Just Another Recovering Person

Posts tagged ‘Death’


This post is from July 2009…I hope you may get something out of it. Thanks for reading.

Beyond The End of the Road's Blog

Jails, Institutions, and Death.
At some meetings it is repeated as it is read. I prefer not to. Hearing it reverberate in my own head is enough.

It’s at the end of the reading “Who is an Addict?”. I am sure these 3 words are not unfamiliar with any 12 Step fellowship in one form or another. There are other words scattered through out as well…

Dereliction
Degradation
Demoralization
Unemployable
Insanity
Guilt
Shame
Relapse

I am also reminded that a relapse, if we survive it, might bring the temporary relief we are looking for. There is no guarantee even in relapse. The temporary relief that it might bring. That seems to me to be a pretty big gamble.
I have known a few addicts who are in and out, in and out, in and out.
I understand that this may be a part of someones story and for those who…

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Book Excerpt: Chapter 3-Pink Clouds and Death


It’s better to beg for forgiveness, than to ask permission. Living my life on default had given me this outlook. I would fuck something, anything up and beg for forgiveness. It was my calling card. You know the old saying of telling someone, “I’m sorry” only to have them reply, “Your right, you are sorry.”

There is a phenomenon in early recovery called a ‘Pink Cloud’. It is where the addict is on fire to change the world with their recovery. This is usually where the addict makes plans to become a counselor, social worker, or a general do-gooder is born. If I had a dollar for every addict who wanted to be a counselor in my pocket, well, I could afford to go to school myself.

Don’t get me wrong, I admire good intentions. I also know this, the cemeteries are full of people who had no intention of dying, and died with good intentions. I also know I had a ton of intentions in my life and none of them meant shit until I did something about them. Riding on the ‘Pink Cloud’ the first 30 days or so isn’t necessarily a bad thing, until the cloud begins to break apart. It thins out as the daily routine of life slowly sets back in.

The world turns as it does. Life and living move forward. Reality continues on. As I mentioned earlier anger is usually my reaction to the present reality because things aren’t going the way I think they should. This in essence is a stumbling block to early recovery. Resentments are born out of things said and unsaid in an attempt to deal with a reality that I had little understanding of.

What makes up this reality that makes it so difficult for the addict to deal with? It is my experience that it lies in feelings, lack of proper responses to those feelings and emotions, and the thought patterns that have been developed during drug use. I am not a doctor and can give no real medical explanation to neurotransmitters or endorphins, what I can tell you is, that my thoughts seem to drive my feelings and my feelings in turn drive my thoughts. This obsession and compulsion of thoughts and feelings, minus the drugs for the recovering person, is what makes up true addiction.

Pink clouds don’t seem to do much for the loved ones in a recovering person’s life. I don’t blame them. There is nothing more depressing than a giddy addict! Really though, it’s a complete demoralization of the spirit to the family member or loved one to watch a giddy addict parade themselves around while they are emotionally raw and hurt by our actions.

I found this out firsthand after coming home from a meeting. I was in a ‘pink cloud’ when my wife snapped. I had been parading around the house telling her of this and that when suddenly it came from left field. “Well that may be all fine and fucking well for you, but have you thought about what you have done? What you did? Nothing has changed Bob, it all still hurts. Do you even remember anything? You called me horrible names, threatened to take my children away, for God’s sakes, you said you would take the kids and I would never find them. None of this is ‘over’ in my eyes, I’m not sure how it is you sleep at night with the things you said and did, but I haven’t slept well in 2 years. You screamed obscenities at the kids, you made us all feel responsible for your stupid fucking choices. It will be a long, long time before anyone here is ready to forgive you”.

I sat and listened for 45 minutes to a wife who had 16 years of hurt built up inside her. 16 years worth of disappointment, anger, frustration, and sadness. As I sat there the reality of what we put others through became painfully obvious. I told her at that time there was nothing I could say. Trying to make amends to loved ones with only a few weeks clean never works. The pain is too much. There is a formula that I was taught. It is only when our words and our actions equal out that things will change.

I had talked a good game for a number of years, but my actions seldom equaled what came out of my mouth. My wife kept our bankcard from me the first 45 days I was clean. She would follow me to the gas station to put gas in my car, and would give me a dollar to put in the meeting basket. I was that untrustworthy, and I still convey that to newer members when I get the chance to, that shame became a platform for change. I knew after that talk I had to do something more than just not use drugs, or nothing would change.

**********

 

I had been out with friends all night getting loaded, telling anyone who would listen that my father had left, and my parents were getting a divorce. It had been at least 4 months since he had gone. I heard he was in Columbus but wasn’t sure. My friends felt bad for me and put up with my antics. I stumbled home as I did that entire summer and came in the side door.

I am going up the steps when my mom stops me halfway up the staircase. ‘What are you doing home, she inquired?’ “I came to change, and eat, I said”. I heard a noise behind her and moved past her up the steps. I saw the silhouette of a man in her room, pulling up his pants. He came to the doorway as my mother quickly came behind me. “Bob, this is Roy”, she said. He stuck out his hand and said, ‘Nice to meet you’.

I looked at him and her and the only words that would come out were, “I don’t fucking think so”. I bolted down the steps and out the door. I didn’t come back for 2 days as I recall. It felt like another one of life’s swift kicks to the balls had struck again. My mother had decided to move on with her life, while I was left to deal with feelings of abandonment. Again, I don’t understand why the events happened the way they did, they just did. Roy would become my step-father within a year.

**********

Copyright 2010  RLD Holdings, LTd.

And they cried in the streets…….


I am sure there are a million bloggers going on about the tragedy in Haiti now. There are pleas from the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, and even Wyclif Jean for money. But sometimes a picture does more than what a tweet, text, or FaceBook update can do…..

They cried in the streets…The end of the world has come…God Save Us.

On a more personal note……

I cried yesterday at a meeting.
I cried this morning in the parking lot of a UDF. I cried out loud to God, what it is that he wants me to do? How to go about this. I tried again this morning to talk to my daughter about things and it ended terribly. It ended with her telling me as long as “I don’t make her mad” everything will be ok.
As she got out of the car I watched my hope, my very being leave my body. I am powerless over this. I realized this as I screamed into the phone at my wife, taking my frustrations out on her. Justifying what I was saying based on anger. The Text tells me that anger is my reaction to my present reality. Right now my present reality and grip on life is not good.

My wife cried over the phone. Telling me I was giving up, that she was worried about me. That I was leaving her, that I wanted to get rid of my daughter. That I had given up on them.
This broke my heart and has sent me into a tailspin.
Crying in the streets isn’t limited to Haiti.

I’m supposed to meet with a guy about helping me with the credit cards I overspent on. This has been on my mind as well.
I guess most of the pain I am in is self-induced one could say. Maybe not. The point being is that right now…..I just don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. That’s the way I feel. I just don’t know what I am supposed to do now……

Clocks and Caskets…..


Somewhere between suburbia and cornfields is Lancaster, Ohio. A town that you may see on a postcard or in the dream of a teenager yearning to leave for the bright lights of L.A. or New York. Then it is the type of place that as I get older dream of myself. Spending quite evenings on the porch watching time and the sunset.

By the crowd that had gathered last night at the funeral home it was clear that Jim had spent most of his time here. Raising 3 sons, building friendships, swapping stories of deer hunts and the “One that got away”. There were folks dressed in their Sunday best, and others whom had just gotten off from work from jobs we wouldn’t want to work in this cold. Digging trenches or working on farm equipment. The very people who are the blunt of jokes from city folk who would call them “Rednecks” or “Hillbilly’s”, they are the folks that live, work, and die in this town.

I’ve been to a lot of funerals both while using and now that I am clean. I have come to understand there is no amount of Spiritual Awareness, no words that I can muster that can take someone else’s pain away. It is simply a matter of being there for someone. It is difficult when someone passes away, it is even harder when it is by choice, by suicide.

When I first had entered the room I paid my respects to Jeff’s mom and brothers. I stood there and cried as I held Jeff. He told me he didn’t know what to say. I told him he didn’t have to say a damn word. I told him I loved him. I told him I was sorry. I told him that his family needed him the most now.

I don’t know what made Jim decide that it wasn’t worth it to see one more sunrise or sunset. I don’t have the answer to the eternal question of why? As I sat in the room I heard the whispers behind of me. The whispers as my friend Jeff, his 2 brothers, and his mother greeted folks in a never-ending line of heartbreak.

The whispers of countless family and friends of words not dare spoken to the family…..
I can’t believe he did this to them.
I didn’t realize he was that depressed.
What are they going to do with the house?
Jeff is taking it the hardest, you know, he was closest to his father.

Then as the older folks would gather I noticed something peculiar. The would look at the casket and then look at the clock.

A woman behind me began to tell a story of one of her grandchildren asking her how old she was. She told the child to which the child replied, “Gee your old granny”. She said, “I’m not that old, I have a lot of years left”. Funny, when sitting in a funeral home it allows me to realize I’m not certain on what time I have left.

Cemetaries are full of people who had not intention of dying, and died with a lot of good intentions.
I didn’t see anyone we had worked with. I didn’t see Jeff’s ex-wife or his 2 daughters. They have become estranged by time and hurt over the years. I saw one mutual friend who I barely knew. So I people watched and sat quietly. I did the right thing. I did what I knew was right.

I’ve written about death on multiple occasions. It always seems to come back to me looking at my mortality. This time it was different. I wasn’t or I am not concerned about my own, but it had me thinking my parents are getting older and someday this will be me. Standing in a line greeting folks whom I know, some I barely will remember, and some whom I’ve never met before and have to deal with the emotions and feelings of it all. I don’t feel ready, but I believe there is no preparation for it. I mean what are we supposed to do, just sit back and watch the clock?

RIP James Null
Feb 10, 2010

Snowboards and Suicide


Anywhere but here……

My head hurts. So much has happened in 3 days it’s like a carnival has come in and set up where my life should be.
Early dismissal on Thursday, no school on Friday so I missed work because my daughter who is 15 cannot take care of herself let alone her 11-year-old brother.
So it snowed and the city shut down like I predicted, it was pretty much a sure bet. So the kids went outside Friday night to make snow angels, or devils based on how you look at it. To play, sled on a small hill. My wife after much insistence thought it would be good for me to go outside with them.
My son has a plastic “Snowboard” if you want to call it that. It is designed to look like a snowboard but it is a piece of plastic with two plastic straps. He seemed to navigate on it just fine which led me to believe because I am older and wiser that I should be able to do the same……wrong.

After I drove my shoulder and right side into the ground, well I thought it was the ground but came to find out it was actually the sidewalk covered in 4 inches of snow, I realized I was not made for this plastic snowboard. It seems that my balance is just not all that. My daughter had a video camera and filmed the event. I was suprised it did not make it on to YouTube. Don’t ask…I’m not putting here.

The weekend went by as it does. My daughter made plans for Saturday as she does. I’m going to spare you the long drawn out details but the end results were the same as I have posted on here before.
Lies, Bad Choices, Her Flipping Out, and this time running out of the house with a pair of sweats, a tee-shirt, and no shoes out into the cold and snow. She ran to her Uncle’s house whom immediately told her to get out. He didn’t want her craziness there. She came home, caused more hell, and of course 2 hours later acted as if nothing was wrong.

I am out of ideas and quite frankly have run out of love for today.

I told my wife this morning that I believe she no longer needs to live with us. I am not sure who she is going to live with but I don’t believe it will be with us longer. I really don’t want to talk anymore about it.

During all of this nonsense my best friend Jeff called to tell me his father committed suicide yesterday.
His father decided to go to his workshop, took his false teeth out and put a gun in his mouth….His mother found him after hearing the shot.

I talked with Jeff for an hour on the phone last night. Listened, cried, and later felt like life was just too much for some, especially Jeff’s dad. It feels like it is too much now for Jeff, for me, for my family. I spoke to my sponsor last night and he said it sounded like this was just more for me to endure now for whatever reason.
I’ve never really disagreed with my sponsor before, but I didn’t like the word endure. I still don’t.

My thoughts are with Jeff’s Mom and his brothers. No one should have to endure this.

Bob D.