The Great Duckling Rescue

“Connectedness. One thing leads to another. Often in unexpected ways.” ~ Holly Goldberg Sloan

Thursday August 1, 2019. Today was supposed to be like any other day. I had a doctor’s appointment, and a couple of errands to run. When I was done at my doctor’s appointment, I decided to take some pictures of the river that goes through town, and next to my doctor’s office.

As I walked over to the river’s edge, I noticed a female mallard duck pacing, and quacking up a storm. At first I assumed that she was protecting a nest of eggs. When I heard duckling peeps, I figured she was protecting her youngins. I took a couple pictures of her, and walked a few yards away to take a few more pictures. As I was walking back, the duck was still there, but now her quacking almost sounded frantic, and she seemed very distressed. Again I heard the duckling peeps, and tried to find where it was coming from.

I quickly realized that the sound was coming from an in ground pipe that was in the cement wall at the river’s edge.

Using the flashlight on my cell phone, I looked in the pipe, and sure enough, about 4 feet down, there was one little duckling stuck at the bottom. I didn’t think that I could reach it, I gave it a try anyway hoping that I could grab the poor thing gently by the head then scoop it into my hand better. I knew duckling bites wouldn’t hurt, and I didn’t care what could be in the pipe, so I stuck my entire arm into the pipe. Unfortunately, arm wasn’t long enough. The duckling was just out of my reach.

I was determined to save the little tyke, so I went to my car to find something, anything that I could use to safely get the duckling out of the pipe The first thing I saw was the extendable scooper that I use for glass picking when the waves are rough, or my back hurts. I wasn’t sure if it would work, but it was worth a try.

The basket fit perfectly in the pipe. At that point, my mind raced with questions. Would there be enough room for the duckling to get in the basket? If so, would it stay in the basket long enough for me to get it out? Can I get it out successfully without hurting it? Mama is really pacing and quacking up a storm. Will she come, and peck the hell out of my backside? Does she know I’m trying to rescue her baby?

I push my thoughts aside, held my breath, and gave it my best.

Mama flew back into the river still furiously quacking, and for whatever reason, started swimming away. I turned my attention back to rescuing the baby, and carefully lowered the scooper down the pipe. It was a narrow opening, and I must have tilted the scooper just right because the duckling hopped into the basket. I had to suppress my excitement, though. I didn’t want to risk doing the slightest thing wrong, and end up hurting, or losing the little tyke.

As I carefully pulled the scooper back up, the duckling just sat in the basket calmly, as if it knew I was rescuing it. When I was confident of my impending success, I grabbed my camera, and tried to get some pictures along with a little video to memorialize the event. It wasn’t my best work, but it also wasn’t easy to hold the scooper in one hand, and take pictures with the other. I was more concerned about the duckling, so I got what I could.

When the basket was about an inch from the top, the duckling hopped out of the basket, ran away from me, and over the edge of the wall. My heart sank. It was about a 5-6 foot drop down to the water, but there were large boulders down below. I rushed over to the edge to see where the duckling landed. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I saw that it missed the boulders, and landed in the river. I was also relieved that the duckling appeared uninjured. To jump out of the basket, make a mad dash to the edge of the river, plunge 5-6 feet down into the river, and swim with lightning speed to its mama, it must have made it through its ordeal unscathed.

What happened next was more rewarding than anything I can think of. How it knew, I’ll never know, but as if by instinct, the duckling zipped up the river in the direction that mama went. As I watched, I was grateful to see that mama was still in the area. She flew from her vantage point to her baby, and put it under her wing(pun intended 😉), despite the fact that my scent was probably on her baby. Together they swam off out of view, presumably to rejoin the rest of the flock.

Still amazed at what had happened, I picked up my gear, and looked around to see if anyone had seen what had just happened, and saw no one. It didn’t matter. I wasn’t looking for praise. Just seeing mama, and baby duck reunited was reward enough. When I got in my car, I just sat, and reflected on the chain of events over the last hour. An instant gratitude list of the chain of events over the previous couple of hours formed in my mind.

When I started writing this, it was to help me remember the event in case I forgot it someday. As I was rereading my words, and thought about my gratitude list, something else came to mind that can be summed up in one word. Interconnectedness. You see, I’m a firm believer that nothing happens by chance. Everything in life is connected in one way, shape, or form. There was a reason for the only open parking spot was next to the river, and that I decided to take some pictures. Heck, there’s a reason for you reading this now.

My point is that “stuff” happens in life. Whether it’s good, or bad, we have choices of what to do with this “stuff”. It’s also important to keep other people around us in mind, and how our choices will affect them, especially the next seven generations. This doesn’t apply to only people. This also applies to the environment around us. We can improve life with our choices, or make it worse. The choice is ours.

Thought for the day: What choices will you make today? Will they be positive, and helpful, or will they be negative, and hurtful?

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Daily Reflections by Doug and Inspiration by Steph

Wi:yo:h Sedehjiah – Good Morning

August 13, 2014

“In this Time, we are being called, and reminded to rebuild the Sacred Circle in our our Lives. They extend out and touch other Circles, creating ripples thru Space, and Time. No one else can fulfill our Responsibilities for us. It is up to Each of Us. Seeing is more than meets the eye. Listening is more than hearing. Love Travels between the Worlds, like Sweetgrass and Music. Deepen Your Laugh and Smile lines, they are the Beauty of a well lived Life! Drink Deeply of the Magic that surrounds You! Keep Dancin!!!!” By Doug Luzar

Something to ponder…

In the Native American culture, all life moves in a circle. The Creator, or Great Spirit, is in the middle, and all life revolves around Him. Every living thing from the mightiest eagle to the timid mouse, the most powerful whale to the most beautiful angelfish, the tallest oak to the shortest maple sapling, the biggest Titan beetle to the smallest flea, along with EVERY human and everything in between. ALL living things are of equal importance, not one living thing is greater or lesser than another. Every single thing we do affects something else. This is the interconnectedness that Doug has spoken about. Each circle touches another circle and impacts it in some way.

Unfortunately, the Sacred Circle is broken because mankind feels the need to have control and exerts its power over everything.

Let’s look at the world as we know it. Currently there is roughly 7.7 billion, yes BILLION, people that live, eat and breathe on this planet. We are currently faced with animals that have become or are becoming extinct and endangered. The land, forests, and water is shrinking, and/or polluted while other resources are dwindling.

There’s all kinds of talk about Global Warming(or Climate Change whatever you want to call it) and grandiose ideas to fix it. Yes, man’s greed and gluttony contributes to it. Whether mankind is responsible for all of it is up for debate. One thing that man’s greed and gluttony is responsible for is the garbage scattered here, there, and everywhere. Whatever the case may be, one cannot deny that mankind has some sort of footprint on this planet wherever he, or she, walks.

Simply put, our actions today impact how the world will look tomorrow. As I said earlier, every circle touches another circle and impacts it in some way. The Sacred Circle is broken, again, but we don’t need a grandiose plan to fix it. To get back on track and rebuild the circle, all of us everywhere, need to first remember how things we do have an impact other circles around us. To do this, we start by being mindful of how much we take from the earth, in any form or any creature. Along with that, we need to be mindful of all of the garbage scattered all over everywhere. We must be sure we take only what we need, and, when possible, we need to give back too.

Another thing that will help rebuild the Sacred Circle is to get back in touch with our Higher Power. When we do this, we become more Higher Power centered and less self centered. I am reminded of the quote by William Penn, “Men must be governed by [a God of their understanding] or they will be ruled by tyrants.”

These are just a couple of the many ways we can help to fix the Sacred Circle but there is much more we can do. There are lots of other things we can do. It is possible if we ALL work together. Nya:weh Hoje:no’kda’oh. Agwadë:nö:k – Thank You Creator. We Are All Related.

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https://www.facebook.com/Stephanies-Sweetgrass-and-Dancin-1414954615472943/

What Matters in Life

It’s not what we have in life, it’s who we have in our life that matters.” ~J.M. Laurence

As I reflect on my life, I see how true this quote is. There have been times in my life when I’ve had everything I needed, and wanted. I didn’t have a whole lot of worry. I also had a lot of material things, food in the cupboards, and money in my pocket.

Then, life on life’s terms hit, and knocked me down a few times.

The first life changing event was the fire that ripped the apartment house I was living in. I lost everything, but the clothes on my back, and a few trinkets, and bobbles. My best friend, and I still joke today about my set of sheets that were hanging on her clothesline which was around the corner. I didn’t have much money to rebuild my home, but I had lots of help to do it. This outpouring of support helped me to easily recover physically. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be until years later that I recovered mentally, and spiritually. That was my first lesson in the value of life vs material things because I was fortunate to still have my life. I almost stayed home from work that day because of a migraine.

As the years went by after the fire, life as I knew it was pretty good. It wasn’t perfect, but not horrible either. I had a house, a family, and a couple of pets. Seemingly out of the blue, my world as I knew it turned upside down, and inside out again. Divorce, caring for an ill mother, joblessness, and illness landed me on hard times again. I’d had times when I went without food, and other things, and I was almost homeless twice. I’m still in the process of bouncing back from that stuff.

I won’t lie, it’s been pretty difficult trying to make it through all of these trying times. I’ve had times when I wanted to run away, saying, “To heck with this!”, and never come back. Fortunately I’ve had many people help me to get through these times both in cyberspace, and face to face. These friends have saved my life more times than I can count, and are more precious to me than gold. Their pearly words of wisdom have kept me from going back to doing the stupid things I did in my younger years. They have cared about me when I could care less about myself, and have helped me get back on me feet each time I’ve fallen on hard times. They have helped me realize that I am not as bad, or as ugly as I think I am. They’ve shared kind words, a cup of coffee, a shoulder to cry on, plus money, or food when I needed it. They’ve also given me a kick in the backside when I needed it.

There is, however, one person who has been by my side through thick, and thin. Together we’ve seen the best, and worst in life, celebrated the good times, cried during the sad times, and cursed the really ugly times. Don’t get me wrong, we haven’t always seen eye to eye. We’ve fought with each other using our words, and, a couple times, with our fists. But through it all, for 25+ years, my friendship with my best friend has been far more precious than gold.

When I look back on the stuff I’ve gone through, I realize that having my friends rally around me is more important than material stuff. Today, I may not have everything I want in life, I do have everything I need. This makes me the richest woman in the world, and for that I am truly grateful.

That, my friends, is what truly matters most in life. The relationship we have with others in our life – not all of the trinkets, and bobbles that we have around us. Having meaningful, healthy relationships with our family, friends, and loved ones, or just one person, who help us navigate this journey we call life is what’s most important in life.

Thought for the day: When you have nothing to offer to a person in return, yet they help you anyway, you not only have a true friend but you also have something that’s more valuable, more precious than gold.

***Please be sure to read more of my posts

Expectations

“An expectation is a premeditated resentment.” ~ Anonymous

There are two words in the English dictionary that essentially have the same meaning. Expectation, and hope. Expectations are a type of hope that something will happen whether it’s good, or bad. Hope is the expectation that something will happen – good, or bad.

The problem with expectations, and hope is that they can be a double edged sword. We presume people will act, or situations will be a certain way. While we expect, and hope for good outcomes, we are often disappointed when the opposite happens. When this happens, we tend to get a resentment, which is also known as a grudge.

Although they actually don’t weigh anything, resentments are hard on our hearts. When we hold on to anger we have from being disappointed, it acts like a cancer that eats away at, and kill us on the inside us slowly. It kills us physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. There’s a saying that describes what happens when we have a resentment. “A resentment is like you taking poison, and waiting for me to die.”

One thing that helps me put everything into perspective is remembering that my Higher Power puts people in, or takes them out of my life for a reason. He also puts me in situations, or takes me out of them for a reason. Why does He do this? To guide me in the right direction, or steer me away from a collision course with disaster.

Sometimes it’s very difficult to see it when I’m angry or disappointed when my expectations fall short, but if I keep hanging on to the faith, just a bit longer, I can look back and see what would’ve happened if this, or that did/didn’t happen.

Thought for the day: When faced with disappointment, remember that your Higher Power has better things in store for you. As long as you don’t leave before the miracle happens.

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Anger

Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one.” ~ Benjamin Franklin.

I used to be the type of person who got angry at just about everything. I had a good reason – or so I thought. Sometimes, if I didn’t have a reason to be angry, I’d manufacture one. I’ve realized in recent years that my anger comes from a lack of acceptance. I don’t want to accept people, and situations the way they actually are. Today I know that I have no control over anything outside of myself. I have no control over other people, and situations. I do, however, have control over my thoughts, feelings, actions, and reactions.

All of us get angry from time to time in our lives, however, these days it seems like everyone’s angry at everything, and everyone. We expect, or don’t accept other people, and situations the way they are. Instead we try to force people, and situations to be the way we think they should be. When we don’t, or can’t, accept these things, we get angry, and resentful.

One thing that helps to put life into perspective is asking ourselves a few questions. “Why am I so angry that ‘X’, or ‘Y’ happened? Are my expectations for people, or situations to high? Do I like feeling so angry all the time?” Asking ourselves these questions, and honestly answering them can help us understand, and perhaps accept other people, and situations as they really are.

Thought for the day: When we accept people, and reality as it is, our will anger magically go away.

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Addicts and Christmas

“…There will be times, however, when we really feel like using. We want to run, and we feel lousy. We need to be reminded of where we came from and that it will be worse this time…One of the biggest stumbling blocks to recovery seems to be placing unrealistic expectations on ourselves or others. Relationships can be a terribly painful area. We tend to fantasize and project what will happen. We get angry and resentful if our fantasies are not fulfilled. We forget that we are powerless over other people…” ~ Anonymous

(I apologize in advance for the length, but this message is too important to break up into 2 parts. If you’re an addict going through a difficult time, I encourage you to read this to the end)

This quote comes from a couple different pages in one of my favorite book. It describes what addicts go through all the time, especially this time of year.

It’s that time of the year again. Time for celebration, giving thanks and spending time with our families. But for those of us with the disease of addiction, this time of year can be very difficult. I know because I’m a gratefully recovering addict and I have had a hard time with the holidays for a few years now. The family(my blood family and my in laws) that I once enjoyed spending time with was lost in part because of my addiction. Does this give me an excuse to use? I’ll tell you my answer in a moment.

In case you didn’t know, addiction is a thinking and feeling disease, more so feeling. The thinking part is when we are conning, manipulating, rationalizing and justifying our ways and means to get and use more. The feelings part is a little messier. Let’s face it, feelings are messy for all of us, but for addicts it’s messier. Why? Because we used drugs to escape our feelings and our realities. Far to many times, one bad feeling can trigger an addict with 1 day, 1 month, 1 year, 10 years, or more to use again.

Years ago, when I first came into recovery, another addict said, “The worst thing that can happen in recovery is that your feelings get hurt, but the best thing that can happen in recovery is that your feelings will get hurt.” I didn’t understand it at the time. Just like I became an addict over a period of time, I began to understand this and other lessons over time.

If you’re not an addict you’re probably thinking, “I feel the same way but I don’t get high or drunk.” While this is true, I’ll bet you probably do something escape the sting of bad feelings. Maybe you buy yourself some shiny bobble or trinket or some sweet treat. Maybe you take a hot bubble bath or go out for a run or a drive. We all do something to ease pain that we don’t want to feel. We all want to escape feelings and reality from time to time, but addicts need to find a healthier way other than the thing that kills us daily. I’ll be the first to admit, since I’ve been clean, my favorite coffee at a local coffee shop and brownies from a particular store are my comfort foods. But I digress.

When an addict tells me they want to use, or they’ve relapsed, I ask them why for a couple of reasons. No, not because I’m nosey. When I do this, it reminds me what not to do and where I don’t want to be. Another reason is because when we hear ourselves say our reason out loud, we realize how silly or dumb our reasons are. I can’t tell you how many times that I hear things like, “Because this person said this. That person did that.” I hear every excuse under the sun except, “The dog ate my homework”.

As amusing as that sounds, it’s the reality of this disease.

So what can you, my fellow addict, do to prevent using this time of year and longer? The first thing is to make a commitment to yourself that you won’t use. Do not do it for another person because, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Let’s face it, people will fail us. It’s inevitable. If that person fails you in some way, intentionally, or not, it’ll end up being your excuse to use. I know because I, and many others, have done the same thing and it didn’t work so well.

Another thing we can do is to find, and get involved in a self help recovery group. Preferably one where there are other addicts. I have learned that, “The ultimate weapon for recovery is another recovering addict.” That simply means that addicts understand how and why we use. We can help each other stay clean. Our individual stories may vary from one addict to another, but we all used for the same reasons.

We used to escape our feelings, and our realities.

Over the years, I’ve called on my fellow addicts many times to help me to not use if only for that hour or that day. No matter what I’ve gone through, my fellow addicts have rallied around and helped me through each struggle. I’ve shared the good, the bad, the ugly and the REALLY ugly times with them.  And I’ve been there for many of them.

Daily contact with a Higher Power is also very important to stay clean. In rehab, the counselors told me about finding a Higher Power. They told me that a chair or a light bulb could be my Higher Power. While I appreciated their suggestions I questioned how either of those would help me stay clean. Oh sure, a chair could block my path but I can move it. The light bulb can be turned on, but I can turn it off, and sneak out.

I’m not telling you to be a weekly church going person. I’m also not telling you to believe specifically in God, Buddha, Allah, Jesus or whatever name you use. When people fail us, as they usually do, we need someone, or something, to help us get through our darkest times. Our Higher Power can be the source of our greatest strength.

When I was in active addiction, I had a hard time with God because I thought He abandoned me years earlier. Today I know that this isn’t true. To help me with with my struggle, one of my predecessors told me a couple of acronyms for God. One of them is “Group Of Druggies”, and the other is “Good Orderly Direction”. For example, if I want to use, the “Group Of Druggies” can talk to me, and help me through that urge to use. “Good Orderly Direction” refers to Spiritual Principles like Tolerance, Acceptance, Patience, and Brotherly Love to name a couple. If I want to live a new life, these Spiritual Principles can guide me through any problem I face.

What helps me the most is playing the tape through. Whenever I feel like using, I remind myself of what will happen. I’d start by hanging with old playmates at an old playground. Then, someone would come around with my drug of choice. Pretty soon, I won’t be able to afford it so I’d try something cheaper, then I’d try it in a different form. When I couldn’t pay for it, I’d sell my stuff. After that, I’d do things that would make me feel so horrible about myself that I’d purposely overdose, and die.

I know how my mind works, and I know how it would go down.

No, not every day will be difficult, nor will it be a bowl of cherries. I’ve had times I wanted to say “forget” it and gone back out. I know, however, that those trying times teach me lessons and they’ve also given way to lots of blessings for which I am SO grateful. Today I know that times get hard, but those bad moments eventually pass.

So, to answer my earlier question. Do I have an excuse to use because I won’t be seeing or even hearing from my blood family this Christmas, or anytime in the future? Sure I have excuses, but not a single one of them is a good enough reason to throw away all that I’ve gained. Although my past Christmases are distant memories and my future ones may look lonely, I am fully able to make new traditions, and memories.

Thought for the day: Christmas is a time for miracles. Why not be one today? “Any clean addict is a miracle.” ~ Anonymous

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Tears Shed For An Addict

“Tears shed for another person are not a sign of weakness. They are a sign of a pure heart.” ~ José N. Harris

(I apologize for the length. Actually, I’m not sorry. Hopefully you’ll see why as you read. I was going to split this into 2 parts but I changed my mind. My message today is too important.)

Recently I noticed a social media post that instantly caught my eye. A tear snuck out of my eye and rolled down my cheek as I recalled the events that led up to this post. To protect the person’s anonymity, I will use pseudonyms.

A number of years ago, I met a young woman who I will call Tammy. I remember when she first came into recovery. She was pushing a stroller with her adorable little girl in it. Tammy was about 21 years old and her little girl couldn’t have been much older than a year old.

When Tammy walked into the room, she was somewhat disheveled. All addicts are when they first come in. She looked like she was trying to hold herself together without using and caring for her little girl the best she could. As the months passed, I watched her straighten her life around.

One day Tammy disappeared, without a word. I figured that she probably back to using. That’s what most addicts do when they leave recovery.

Sometime in the spring of 2012, Tammy came back. The life of addiction roughed her up a bit, but she wasn’t as tore up as other addicts are when they come back to recovery. She hadn’t lost her home, her car, custody of her little girl, or her life – YET. Soon after she came back, I saw the sparkle return to Tammy’s eyes. Her passion for life was evident as she and her beautiful little girl did lots of activities together.

By the way, our acronym for “YET” is “You’re Eligible Too”. If you didn’t use that drug this way, get it by those means, or lose that person or thing, have no fear because, “You’re Eligible Too”.

In the summer of 2012, a young man, named Matt, came to recovery. He and Tammy became fast friends, but I could see that something more was happening between them. I could see that they were falling in love.

By this time, I’d been in recovery for a few years and had seen what happens when two addicts fall in love. In an effort to prevent the two of them from having a heartbreak, I told them about the pitfalls that I’ve seen happen. See, in recovery, we don’t give advice, rather we make suggestions. I told them what I’d seen when two addicts fall in love.

Sometimes in recovery, two addicts find themselves falling in love. After a while, the rose colored glasses of first love fall off, as they usually do in any relationship. When that happens, each person sees the other differently. Eventually one person will hurt the other in some way, whether or not it’s intentional. It’s not a matter of IF it will happen, but WHEN. Before long, one or both of them return to old playgrounds, hang around old playmates, do the old behaviors which ultimately one or both go back to using. It may not happen right away, but eventually it happens. We have a saying in recovery, “Two sickies don’t make a wellie.”

Despite all I told them, I was to late. They fell in love. It was inevitable. I’ve seen it happen numerous times.

Between 2012 and 2017, Tammy and Matt had their ups and downs. Some of their downs were pretty damn low. It started when he went back to using and putting Tammy’s little girl in harm’s way. If Child Protective Services knew what was going on in the home, they would’ve ripped that beautiful little girl from her arms.

One night, in an effort to help, and to avoid a really big ugly scene with his parents, Tammy called a couple of trusted addicts for help talk some sense into him. It got ugly once or twice, but by the end of the night, Matt agreed to go to a treatment facility in another state where he got the help he desperately needed. They both missed each other like crazy. A few months later, he came back home to help his dad and to be with the love of his life.

Unfortunately, that love of his life wasn’t Tammy. It was his drug of choice.

Shortly after coming home, Matt’s father passed away. One day, I was driving passed his dad’s business and decided to stop by to see if I could help him with the business. When I walked in, I saw a few people there just hanging out. I didn’t recognize any of them but, I felt uneasy. I just brushed it off and asked Matt if he would like my secretarial services.  I said that if he didn’t have money to pay me, that was fine. He declined.

I spoke to him a few weeks later when I stopped by the office to give him an earful about something. I never imagined that would be the last time I would speak to him.

One April morning in 2017, my phone rang. I don’t usually answer calls from unknown numbers, but something inside told me to answer it. The voice on the other end was crying uncontrollably. At first I thought it was another female addict calling for help or be a useful she relapsed.

It wasn’t. It was Tammy. At first I couldn’t understand what she was saying. I told her to take a deep breath. She was still crying, but at least I could understand her better. She wanted to tell me the news before anyone else did. “He’s gone.” she said. With a pit in my stomach, fearing I knew the answer, but also hoped I was wrong, I replied, “What do you mean? Where did he go?”

Matt took his last hit with his last breath at 31. He died from an overdose.

I don’t know what he was doing, who he was with, or what he was thinking. I don’t know if he got a bad batch and wasn’t aware of it or if he was suicidal. Sadly, I didn’t care. All I knew was that Matt didn’t stop using because he was out of drugs or because he came back into recovery. Quite the opposite. I also knew that Tammy tried her damndest to save him.

Tammy was beside herself with grief and I was beside myself with anger. I was angry at the disease of addiction. I was angry at Matt because he went back to using, probably because his father passed away. I don’t blame him. I lost my father too when I was young in recovery.

When lost my father, I didn’t go back to using because of it. Even though I had to tell my mom and my sibling that the doctor recommended that we “pull the plug”, I didn’t use. After taking my ill mother to the hospital to see all of the tubes and wires taken off of my dad, sitting with him while his body slowly shut down, and even after the phone call the following morning saying that he’d finally past away, I didn’t use.

I did, however, desperately try to find a meeting close to the hospital. Much as I wanted to run away, I knew I couldn’t. I had to stay strong for my mom and sister. I don’t say this to brag. I say this to show that it can be done. We can lose someone and not go out and use over it.

The  most heartbreaking thing is that Matt and Tammy were never able follow through with their dreams of staying together. Their hopes for the future were destroyed because he loved his drug of choice more than Tammy and the rest of his family. She kept him at arm’s length but continued trying to save him. Even though a couple of us suggested that she should leave him where he was at and worry about her recovery, she kept trying to rescued the love of her life.

In the end, not only did Matt take his life, he also took a very large piece of Tammy and her daughter’s heart along with his family’s when he died.

Since that day a year and a half ago, Tammy thinks about Matt every day. She and I touch base occasionally, but I know her heart breaks daily. I love her and her little girl to pieces, and am always willing to help her. She knows that my door is always open to both of them. Unfortunately, I have to keep her at arm’s length. If, for some reason, she returns to using, and she lost the battle like Matt did, I’d be heartbroken. I’ve lost enough friends to this disease whether it’s because they returned to using or they’ve died.

Four people that I considered family have died between the spring of 2017 and the spring of 2018. And those are only the ones that I know personally. Plus many more have returned to active addiction since I came into recovery a few 24 hours ago. My heart breaks for them too.

I can only pray that someday they find their way back to recovery before they succumb to this disease.

As I said earlier, I stumbled on Tammy’s post in my social media news feed. Her words with the picture moved me to write this. Seeing her face, with tears running down her cheek, resting on her beloved Matt’s tombstone hurt my heart. I left out the picture from this post for two reasons. First and foremost is to protect Tammy’s identity.

The other reason that I left the picture out sounds a bit harsh, but hey, reality is harsh. If you’re an addict reading this, I want my words to burn a lasting image in your mind. I want you to see your loved ones face, with tears running down their cheek, with it resting on your tombstone. I don’t care if that person is a family member, friend, romantic partner, your cat, dog or other pet. Imagine that person, sobbing uncontrollably and wanting to hug you, but all they have left of you is a handful of pictures, a head full of memories.

And a cold cement slab on top of your eternal and final resting place.

I am a recovering addict. I know how hard it is to stop using drugs. I know how hard it is to avoid the temptation to use that one thing that gives you comfort when you feel like your world is falling apart. God, I know. I also care about other addicts and want you to find a better way to live. Sometimes I care to much. Hell, I can’t even delete the social media profiles of the 4 addicts that died in the last year. At the same time, if you die of an overdose, I will not attend your funeral. That is a topic for another day.

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Thought for the day: Here are the Tammy’s words written in September 2018 … 

“Addiction stole from me. Addiction robbed me of having my best friend, robbed me of marrying my soulmate. Addiction robbed my daughter of having a whole happy home with someone that loved her just as much as I do. This is the raw truth of what addiction does to the people around you . This was not how it was supposed to end. Not a day, minute or second  goes by that I’m not thinking of you and wishing you were here. Tay and I miss you so much Michael. I truly hope you are having a blast now that you are freed from your demons. I love you and miss you more than words could ever explain. ❤️ PLEASE if you are struggling with addiction PLEASE get help!! Their is life after addiction!!!

IT IS NEVER TO LATE ❤️💛💚💙💜

***Please be sure to read more of my posts