A young woman I knew killed herself last year. The details don’t matter, but for the sake of anyone dealing with depression in themselves or a family member, I will mention that she had gone off her meds and was drinking.
That’s not why I’m writing, though. The anniversary is coming up two weeks from Saturday, and I was just thinking about how easy it would be to use that as an excuse to pick up.
Let me hasten to add that I feel no desire to use. I haven’t felt those little monkey feet on my back for several years now, but the point is, it would be such a great excuse! What an opportunity for Angst! Self-pity! Posturing! Seeking sympathy! The “poor me’s!” Screwing up my own head! Justifying! And finally, for using, and then making excuses for using, and using some more.
That’s the way we addicts operate. Relapse comes before we pick up, and then we look for ways to justify what we already wanted to do anyway. Grief is a wonderful excuse. People “understand.” “Oh, he was under such stress! You know, this time last year…”
We’re folks who will try almost anything to keep from feeling bad, whether emotionally, physically or spiritually — until we finally learn that it’s impossible. For many years we kept that wolf at bay with drugs, including alcohol. Fact is, there is nothing about the death of a loved one that requires the use of drugs. People have been grieving successfully, cold turkey, for thousands of years. That is, unless we’re looking for an excuse.
On the 29th I’ll cry, and I’ll hold the people close to me, and I’ll grieve the way humans were meant to deal with sorrow, loss, and anger. I’ll probably hit a meeting. Maybe a couple. One thing’s for sure: I won’t insult my granddaughter’s memory by trying to forget.