To My Friend, C – I Understand

addictionI have a friend here in Austin who has found herself almost exactly in the same place as I was 4 years ago. She loves someone with an addiction that took over his life, and in doing so, it threw her life off track as well.

Is there anything worse than knowing, deep down, that there’s nothing you are going to be able to say or do that’s going to make this easier for her? She didn’t deserve this. She is loving and supportive and hopeful for him, like I was about Chef not that long ago. Being loving and supportive a hopeful, though, also leaves you vulnerable. And that vulnerability really left me defenseless at the worst possible times.

The whole situation really made me take a moment to take inventory of addiction 4where I am now. In a ton of ways, I’m much better. I am a functioning brokenhearted woman. I have a job that I work hard at. I have DJ, my son, living with me, and my dogs and cat, whom I love with my whole heart. And, of course, I have my friend Exodus, who I can’t imagine life without. But the wounds, while healing, are still there.

I see myself much differently than I once had. I know I tend to isolate and push people away when in pain, and I’ve done this to an extreme this time too. I worry that I don’t remember why I loved my husband so much anymore, and the thought of someone trying to love me makes me literally panic. I wrote once that I don’t know what to hope for anymore, and I guess, I’m still there. I’m lonely, but afraid to do what it takes to fix that.

addictionI will always be there for my friend who just had her heart shattered and handed to her. I just wish my life gave a better reason for her to hope for a perfect healing.

But maybe, we don’t get over these kinds of hurts perfectly. Maybe they really do change us forever. But even now, when the healing is incomplete and I can still feel the wounds buried in shallow graves in my heart, I see glimpses from time to time of a happier life. I see a possibility from time to time that make me think, maybe. Maybe one day, I’ll be whole again. Maybe one day, I won’t run away from someone who wants to get to know me. Maybe.

I wish I could promise you everything, C. I wish I could take your pain away and just add it to the already enormous mountain of my own, so you wouldn’t have to face it, like I did. But I can’t.

I can just promise you, you have someone here who understands exactly what a horrible experience this is. You have someone who understands how hard it is to get through each minute of each hour of each day. You have someone here who will mourn the death of who you used to be with you, and who’ll welcome who you are becoming now, because she knows what a tremendous force love is and having it crushed changes us. You have a sister in this.

I wish I could give you more.

~ Bird


Sometimes, Life is Bonafide Bitch

hit like a bitchRecently, I decided to quit smoking. I have some health issues, and the smoking isn’t helping. Not too long ago, I began taking Chantix to help me stop, and for the last several days, the side effect — vivid dreams — seems to be causing an unintended side effect. Added with some pretty serious stress, I find myself having to take inventory and resolve how I feel about some things. Grief over matters left undone and words unspoken.

I’ve documented rather thoroughly the grief over losing Chef here, but there are other wounds, while less traumatic, that tend to haunt me from time to time. This week, I’ve had to wound someone already profusely wounded by so many other things, to keep from hurting him even more. I’ve had to cut off an old friend who had proved himself disloyal when I needed a real friend so badly. It was hard to learn the lesson that just because you’ve forgiven someone doesn’t mean they instantly regain your trust. And without trust, there is always going to be a weakness in the foundation of your friendship. I can’t build anything with anyone I can’t trust, despite whether I’ve forgiven them or not. Probably more so for me than most people. If I can’t trust you, I don’t want to know you.

And you just can’t make yourself trust someone you just don’t trust. It’s like trying to make yourself not know something you already know well.

I’ve had to accept that there really is no justice in this world, and I’ve suffered at the hands of people who misuse their authority and enjoy inflicting pain on others.And yet God still expects me to be faithful to His commandments, even if the other person refuses to be guided by them. I am not excused just because the other person deserves my wrath. I don’t want what I deserve; therefore, I can’t dish out to others what I think they deserve.

I’ve found myself increasingly exhausted by life in general lately, and that is always a bad place to find oneself. hope

Sometimes, life is just so hard.

Sometimes, life is a pure bitch, really.

But always, life is about just that minute you are in. It’s about knowing that while everything seems so out of balance and hopeless right now, tomorrow will bring in something new that will change the way life will feel to you later. It’s understanding that we should never allow our emotions to have so much control we base our future on them. As we all are doing, I’m learning from each day. Hope. like water or air, is infinitely important to our ability to live, and understanding that is necessary.

Today is a bad day.

Tomorrow carries with it infinite hope that all of this will resolve itself, one way or another, in time.

I hope life is better tomorrow, and that will carry me through today.

~ Bird