Grief without drugs and other things that can kill me

I didn’t expect the pain to radiate from the depths of my memories to the core of every fiber in my body.   I’m now stuck in a time where my beloved Grandma has taken her last breath. This loss leaves me stuck between a chasm of feelings, as if my history is twisting like a tornado; grasping parts of me to take with her as she moves to the next space in time.  

Laughter comes in between swallows of sorrowful ballads escaping my mouth in the form of a symphony of debilitating pain.

 Man, she was funny without trying to be funny.  The memories of  hearing the words that she made up (don’t argue, you will not win) brings me a reprieve of sunshine.  Her use of the English language was a puzzle you just couldn’t put together.  My personal favorite Grandma George proclamation was:

It ain’t no good for nothing no how.

Because, sometimes, it just ain’t.

The smile that placates my face, reaches my eyes and pours out of my heart so loud the ocean waves can hear it.

 Joy. 

Gratitude.

 Love….for the opportunity to be touched so deeply by a woman of such simple depth and truth.

Earth shattering loss has been a large part of my journey in this life.  Some people taste it through out their lives, yet, I have had to drink it.  Its ripe nectar has been my feeding ground more times than I can count.  I’ve choked on grief; I’ve swallowed it whole just to regurgitate it long enough for it to come and find me again.  The difference with this particular guttural growl of emotions- the contrast this time– is that now I’m experiencing grief without drugs and other things that can kill me.

The darkness blares that the euphoria of drugs and alcohol could take it all away.  I could find myself floating above it, not sitting in it. 

Yesterday, I laid on my bed reaching out to anyone I knew, pleading through my text messages and voicemails, screaming into the universe that someone would hear me. 

Help!  I’m suffocating, please come save me; I haven’t done grief like this before.  The raw torture I feel from the loss of her presence on this earth is literally drowning me in my own ache and pain.  

She is gone.  

Grandpa and Grandma are now both gone. 

The Great generation of my lineage has dissipated into the muggy hot Arkansas’s air.  

The Great generation of love and comfort and family is gone.  All I have left is a bone crushing sense of loss that I have to actually – feel – cope – sit with-and all of this has to happen minus the great escape. All without the self destructive ways I’ve used to punishment myself; simply for being the one who feels. 

The magnificence of Recovery bellows loud enough for the vibrations to blare into my broken ear drums that – I don’t live there anymore!

Alcohol and drugs are dead to me now…being that…

I am strong.

I am capable.

I am woman.

If temptation comes and I begin the walk towards quitting quitting, I won’t waver. No matter the cost of feelings that explode deep inside me…

I won’t waver.

 No matter how bad it gets, I have rewritten the horrible things my head says to me that used to define me.

My made new self knows that she is, beautifully filled with feelings that touch the deepest sad parts and the lightest sun beams.  I own that. 

Right now, at this very moment, it is my time to rise.

I lift my hands in surrender and triumph.  I can and am doing this grief and loss thing without the crutch of addiction that eventually leads me down the road of passive suicide, slowly killing myself with the wreckage that addiction offers.

I throw stones in the face of the very thing that I said goodbye to 3 years ago.

Actively participating in raw unfiltered grief, is what I’ve trained for, worked hard to face, and have built my foundation of sobriety on.

I can say goodbye with clarity in my eyes and raw emotion at my flank to the woman who helped make me a better version of myself. 

Through my choices I am claiming the power of the Next Great Generation. The rite of passage Grandma always knew that I was capable of achieving.