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Darkness

The dark side of my journey. The train wreck that became my life

Grief as I know it

I remember when my best friend died at the age of 29, three weeks before before his 30th birthday. My step-father told me to get over it, and everyone dies, and it’s a part of life. Well duh, I thought. But I was so mad at him for being so callous and as far as I was concerned not very helpful. But he wasn’t a nice man to me throughout my childhood so why would I think he would have compassion for me now. Anyways I digress that is another story in itself. At the time, he was about 70, and I guess at that age a person has seen a lot of death. But this was the first real death I had encountered in my youth. I mean I had grandparents die, but they were old and lived a good life so in my opinion that is the natural progression of life and death. However, when someone dies that is young and let’s not forget my best friend that I had since I was seven years old, it felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest.

I can not say that any death after his death has gotten easier. In my 53 years on this earth, I have experienced many deaths and what I can say is that they are all different but none the less heartbreaking. The heart-wrenching punch to the stomach feels like I can not breathe, still feels the same as it did all those years ago.

The questions of why did this happen still are on my mind but the length of time is much shorter. Do we become cold and indifferent to pain and suffering through the passage of death, the older we become? This year alone I have lost three friends and a fiance. Of course, the biggest hit was my soon to be husband. He died a sudden death at 48 yrs old, leaving behind four beautiful children and a bunch of childhood friends that I had not met until the memorial and of course his family was devastated.

It’s been almost six months since he is gone and I still wake up some mornings with a lump in my throat and bile rising from my stomach. Still feeling as if it happened yesterday. As I stand and look in the mirror barely even awake, brushing my teeth, I start to cry. I think to myself “a great way to start the day.”

Does time, one knows someone, determine the extent of the grief? I would have to say no. We can not measure anyone else’s pain to our own.

Is it a process, yes. Even with all the deaths, I have experienced in my life from old to young, from family to friend or lover, all I know is that it doesn’t get easier but changes with age. Maybe wisdom and experience have something to do with it. Was my step-father right?

I have days that I get by and even moments when I don’t think of him, but then a song or a smell or a sight will bring him to the forefront of my memory. The loneliness is the worst so I try to keep myself busy.

Before he died, I went out and bought the safe food gloves that are used to handle food. I bought them at Costco, so I have like a thousand of them. He showed me many things in the kitchen, and that was one of them so now every time I put on those stupid gloves I think of him – like I said I have a thousand of them. WTH

Some of the ways I have been dealing with it differently than in the past is that I express my feelings and I don’t try to numb out with alcohol or drugs. However, lately, I have found a new way to numb out with an endless series of tv. I am accountable to someone I love and trust with my feelings, and I try to get out and enjoy the things I once enjoyed. I know one thing for sure that we can’t avoid death but hopefully, time is gentle for you and you don’t have to see it too often.

 

Part 1 – Diagnosed with Depression

How I recovered from depression a debilitating, life destroying, life controlling issue.

I was “diagnosed” by a medi-center doctor (walk in clinic) who had no history on me for depression or anything else for that matter back in 1994. As I look back, I know now that depression is widely misdiagnosed. Life got you down? Oh you must be depressed, lets load you up on mood altering drugs. Instead of finding the cause of the unhappiness, sadness, hopeless, despair of life; lets give you medication. I had a severe drug problem for 28 years! Of course I am going to be unhappy, sad, and have Dis-Ease of life! OH now I have a crutch, thank you very much. I was good at the blame game and now here is one more thing I can add to my back pocket of shame.  I am such a loser drug addict; crappy mom, bad sister and daughter, unemployable adnauseam and now I have a mental illness! Great! When I was getting dealt the hand of life, I defiantly got the losing hand, or so I thought!

Over the years I continued to abuse drugs and alcohol with the doctors trying to find that magic combinations of pills that would help with stopping my suicide by installment plan. Funny how a doctor thinks “prescribed” drug will help with a street drug problem.  Nothing helped.  At the end of 2003 I entered my final treatment facility.  I had been off my medication for a few weeks because I could not afford to buy them.

The facility suggested that I wait and see if I really need them. My best friend turned on me, my lover of 28 years cheated on me, lied to me, shamed me and made me feel like I couldn’t live with or without Mr. Cocaine. I was coming off a collage of drugs and of course I would be depressed.

I lived in the treatment facility for women for 6 months and I stayed off of the medication. I think at that point in my life I was kept so busy with making changes and working on myself that I didn’t have time to think.

I had been clean for about a year and I started to feel sad, lonely, tired, bored…I thought ….maybe I was depressed. Back to the doctors I went seeking something to take me out of myself. I didn’t want to feel.  Over the next 5 years I stayed clean from street drugs but I ended up being on 3 different kinds of anti-depressants! Nothing was working! I still felt dis-eased in life.

What in the world did I have to be depressed about? After years of disappointing my family I had them back in my life, they finally trusted me again. I was a productive member of society working a full time job for the last 5 years, I was scuba diving, and I was no longer destroying my life and everyone that was close to me.  Why would I be depressed?

Oh here comes the lie…. wait for it, wait for it… the doctors told me that with the years of drug use to cocaine and my favorite drug “what do ya got?” and the amount that I had been doing, has forever altered my brain chemistry and I would always have to take medication. The brain does not reproduce, the serotonin and dopamine that my body over produced when I was using. cocaine works the neurotransmitters of the brain. It makes the brain release the euphoria chemicals in large quantities to give you that rush of pleasure.

Great I was screwed! I finally had my answer. The doctors told me, so it must be true. Society is plagued with mental illness and now I was just one of the statistics!

I became my own doctor, playing with the doses to try find just the right one. Really no different then being a drug addict; finding that perfect combination of drugs and alcohol. Enough of one or the other to get me to that sweet spot of obviation – a little more and I would get paranoid or a little less and I would chase the dragon even harder.  It was the same for the prescribed medication. Too much of one and I wouldn’t sleep, not enough of the other one and I would sleep too much. I constantly felt like I had a mouth full of cotton.

I would try time and time again to get off the prescription drugs all together and I would end up in bed not caring if the place burned to the ground. Eventually, I believed the lie.

This song on YouTube was my mantra – Please enjoy

 

 

UP NEXT….. HOW I WAS CURED!!……..that’s right……you read right……CURED