an opiate widow, because opiates killed my family.
I hope no one ever has to have this conversation with their child, but if you do I just want to let you know how I explained it.. the best way I could think.