I can’t even put into words how much I miss you. The pain, the hurt, the lonliness is indescribable. Why did you leave me? Why didn’t I know the acuteness of the situation? Was i asleep while you were dying? You know I would have done anything. I would have been there right beside you. I would have been fighting for you. I didn’t know. I didn’t know that night would be your last. I didn’t know you would sit down and never wake up. I just didn’t know, but I don’t think you did either. I tried, but each time I think a small part of me gave up. I knew I couldn’t do it anymore. I knew it had to be you. But you didn’t want it and I don’t know why. I remember you looking at me and saying, ‘ do you think i want to be this way”? I know you didn’t, you were so ashamed to even look at me. I always loved you, even during those times. The times you were at your deepest and darkest. Nothing ever changed my love for you. I think you knew that deep down in your heart, even when you said otherwise. I hope you did. I hope you felt it even though I wasn’t beside you that morning. I hope you felt it all the way to heaven.
Saturdays are the hardest for me. It was on a saturday that i could not get a hold of you. It was on a saturday that you weren’t reading my text messages or answering or returning my phone calls. It was a Saturday that my life changed forever.
I had just talked to you the night before. You seemed worked up but not anything crazy out of the ordinary that had me concerned. It was the 2 days prior that had me concerned. But this night you seemed okay. You had been to work and you were cleaning the carpets and floors in your apartment. We said I love you. You said you would be at work the next day and we could meet for lunch if I wanted. Your last text was at 10:32 pm, “I love you”.
I tried to call you on my way to work at 6:30 that morning and you didn’t answer. I tried 2 or 3 more times as I drove. You didn’t answer. I texted you from work. I called again later in the morning and my phone remained silent. I watched the clock. Counting down the minutes until I could leave for lunch and drive to your apartment. Just as I had done so many times before.
It was 1:11 pm when I pulled in front of your apartment. Your front door was opened. I opened your screendoor, the lights were on, the fans were running and I saw you and out loud I heard myself say, “you’re gone”. I ran over to you and I got on my knees and I layed my head on your leg and held your hand and cried. I put my hand on your chest to rub it and yelled your name, but I knew you were gone. I knew you weren’t waking up. I knew nothing was going to bring you back. You had already left and I remember saying no and asking why. Why did you leave me?
I knew I had to call 911, but I couldn’t figure out how to use my phone. I couldn’t get the numbers to come up to dial. I was scared. I called them and when they said 911 what is your emergency I had to say my husband is dead. I went back to you and kneeled beside you holding onto you as the EMT’s came. They put leads on you, but they knew you were gone to. They knew just as I did that your heart had already stopped beating. I had to sign my name for them and my hand was shaking so bad I could barely sign and I remember the lady saying I”m sorry and the police were there and they were asking me questions, “Has he been sick”, “Did he have any health problems”, and they made me leave you, but I didn’t want to . I wanted to stay with you. I wanted everything to stop. I wanted this to not be real. I wanted to make it all go away. But I couldn’t.
I watched them take you away and I didn’t want them to take you. Not like that. Not covered up on a gurney and put into the back of a coroners vehicle. I wanted you back. I wanted you to stay. I wanted everything to be okay. I wanted it all to be a bad dream.
9 weeks ago today. 63 days. It is still unreal to me. I am still waiting for you to come back. I am still waiting to wake up from the bad dream.
It is a very different day without you here. It has been almost 9 weeks since you left me. The days do not seem to be getting easier, only harder. I miss you every day. I miss our phone calls, text messages, lunch dates, your eyes, your voice, us. I am still trying to process everything, but it has been difficult. There is no understanding to any of this. You were 44 years old. You had so much life ahead of you and so many things you still wanted to accomplish. You weren’t finished yet. We were not finished yet.
Today, instead of being with you, I went to my counseling appointment. This was my 5th week in a very long process of trying to heal from the devastating loss of you. I showed her a picture of the memorial I had made with your ashes. It’s a beautiful glass ball with your ashes swirled in amongst the color blue. I always loved you in blue and bought you too many blue shirts and ties to even count, but the blue always made your eyes look so much more beautiful.
I went to the funeral home afterwards and picked up your death certificate. I have not looked at it. It is inside a folder they gave to me. In a tub I have your birth certificate from where I cleaned out your apartment. Now I have your death certificate. It is still unreal to me that you are gone. That you will never be back. That I will never see or talk to you again. Not here anyway.
You probably would have taken me to Tre Biccheri and there would have been flowers and a card already on the table when we arrived. We would have enjoyed a nice romantic dinner together. That’s what we used to do.
I hurt every day without you. I don’t think you wanted to leave, but you didn’t know how to stay. You knew, but you weren’t able to. I haven’t stopped loving you. I haven’t stopped loving us and I’m sure I never will. You will always be a part of me. We were deeply connected. People use the term soulmates so loosely, but we were. I believe that. Our souls loved each other. Our souls were united together. We were not 2 individuals, but 1 and that is how we shall remain.
As long as my heart continues to beat, you will stay alive. Sometimes I have felt you, but I wish I could feel you more. It is lonely here without you. Everything is different now, but I remember you in every waking moment. I remember your smile and the way your eyes would light up every time you saw me. I remember the way you loved me and the way you held me. I can never say goodbye to you, but one day, one day, I will see you and say, “Hi Baby, I’ve missed you”.
It is dificult for me to even write those words. Your funeral. It just doesn’t seem real still. That tomorrow I will see you for the very last time. i will say good bye to you for the very last time. I can hardly wrap my head around it. I want this to all be a bad dream. I want to wake up and I want to see your text on my phone and I want to call you and I want to see you. I want to feel your arms around me, strong and safe, from everything else. I want you to tell me it will be okay. That I will be okay.
It is hard for even put my feelings into words. But I miss you and love you and I’m sorry. I’m sorry I wan’t able to help you. I’m sorry that you were alone. I’m sorry that you had pain so deep that you had to numb it and escape from it. I’m sorry you felt like you weren’t enough. Because you were. You were enough. I loved you. I needed you. I wanted you. And I still do.
But you left me. You left me…alone. To continue in this life withoout you by my side. And I dont want that. I want you. I want you to come back. But you aren”t coming back. Tomorrow the finality of that will fall on me.
I will never understand. Never. Nothing will ever make me understand. I need you to help me to do this. I need you to help me to be strong. I need you to help me continue your mission, your heart for serving others. I need you to never leave my heart.
One more day. One more day.
Friday December 14, 2018. You never know when the last of something will be. The last time you see someone. The last time you talk to someone. The last time you hurt over someone. The last time you do something for the last time.
Today is that day for me. It may not be the last time I see him, but I know it will be the last time I see him alive. I know it will be the last time I drive to his apartment to see if he is still breathing. It was the last time i will ever look into his eyes.
The calls came this morning from the landlord, “This is Marguerite, there is a man here with the police and they are trying to get a hold of your husband. They are calling him and knocking on the doors and windows and he is not responding. I wasn’t sure what to do”. And as before, I say, “I am leaving right now”.
My heart is racing. My hands are shaking. The fear and anxiety has overcome me. I am sickened. I am afraid. I am scared. What will I find when I open the door? Will he be breathing or will this be the time he is gone?
Two weeks ago I sat with him in the hospital as he was going through alcohol and opiate withdrawals. Shaking so badly from DT’s that he couldn’t even hold a cup to take a drink of water. I had to hold the cup to his mouth so he could drink. I watched the IV fluids drip into his arm. I watched the injections of ativan into his line to try and help with the tremors. I listened to the Physicians assistant as he came in. I was informed by the man that brought him that is BAC was .32 when he had been at the hospital hours before. He said it had been 19 hrs since he last had alcohol and i believe him. I sat there as social services came in and spoke with him about addiction and scored him a 10 out of 10 on the severity of his. I drove him to the pharmacy to fill his prescription for lithium that would help him get through his withdrawal process.
I believe him. I believe him that he wants to get better. I believe him that he wants a better life. I believe him when he tells me he is doing all the things he is supposed to be doing. I believe him when he says how proud he is of himself for not drinking and how dangerous he knows it would be to mix alcohol with the lithium he is on. I believe him.. or I want to believe him, but in my heart I always know. He is an addict. He deceives. He manipulates. He creates situations to look a way that they aren’t. He make you feel wrong for questioning him.
Five years. It has been five years, 1,825 days. 43,800 hours. Those numbers astound me. Today I start at number 1 and on day number one I have to accept that I can’t save this man. No matter what I do or say. No matter how much my heart loves him. On this day, at this moment, I have to let him go. I have to. It is destroying me in so many ways. I have to accept the reality. That the call will come. I don’t know when and i don’t know from who, but it will come and they will tell me, “he is gone”.
I thought I would start writing this from the beginning of my story, but it may be starting towards the ending. I don’t know that it is the ending, but it is feeling like it is.
He has been on a 2 week binge. Pills, alcohol, marijuana…anything he can get his hands on. The binges come and go. They always play out the same way. He stays high and drunk, mostly unavailable. This is his sole priority during this time..seeking the next high, the next bottle. He is either passed out or awake looking for a way to find what his body is craving.
I wait for a text message or a missed call or to see that my text to him has been read. Waiting to see if he is still alive. When I haven’t heard, I go to his apartment, with my heart racing, my stomach in my throat, wondering, what I’m going to find when I open his front door. Will he still be breathing? Will this be the day I find his life has been taken?
It has become a way of life for me and it is a life that has me mentally, physically and spiritually exhausted. I know I can’t keep up with it anymore, but if I don’t care about him, who will? He has no one else. I am the only one.
For a long time, I was one of those girls, who thought I could help him. That hoped and prayed each time that this would be the last time. That this time, he would get it. That he would not go back. That he would keep moving forward in his sobriety. That he would want this for himself, as much as I wanted it for him.
So, today, yesterday, the day before even, we are at the part where he has no more money. His paychecks are gone. There is no savings to draw from and he is scrambling. Scrambling for his jobs, a way to pay this months rent, a way to get his life back. He is in withdrawals and detoxing from pills and alcohol. He shakes so bad he can’t even take a drink of the powerade I brought to him yesterday. I bought him groceries and a pack of cigarettes. I’m trying to love him as Jesus would. The pain and hurt in his eyes is unmistakeable.
But I know I can’t help him. He is the only one who can stop. I tell him this over and over again. I beat him up verbally over and over again, but the addict doesn’t care. He doesn’t even hear me. Now he just needs me to be present. Not judging him, not berating or belittling him. Just to be there. So, I went this morning and i layed on the couch with him, in a darkened, lonely apartment. I lay there and I put my hand in his. I feel the heat from the fever that is brewing in his body, I feel the sweat that is pouring from his skin, I feel the shaking and jerks from his tremors. I don’t say anything. I’m just there. Hoping my peace, my strength will permeate into his body. That he knows, he is not alone. That he knows, he can do this. That he knows, there is hope and life on the other side of this. That he knows, he is loved.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Seventeen months ago, God placed this blog on my heart. Although I am unsure of the purpose, I believe there is one. My hope is not only to receive healing myself, but to help in someone else’s healing as well.
Life can be difficult. Sometimes, it is by our own doing, our own decisions, our own mistakes, but sometimes, things happen that are completely out of our control. Sometimes the difficulty is someone or something that has come into your life that you can’t control. That brings havoc and destruction in your life. Sometimes something begins and you have no idea how to make it stop. You just know it needs to. You know it has to, because your life depends on it.
Addiction. It is a disease that is running rampant in our society right now. I realize there is much debate over whether addiction is a choice or a disease or maybe even a little of both. For me, it is both. As a nurse, I know that many addictions begin with the start of a prescription. Maybe there was some type of injury or surgical procedure done. It can all start out as something as innocent as a 30 day script for hydrocodone. As a medical professional, I struggle with this, because pain medication does serve a purpose, but once the injury or surgery is healed, the purpose has ended, but the mind and body doesn’t always realize that. The brain enjoyed those pain medications and it wants more. It craves more and this is where the addiction begins and this is where the beginning of the end begins for many people.
Why do we have this desire to escape? Why do we need to “get away” from life? What are the stressors that are so hard to handle that we have to look to outside sources to “just make it through”? Why do we choose substances that hurt us, when all we are really looking for is a way to help ourselves deal with the stress, the pain, the anxiety, the depression. Whatever it is that we try to numb ourselves from.
I realize i will never understand addiction, but I am on a journey to do so. I am on a journey to try to understand, to accept and to heal from all the ways addiction has affected my life in a very negative way. Maybe I’m not the only one. Maybe there are others out there too, who need to go on this journey with me, because doing it alone is scary, because we have been alone for too long. We have kept secrets. We have tried to protect our loved ones. We have tried to maintain some type of normalcy for way too long and we are tired. We are tired of being tired, mentally, spiritually, emotionally and we need to get to the other side of this. We need to know that we will be okay. That addiction does not get the last word. That after all of the pain, the fear, the heartache, there is Hope.
Who wants to come with me?