Four lives lost.
In one week, I have sent condolences to four mothers. One more high became the last high. Two of those beautiful souls had been in recovery. That first use after a long period of being clean is scary. Too often, it is fatal.
My heart aches for families who wanted this time to be the time. We say it over and over again,
“Maybe this time they reached their bottom.”
“Maybe this time something will click.“
“Maybe this time they will hate the consequence enough.”
Maybe this time..
For many, this time became the nightmare come true. The deepest fear has become reality. The pain will now be lifelong. The sorrow must be felt. Grieving a living loved one has evolved to grieving a heart that no longer beats.
All for another high.
If my doctor prescribed a medication and said, “Unfortunately, this may kill you if you take a small amount.” I would rip that script in his face. However, substance use disorder doesn’t work that way.
I cannot wrap my mind around drug use. The overwhelming desire to be high is confusing to me. Craving something that can kill you is baffling. Still, I get it. I acknowledge this battle and know it truly is an internal war.
The mind thinks and the brain responds. Or maybe the brain craves and the mind responds. The patterns of choices and behaviors have been programmed; our mental history feeds the mechanism. The silent film plays on repeat as destruction resumes. We watch on the sidelines, helpless, as our loved ones chase a life they hate. Scratching our head at the insanity, our sadness becomes normal.
Moving into acceptance is challenging. Who wants to accept this life for their child? We do not sit back, kick up our feet, and grab popcorn like it’s entertainment. We are on our knees in prayer, crying into the early morning hours. I see a sunrise and hope a new day will bring new hope. My thoughts are always on their life, not mine. I rarely smile. Communication with others is rare, or minimal.
We have to accept the final consequence of addiction is death. No matter what we do, we are not saviors. The positive road to recovery still includes the possibility of dying in relapse. To wear a smile and encourage daily feels forced. We want to hope toward a fully recovered future, but it isn’t easy.
In the beginning, time feels like freedom. The longer they stay sober, the calmer breathing becomes. Then, the first relapse hits. For some there’s a second relapse, then third, and fourth. With each recurrence comes deep fear. You confront the fears 1) is this ever going to end? 2) will death end the cycle?
Tonight loved ones have succumb to their addiction battle. That need I cannot comprehend pulled them in one last time. Parents, siblings, and children are sitting stunned by the loss they have yet to digest. I am sitting here crying and wishing I could do more.
It is very lonely inside the mind of those with substance use issues. I am here, as a parent, to share that it is very lonely inside our mind, too. Living between what we hope and wish for, and what we live and see is indescribable. If only we could align these two worlds and bring out the best scenario for all.
There is always hope. I will not give up. That is the strange awareness in this journey. We know we have no control, we can’t save them, we cannot change their choices. Yet, we keep hoping for a different outcome even when we experience the same situations.
I want to believe every substance abuse survivor knows they have the power to change their life. Screaming it at every corner, or from every mountaintop seems adequate. Shouting the truth of every individuals worth feels necessary. They need to know. It is dire and time sensitive. Yet, does anyone hear me? Will they believe it for themselves? I am broken as those four souls didn’t believe this at all.
I want you to know you are worthy of living free. Free from self- condemnation, drug use, doubt, fear, shame, hate. You are loved and wanted, needed and adored! You are chosen and destined by a will greater than your own. You matter, right now, just as you are.
Ask God to help you, message me, call your family or friends. Reach out and we will keep reaching in.
I promise. We will not give up.