My world has been turned inside out again this summer by dealing with a family member and addiction.
Several weeks ago on a Friday I slept in, showered and didn't look at my phone until late morning. I was surprised and happy to see a text message from my addicted loved one with whom I'd been out of contact. When I read the content, my heart dropped. It was a goodbye and instructions which indicated he planned to commit suicide. I was reading it 3 hours after it was sent. I'm pretty good in an emergency, my heart slows and I calm myself then take action. I live 500 miles away, so I called the family member that lives closest. No answer so I called the police.
My loved one survived a very real and determined attempt to take his own life. After 3 weeks in hospitals dealing first with the medical repercussions, then ensuring he was no longer suicidal, he was released to my care. Holy Shit. How do people live like this? What the hell was I supposed to do?
What I realized is that the hospitals, doctors, care facilities and police are not in charge when we have a family crisis like this one. We are. And it's terrifying. My parents are older and neither is equipped to have a post-suicidal addict in either of their homes. Who is? Someone had to do something, and there was really no one else.
I was and am grateful that the universe keeps giving me the strength to manage during this crisis. And I have to be grateful to the asshole that fired me because if I still worked for him, I wouldn't be able to do what I'm doing now without quitting my job. I've chosen to stick with my loved one until he's in better hands - likely another rehab facility.
Since that day there have been too many miracles to count. I call them miracles because there's no way I'm the one making all this stuff happen. First, a relative let us come to her house and stay indefinitely. There's no way I could take him to my home, several states away in a neighborhood where drugs are available by just stepping out the front door. We've been here 3+ weeks now. She's helped with a few really difficult situations - like me discovering our loved one wasn't actually staying clean, despite our efforts to keep alcohol and other substances away. Another relative found a wonderful woman to help guide us all through the process of getting him into treatment.
There's been a fair share of really awful stuff, too. The day we learned he's got significant legal trouble was pretty bad. One day filled with absolute fear he might try to hurt himself again is one I now count as the worst day yet of my life. What got me through that was realizing just what Al-anon tells us. You can't control this.
I had to cancel the trip of a life-time, pretty minor given the circumstances but still a bummer. Friends are taking care of my home and pets. I miss those cats so much, but I know they are in good hands. I'm not really mentally able to work much with everything that's going on, but I am getting to know some relatives better and spending time with them that would never have come to pass without this situation. I am building my uncle a website, which he's wanted for 5 years.
So like so many others, I am on a journey that I've chosen willingly to continue, not knowing what tomorrow will bring. I'm saying a prayer right now for each and every family that is dealing with the chaos of addiction. Today I choose to feel hope, and will pray that others feel it, too.
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