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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 7:59 pm 
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All,

First, I'm not sure if this is the appropriate board for this. I waffled between this board and the "Bupe in the Rearview Mirror" board, but ended up choosing this because I think it still fits and also I know you guys that frequent this board. But I understand if a moderator needs to move it.

To make a long story short - just as I was about to post my 90-day post-sub detox update, I got the crushing news that my father died by suicide. This has rocked me to my core, as (1) he and I were as close as father and daughter could be (2) no one saw it coming - he didn't appear to be struggling and it appears to have been an impulsive decision, in fact I saw him 3 weeks before and he was fine; (3) it may have been addiction/alcoholism-related (we are waiting on the toxicology report, but a family member witness said he had been drinking all day and withdrawing from (benzo?) medication); and (4) the facts are somewhat unclear as to exactly what happened.

Since then (a couple weeks ago) I have managed to remain completely clean and sober, but Holy Hell do I feel like it's a cruel joke that this has been thrown at me just 3 months into my recovery from 6 years of opiate abuse. I had been doing so well, attending meetings and working a program, going to counseling, exercising and improving my health, reconnecting with my family... And now this. I am still doing all those things but I feel as though I have been doubly stripped to my core, doubly broken.

How does one recover from a traumatic loss like this while in the midst of addiction recovery? While back home on the opposite coast for his funeral, I watched my family members drink and I felt bitter at how unfair it all is - that this happened to MY Daddy and that I couldn't drown my sorrows like the others. As I watched some family members numb themselves with doctor's orders to take benzos, I wondered how much easier it would be if I could only use that lifeline. After I watched ill family members take pain medication, I went to sleep that night dreaming about pills. But. I. Did. Not. Slip. I held on to my sobriety with a vice grip. And I still do. I will not dishonor his memory by falling back into my addiction.

But managing that doesn't make this any easier. I feel more alone than I ever have. My father was my rock, my confidante, and my biggest cheerleader. Any time I needed someone to listen, I called him. Any time I needed advice he'd be the first person I asked (and even if I didn't take it I knew he was probably right). He told me all the time that he loved me more than anyone else in the world, and I never doubted it for a second. He was the only person whose love I ever trusted in completely - I knew he'd always be there for me, that if I called needing help I would just have to say the word and he would drop everything and fly across the country to help me. And now he is gone.

I am back at work, and caring for my three year old, and muddling through each day as best I can, while I feel the symptoms of depression and anxiety washing over me as sure as time passes. I'm probably "doing everything right," or in other words doing all that I /can/ to get through this. No, I take that back, there is no getting through this - all I can do is learn to live with this, because at that moment I was told on the phone that he was dead having killed himself - my life split into two halves - "before" and "after." It was the worst moment of my life, and thrust me into what my therapist identified as a "dissociative episode." I am now irrevocably changed by his death, I will never be the same.

Thank you for listening. I guess I just wanted to sort out my feelings and seek some support from those who have supported me in the past.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:17 pm 
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I am deeply sorry for your incredible loss. It's very courageous of you to come here to tell us, and talk out what you're feeling right now. I'm sure that I haven't words eloquent enough to express the absolute sorrow that I feel for you having read your post. Your pain is so fresh, and your emotion so raw it can be felt through your words. I'm relieved to know that throughout this tragedy and in the face of temptation and overwhelming grief, you hung on to and continue to cling to your precious sobriety, a gift, that I'm certain your dad was so proud of you for having earned. I wish I could tell you that the pain of losing a parent eventually fades away, because, even as adults, it doesn't. And some of your questions may never be answered. The passage of time, however, does help the happier memories of your beloved dad to prevail, and the sorrowful ones you are dealing with right now to fade. Small comfort now, I know. :(
I lost my father to alcoholism related liver cancer at 17 years old. I cried at his funeral as was expected, and moped around for what seemed an appropriate amount of time,and life seemed to go on, but I never allowed myself to experience that pain without some sort of buffer for many years. I ran away and got married and had a baby at 17. Looking back, I was running from the reality of that loss and thought I could take all the love I had for my dad, and give it to my husband and baby. Then came the addictions..... because nothing EVER filled that void that was left. I wish thati had realized then that drugs don't take away the pain, they just delay it until one becomes sober enough to cope with it.... you said yourself that you're doing the "right things,as far as staying clean, still exercising, maintaining your recovery etc. .. and all I can say is continue doing that and anything else you need to do to take care of yourself as you grieve the loss of your daddy. Allow yourself to feel all the emotions that go with it... anger, sadness, confusion, whatever you feel, and let them pass, and don't allow yourself to feel weak or guilty for having those emotions or let relapse enter your thoughts. Better to feel them and let them pass, than to numb them and still carry them around having not dealt with them. Maintaining your recovery can only serve to honor his memory. I truly feel for you. Please post here as much as you need to for support or just to vent. You are right, it really does help to get things all out, and we're here for you. You will most certainly be in my prayers.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 6:06 am 
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I just want to also add my prayers and support. I can't imagine the grief and shock that must come when a loved one takes their own life- especially your daddy. I am so very sorry for your loss.

As a mommy, I'm sure you already know this, but remember your child (a little girl, right?)is looking to you as an example of how you handle lifes pain, and it sounds like right now you are being an excellent role model. Perhaps using the love you have for your own child will help give you strength as you work through your grief. Do you want her to "drown her pain" when she faces difficult times? (and she will -- IMO none of us get through life with a free ride- we all must experience our share of pain in order to grow and learn before we pass on ourselves) She will most likely do as you do, and again, you are amazing for holding on to your sobriety through this shock and grief.

I have not lost a parent (yet), but when i lost my brother I also "ran" from the pain as Liz did from her father's death- I lost him when I was 14 and did not fully "greive" and get to "acceptance' until I was about 35 years old! So, you can never really run "away"- sooner or later you must face and process the pain in order to move forward.
Please keep posting whenever you feel it might help you.
I am praying for you and your family.
BF

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"BE the change that you wish to see in the world"

Mahatma Gandhi


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:05 am 
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Hi NM, Wow, that's a terrible loss, I can't imagine what you must be going through.

Really glad to see that you're holding on to your recovery through this terrible time, your recovery must be pretty solid if you're getting through this, while watching family members numb their pain with alcohol and pills, and keeping it together with work and raising a three-year-old.

-- ji

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"Past and future veil God from our sight; burn both of them with fire."
-- Rumi, Sufi poet and teacher


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:56 pm 
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Man, I feel for you. My aunt is going through something semi-similar. Her sister was her rock, the one who was helping her to deal with cancer, make bucket lists, and such. Then, suddently the sister died of some preventable infection, not the sister with cancer, but the rock. And that left my aunt with cancer, who is also a 12-stepper btw, feeling pretty alone and cheated. Now she has just a few weeks left to live. I flew out of state and visited her. Tried to comfort her...as much as anyone with Major Affective Disorder can anyways.

So I will tell you what I told my aunt. We all have to die. Everyone of us. It is an experience, like birth, that will happen no matter what, but only once. Your dad just had his turn. You will live awhile longer, then you will have your turn as well.

Nobody else was there, sounds like. A toxicology report might not necessary prove suicide, unless it shows he swallowed a whole bottle full of bezos and chased it with booze. It may have been just an unlucky cocktail that night.

Here is the deal. Even if it was suicide, you need to know that everybody has secrets, skelitons in the closet, problems, addictions, shame, guilt, lives built upon bad decisions, and everyone has a point they can't go beyond. I have known several people who have committed suicide in my life, and homicide, and none of them were thinking about their loved ones when they did it. It is something guided by intense emotion or the cold, suffocating darkness of depression. People can't see through that. Their minds only see the things which cause them pain. So if you are thinking your dad consciously considered "you" in a rational decision of whether to live or die, then you need to abandon that view because it's false: that is not how it works. The only time it works like that is when the father is committing suicide and making it look like an accident solely in order to be the good dad that he is and provide his family with much needed benefits from a life insurance policy, during a time when he cannot work, and must provide for his family. And that is a brave act of love, in my opinion. Get it out of your head that he consciously abandoned you.

My aunt is in hospice and in a terrible amount of pain, pain I cannot even fathom...and I have had cancer before, and have had radiation, and I experience the pain of passing kidney stones every two years. I know she knows pain mode intimately than I do. I would not blame her one bit if she OD's herself to spare herself a few extra weeks of agony. If she asked me, I would do it for her because I love her...at least as much as anyone with Major Affective Disorder can love anyone.

When one generation dies, the next generation produces childen and these parents live awhile and before long they are grandparents and then it's their turn to die. Each person going through this process of birth and death has an obligation to learn how the world works from their parents and to pass on their wisdom from father to son (or daughter). After that parent dies, it is up to the child of that parent to keep that parent's memory alive and to utilize the advise that parent gave the child while alive. Then that child picks up a few things of his own, and passes it on to the next generation. What I am saying is that the torch is in your hands now. It was destined to be in your hands for a time. You hold it now but you too one day will hand it off. So keep your father's memories alive. Remember all the things he said that made it better. Remember what he said, because somebody else needs to hear it.

Don't let yourself get freaked out. Your relatives are using substances to dull the pain. And that isn't an option for you given your circumstances. Why? Because you know damn well that when those substances wear off the pain is still there. Don't run from this pain. You need to experience it. I can't experience emotions, either good or bad, because far too early in my childhood I chose to run from pain and now my condition is irreversible. Pain is temporary! Time heals all wounds. You know this!

Don't take suboxone now. It's never going to bring your father back. Suboxone dulls physical pain. It will not dull the pain you feel in your heart. But time will. Remember what you went through when you quit. I am on day 11 or 12 I think, lost count. Insomnia. Restless legs. Cold sweats. Freezing hands and feet. Peeing out my ass. Weak and lethargic. High blood pressure. Pain and aches. It is good you posted here because this is the type of threads you need to read to remind yourself of what you have already been through, how far you have come. My God you do not want to do that again! Do not make the last three months a vain sacrifice!

If your relatives are taking pills, don't hang around them. You know how that works by now I am sure. When your friends party and do drugs around you, they suck you back into the life. You have to minimize your exposure to those relatives and friends right now who use and abuse, and surround yourself with positive people only.

You know what? You have the rest of your life to grieve. Don't be in such a rush. Every time you think of your father and your heart sinks in your chest, immediately the next thought that must come to your mind are all the things you are thankful for. Make a list of at least five things in order of signifance to you. Turn that negative into a positive.

I am grateful that I wasn't born disfigured, that I am not physically handicapped, that I am able to work and support myself, that I have friends and family who love me, that I am not starving, nor wanting for anything serious. I am grateful that I am alive when I should, after living a careless life, be dead. I am grateful that I am not in a prison cell, while guards toss what passes for belongings and confiscate sentimental things. I am grateful for the relatives and family and friends that I still have today. And I am grateful that I can still hear the voices in my memory of those who have already taken that unavoidable, inevitable step of transformation.

Think positive. Hey I feel know how it goes. And I know how tempting it is to relapse when something of a personal nature jars you. Everybody here most likely has been there too, and many have taken a step backwards only to wish they hadn't. But you know you can't do that.

Good luck to you. Be a rock. Somebody else needs you.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:53 pm 
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3/20,
That is most likely the best and uplifting, truest post I think I've ever read here over the last few years. Thank you for it. Hoping the OP gets to read this also...... Razor..


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