This has been a terrible week. I am so anxious for Eric. I posted a little of this on Jules thread. Eric was called last Wednesday by a very good friend he has been trying to help stay off drugs. Multiple ones.
This boy called him to come get him and take him home from a party because he wasn't feeling well. Eric picked him up in front of the house and was taking him home when he keeled over in the front seat. Eric couldn't rouse him so headed straight for the Er. Four minutes after getting him there he coded and died. Eric is devestated. This boys parents wouldn't allow him to try sub or anything. It was cold Turkey or nothing. He had no place else to go.
Eric went to talk to his parents to try and explain want there was out there to help but to no avail. My problem is Eric is really beating himself up over this. He is what iffing it to death. I am trying to get Eric to go see a grief counsler. I am not afraid for his sobriety just his mental health. I have contacted his counsler and his sponsor.
The boys parents told Eric at the funeral that they would rather see there son where he is then using those drugs. Eric didn't say a word just turned and walked out of the funeral home. I hurried out behind him and he didn't say a word all the way home. He is talking a little today but not much.
I just keep thinking but not for the grace of god there goes I. I guess what I want is any suggestions in what I can do for him. I know he has to work this out for himself but God it is so hard to stand by and watch.
It is hard to think of the words to write when something so gut-wrenching as this has happened. The first thing that came to my mind was something from the Bible that has often been as far as I can get in my explanantions to myself about some stuff that has happened in my own life. It is a verse from I Corinthians that I will paraphrase:
For now I see dimly, as in a mirror
I know in part....
Then, face to face, ( when we meet with God)
I shall know fully.
I accept that as a truth in life. And a good truth. I sure could not handle understanding all the whys and wherefores of certain things come into our lives. For now, it is enough that I accept things happen and try to find a way for good to come from even the tragic. We can 'what if' anything for the rest of our days, and still there would be no really clear answer, would there? For Eric, I would remind him of the "what weres." What were the things you did to try and be a friend to this young man in his suffering?
Eric showed by example that getting clean could be accomplished.
Eric bravely stepped forth to the parents to explain things he understood to be available to help this young man.
Eric stood by as a true friend to this young man.
Eric allowed himself to be available to pick this young man up when he was in trouble at a party.
Eric drove right to the ER responsibly when he saw the young man in peril.
And now Eric grieves. He must grieve to remain healthy. I don't know if he needs a grief counselor for this or not... I would make sure he knows it is open to him, but I would first see if he can make it through the process on his own. Eric has been pretty mature this year about knowing when to seek help and where. It might be that he works this out through his NA group, from talking to you, from talking his girl, or to other friends. Grieve with him, Mom, and see where it leads.
Buddy, one of the hardest things we face in life is the death of someone we have a vested interest in, someone we care about. It is so hard to accept when someone is truly gone, isn't it? And often, we understand that maybe it didn't have to be, but that, sadly, it is. Eric, when these times come, we go on living because we have to. We have no choice. We can wonder what might have been if this or that had ocurred while the person was alive, but we can not change something as final as death. Ultimately, we accept that the person is gone and that we will not in any known human thinking ever understand totally why it happened. We see dimly, as a reflection in a mirror. As much as we might want the capacity to control the circumstances of another when they are headed down a destructive path, it is just not within our abilities. And that is a good thing, Buddy. No one of us could handle the responsibility because the hugeness of it would destroy us. Yes, I do believe that we should be our brother's keepers to the extent that we can... and that is what you provided to this young friend. You showed him by example, you cared him by investing yourself in trying to help him. You gave of yourself to him. And that, Eric, is all that any one of can do.
I am sure you must wonder why his parents were not like your parents. I don't know. I am not sure of how I would react to the situation if I had to face it. Why couldn't this young man stop with a program like NA? I don't know that either, Eric. Why do some of us make it out and others don't? Again, I don't know.
Why do we feel so horrible when we make it and then see others who don't? This one I have a sense of an answer to. Suirvivor's Guilt. As I went through cancer treatment, my daughter's best friend's Mom was also going through treatment. Ironically, we both had cancer in our left leg, although not the same cancer. Statistically, my chances of survival were much less than hers. She died in treatment, I survived. I don't understand why and yet it happened. Everytime her daughter came by for the next two years, I felt embarrassed almost that I was alive and her Mom was not. I wondered a lot with the "what ifs." What if she had chosen a more conventional treatment as I had instead of experimental? What if she had changed doctors? I wondered a lot until I finally accepted that there was no way to answer the "what ifs." All there was was the reality. And I went on living because I had to, because that was the reality. I made it, she didn't. Her daughetr had to grieve, mine didn't. I don't understand it, but I do accept it.
Part of really growing as we age is facing these difficult things in life. Things we can not control or change. We learn to live with them because what other choice is there? Of what benefit is tragedy in our lives? We grow from it, Eric. We reap the knowledge that nothing is certain in life and learn to live each and every day with love and caring and expressing that love and caring to those we interact with in life. We take these sad, sad experiences and work to let the impact of them make us more caring, more loving, as we travel through this world. And we learn to balance them with the joys we encounter. As the grief of your friend's passing fills you, work to find balance again with the wonderous and happy things that also fill your life. If you find that you can not recapture the balance, then recognize it as a signal to get help with it. I have confidence in you that you are wise enough to understand whether or not you will need some outside resource to help you through this.
We all find peace in tragedy in different ways. Let go of any anger that might be in you with his parents and their words. They, too, have to find a way to find peace and it may be in a very different way than yours. Your job, your obligation now, is to find your own balance.
God Bless you and all impacted by this young man's passing.
So sorry to have been so long answering but thier has been so much going own. Eric has been a real mess. He is doing a little better, has been going to a meeting everyday.
The funeral was horrific.
The parents of this boy had started out blaming Eric for thier son's addiction but soon friends of the both of them began telling the parents the truth of the matter. At first they were not going to let Eric attend the funeral but changed thier minds after several people told of Eric's attempts to help him.
Reach your words gave him comfort, you were right about the surviors quilt. Eric said that he used more drugs and in greater quanities than this boy. They have determined it was the combination of drugs and thier interaction that caused his death.
He is taking things one day at a time and he is leaning heavily on his circle of friends. I was a little worried at first because thier were some friends from his past that I knew were not clean that came by but they only wanted to tell him how sorry they were. They have not been by or called for a couple days now.
Eric is still fragile, but I am so proud he is doing all the right things to stay clean. Thier is just such a sadness in his eyes. It is gut wretching to see.
Again Reach thanks for your words, I have seen him reading and rereading them often in the last couple of days. Again I am sorry it took so long but things were just a little crazy there.
I am sure you are still struggling with what has happened, sure it has a had a profound impact on your life. How could it not? He was your friend, someone you invested a part of yourself into. When we move beyond ourselves to care, really care, about another, we leave ourselves open. Sometimes, many times actually, the opening of ourselves to another brings great joy. However, as you have discovered, sometimes that opening up leads to a wound in us. Depending on how big the wound may be, it can sometimes feel like it will never heal. But all the wounds do heal in time, Eric. They do.
For you and I, Eric, and people like us, the whole deal of abusing drugs and then finding our way clean has been a huge deal for us. It has literally been a life-changing exprience, a life-saving experience even. It is one of the most profound experiences that we have in terms of shaping who we are. I think about drugs a lot. Oh, not in the sense of wanting them at all, but in the sense that I am so very aware of the impact of drugs on many I know and many I do not. It hurts me, saddens my very soul, to see others in jeopardy with their use. That is the impetus for me to stay in tune with this board.
You know something odd? I could not have recognized Heath Ledger in his life... really didn't know who he was. But in his death, I felt grief. Grief because drugs claimed his life. Grief to know that another soul like me was somehow tormented and looking to drugs to soothe his torment. Since his passing, I have read of some of his famous peers who have voluntarily gone into rehab. His death has kind of scared them into reality, I guess. Perhaps this is also going to be one of the results of your friend's passing... a real, in-the-face wake up call for those who knew him and are using. It is likely that you will never know the "who" that will be so impacted that they find the will to change, but believe me, there will be at least one if not more.
Maybe when we can so thorougly understand the pain of what another has endured, it affects us to a greater degree. You understood your friend's pain, didn't you? And you even had an answer for him on how to overcome that pain, but he was not able to really comprehend it and claim it for himself. There is no failure here, Eric, on his part or on your part. What there is is life, Buddy. And with life, there comes death. Not always at the time of our choosing... I guess never at the time of our choosing. It just comes as a culmination to life.
I wish you well as you work your way through the grieving process, Eric. Like detox and recovery, there is a process we must complete in grieving and then... restoration comes again. Not resignation, but restoration. Please believe this on faith from those who have experienced this before you the same way you had to depend on faith that restoration after drug abuse would happen.
For a young guy, you sure are chalking up some major life experiences here. Use those experiences, Eric. Use them to make the world a better place through your knowledge and experience. You have obviously already been doing that as you shared experience with your friend. Keep up the good works. The blessings will come back ten fold.
Last edited by reachout; 02-10-2008 at 06:55 PM.
This is Eric. Thankyou so much for your reply. I felt all the things you were talking about but also a great amount of fear. At first I couldn't tell where all the fear was bombarding me from. It was like a light just turned on for me today. I was afraid that same thing could happen to me if I was ever to use again. I was shaken to the very core of my being from this.
I am feeling such a hatred for drugs, for my addiction, for the fact that this is going to be a part of my life for ever. Before I would have hid in the fog of my addiction but that didn't even cross my mind. I have to let this anger go.
My family has been wonderful, my love has been incredible. I do know that this to shall pass but oh couold it hurry. Sorry if I am not expressing myself so you can understand my feelings. It is hard for me. I made myself do this today because I was walling myself off and had to start at a safe place to express some feelings.
Mom, please don't think I couldn't talk to you. It is just so hard to not break down and be shielded by you. I love you and really appreciate what yoou have done.
To anyone out there that thinks that this can't happen to you WRONG This boy in no way did this on purpose it was just to much for to long. He loved life just wanted to put off the hard work for tomorrow well there are no tomorrows for him.
Eric, you are such a brave wonderful young man..i wish you could meet my son and help him, maybe some of you could rub off on him.. my son is doing ok at the moment, i do see him fighting demons everyday. This must be so terribly hard for all you guys, i think about you and your family all the time eric..you are so loved and so blessed. Keep up all the good work!!
I am glad to see you sharing here. It is a sign of wellness in us, of growing and expanding wellness, when we are able to acknowledge the emotions and feelings that life brings us. However difficult it can be to deal with the feelings, it sure is better than hiding them behind a haze of drugs or trying to act like they just don't exist. That just poisons us slowly and steals our souls. Once we can openly acknowledge them, we can then deal with them, put them into perspective, learn from them, grow.
There sure is no denying that your friend's passing is an event of major proportions. Eric, I felt a iciness when I first read here of it. The reality, the finality, the-no-way-is-it-going-to-go-away, hits hard in understanding that it could have easily been you or me or any one of us. To understand the finality of death, the fraility of our being, is a big thing. Overwhelming.
The hatred of drugs... Eric, I also felt an intense hatred for drugs for a while as I was getting off them. I hated them most when I saw what they had done to me and the misery getting off and away from them. I felt anger for us as a society in whole here because we have become so dependent on popping pills and finding it generally acceptable. Gradually, I came to accept that it was my behaviour that was the culprit. It was my acceptance, my using that caused the problems for me. Kind of like that old mom scolding, "I don't care what the rest of your friends are doing," you know? We had a choice and for a while in our lives, we chose wrong. Drugs can be a wonderful resource in needed circumstances. It is the abuse of them that is crummy.
Hey, I want to make an observation here... I want to tell you that realizing you were walling yourself off and forcing yourself to proactively do something about it is just wonderful. Really good. Please continue to practice, okay?
This is probably also a bit selfish on my part, but I really, really hope to see you post again. For you, but just as much for me. Smiles. I enjoy sharing with you a lot. It is very special to be able to say I met who you were when you were still a kid and now I know you as a young man. Sniff sniff
You have become a VERY wise young man. God puts these obstacles in our paths to learn, to become smarter, wiser people---and you are showing astounding maturity and growth. You are a gifted individual and we would be greatly blessed if you posted more on these boards.
I'm so sorry for what you have been through. I'm the mother of 2 daughters, 23 & 24. With the exception of a few occasional drinks, they are as clean as they come. I want to commend you for talking to and accepting help from your Mom. While my daughters don't have addiction problems (I'm the one with that), they shut me out of their lives when they are hurting and it breaks my heart that they don't share with me or let me try to help. A few yrs ago my oldest daughter broke up with a boyfriend and became very depressed. She would not take my calls and when I drove over to her apt on my lunch hour, she would not answer the door. All I wanted was to hug her and tell her I was there if she needed me.
Always keep your Mom in your life. It means more to a Mom than you will ever know.
I know the death of your friend will be on your mind for a long time. While it may not seem like it now, life will go on for you. Time will eventually heal and you will go on to have a good and happy life. Keep posting here.
Just wanted to let you all know that I am doing better. I am coming to the point where I am so grateful for my sobriety. I have been attending a lot of meetings and surrounding my self with clean friends and family.
My family has been great. I have really been fighting depression hard. My mom is always telling what don't kill ya will make you stronger, well I must darn near be Hurcules.
Again thank all of you for the responding to me. I have spent several hours exploring the board. I know I will make it through this.
I am glad you are feeling a bit better. Such a sad event so close to home does cause conflict and pain in us. Your Mom is one smart cookie, though, in saying that what doesn't kill us will make us stronger. If you are anything like me, you are probably saying, "Thanks, but no thanks... I don't want to be any stronger!" However, we can not always control the events of our world and must simply deal with them however painful they might be. And Mom is right... in the end, we grow stronger.
Keep fighting that depression. I have learned a great deal about my own depression.... it is often a struggle for me, but trying to hide from it in drugs sure wasn't any help. That only increased it. Now, I recognize it when it tries to take over and I, too, fight back. Hard. I get myself busy doing the things I know help me... doing home tasks, getting out for a walk, calling a friend and doing the chit-chat thing. And when it seems it might get stronger than me, I go see my doctor and talk to him. I try not to let any emotion build too much in me before I share it. Usually I share with Hubby, but I get the backside in motion to the doctor if the emotion is causing me too much conflict.
Right now, I am getting ready to call the social worker I worked well with. A dear friend has had cancer come back with a vengeance. It is not looking too great for her. I talk with her and it stirs up a lot in me about my own cancer experience. Fear is a lot of it. Fear for her, fear for my own self. And fear is a certain trigger for depression. So, before it gets out of hand, I will seek help.
You know, Eric, we get older and sometimes think we have finally gotten it all figured out... only to discover that life will bring us challenges anyways and always. It's that life on life's terms thing. So we continually strive to learn again and again how to cope. Our toolbelts keep growing as we do, huh? Smiles. Like Mom says, "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger."
Just wanted to let you all know I am doing better. Have had a real battle with depression but I am finally beginning to get the upperhand. Don't have much time to post today, am going out to eat with my family and then going
to a meeting.
Mom is having some real scary health issues, she is gonna kill me for telling you.Just keep her in your prayers for me. I am going to be here for her so I have to get it together. Lord knows she sure was there for me.
Eric, keep taking a stance against that depression. Like a detox, we have to work at conquering it, but like detox, it can be done.
I am also going through a struggle with depression again. I have been using all the tolls I learned about, but it was still creeping in on me. So I went back to my social worker for advice and to learn some new tools to work with. This lady is great and has taught me much about the whole mind-body connection. A lot of the things I used to scoff at are making a great deal of sense to me now. ( Who says an old dog can't learn new tricks, huh???) I am going to try a full spectrum light to help me. The natural light deal, you know? Lack of light surely isn't the only cause of the depression, but it is an easy tool to employ to try and help myself. I am going to see her twice a week for a while.
The life circumstances, well... I am just going to have to work on accepting some things I can not change ( such as the fact that while my mind wants to do some things, my body just can not accomodate the ideas). I can not change the fact that a friend is facing death with cancer. I can not change the fact that I am disabled to the point of not working steadily anymore.
BUT, while I can not change the fatcs of these things, there is surely lots of room for me to change how I think about them. And that change is going to be the biggest thing that keeps me from dibilitating depression.
The work is never over in our lives... not for any of us, addict ot non-addict. No difference in that we always need to leave room to grow and improve and change.
Mom? I am really sorry to hear of health issues for her. Whatever the issues be, she will continiue to be in my heart and prayers. Big time. As you will be, Eric. God does allow some stuff to come into our lives that we would rather not deal with, but always, always, it is balanced with good things in our lives. You stay strong for you, and in return you will be able to be strong for Mom.