Handling Death in Recovery
Ramblings of a Recovering Junky;
In Death, I’ve learnt to start living life to the fullest…
The last month and change have been both great, the holiday was awesome, but then there was the death of my partners grandmother they were extremely close. Then, last night, the night of 6th June 2019 we were informed a friend and ex in-law (He was with L’s cousin for over 10 years and stayed friends of the family since…) we were told he had died. He was in his early Thirties. As I write this, the cause of death was that he had septicemia, double heart attack and his organs had failed. He leaves behind a two-year-old daughter who’ll grow up only hearing about her dad and seeing him through photos. No one said life was fair, and I am in no way trying to say that I believe it should be but… What’s the point? (I am not suicidal, I just find this really unfair and no, I am not stomping my feet as I type this!)
I don’t respond to death like others, I clam & bottle it up. Make insanely awkward jokes and struggle to get on the same emotional plane as everyone else. They’ll be thinking of that person, I will be thinking about where I was on the latest episode of whatever I am watching, reading, working on… But with Dan I couldn’t stop thinking about my own daughter and how she’d remember me? She’s now 6 years old so, she’d have memories of me, but I feel I am no way near where I want to be in life. Not by a long shot so when life slapped me with the harsh reality of ‘It can happen to anyone & anytime!’ I was in a daze. Dan was a drinker, not an alcoholic, but he could drink, he was in the bar a lot but some nights he’d just be drinking a Coke or a generic soft drink like a squash. He loved the atmosphere, the welcome that you get when you enter a bar and, as if in ‘Cheers!’ people would greet you. He lost both his parents quite young so I think he wanted a connection, I could be wrong, but that is what I think. He wanted to be wanted or needed. Thinking about that hurts. I won’t go into what he may have wanted out of life or what he needed, because I didn’t know, nor would I have wanted to know. That was his business.
It got me thinking about myself and everything else. It was so sudden, so random that it finally hit. After all these years and people saying, ‘You never know, could happen tomorrow.’ I always shrugged that off, like ‘yeah, ok… dick head.’ But I saw this guy the day before… I’m petrified of something happening to me and what have I done for the girls? What do I leave behind?? ‘Justin was such a nice young man. He worked and was a recovering Heroin addict…’ I need to get going on whatever the hell it is I want to do; I need to make sure that the girls are OK that they don’t have to think ‘What are they thinking about when they look at us?’ I can’t be the guy who was getting his shit together then died suddenly, I need to be more than that so, I am taking this death quite badly, in a selfish way more so. I think it’s because of his age, of course being close to the guy was a massive slap to the face but the age… Again, I have done some shitty things and put stuff in my body that should have offed me, but I got out alive and I believe that I managed to get out for a reason. I am here for the girls and I am also here to leave my mark on the lives of the people I love. I need to do something with my life that will again, leave a mark and give us the life we three deserve to live. I like to write, but am far from being a writer…
The death at first, I didn’t believe, I’d only seen him the day beforehand. “You guys were out on Friday and he stayed in with his daughter…? What!?” Makes no sense. But at the same time, makes all the sense in the world because it is the circle of life. I don’t know where I am going here, except that it put a lot of things into perspective. A main one is the saying that everyone uses but mostly as a throwaway “Live today like it’s your last…” “You never know when you’re going to go, could get hit by a bus.” (Bear in mind when these people use these it’s because they’re giving themselves the excuse to get an extra shot or two into their system.) Now when I think of these, it really makes me think and it also brings up that dreaded, piece of shit acronym ‘YOLO’ because you do, ‘You Only Live Once…’ “Enjoy life to the fullest. Make the most of every day. Because, when you die, you’re going to be dead for a very, very long time…” which I have imprinted on my brain since I first saw the trailer for the Brian Jones film ‘Stoned’ back in 2005, that is when I thought it best to start drinking more, smoking more and trying everything that was put before me because I wanted to be like Brian Jones, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, Johnny Thunders, Anthony Kiedis, Flea… I wanted to make sure I lived a life like these guys! Rock and Roll just without the talent, what an ass. It’s odd I took that away from a film based on a dead guy because of what he had become later on down the line himself, from what I’d read he’d become a Howard Hawks type, a recluse yet, I wanted to be this dude because he was so young and talented and mastered the world with his music and that amazing style of sound he had brought in to the Rolling Stones which at times was unnecessary, but Christ what great music. But going back to the quote, it is a powerful one and it should be very much adhered to just not in the way I used it in my teens. I now choose to make sure that the girls and I have as much fun, as much laughs, outings, smiles as possible.
I really don’t know where I was going with this, but I had to write it out because the shock that this fucker just… died so unexpectedly hit me like a brick to the face. I truly didn’t believe it at first or did I just not want it to be so real because he isn’t that much older than myself? Why was I so affected by this passing? The fact that a two-year-old girl is now going to grow up without her Daddy? I won’t bump into him down the road with that huge, Joker like smile slapped across his face. Whatever the reason, I’ve learnt to stop being a tit and make sure that the only thing I am remembered for is… He was in recovery, he watched the Sopranos repeatedly, he listened to Podcasts, wanted to write but never chased that dream… I am going to change that. Yeah, I’ll still ramble on and write as quickly as I can while at work to keep me going through the day but when I next write something, I will keep the rambling, but I’ll really focus on the end target of the paper. Where am I going with it? What do I want the reader to think when they’re reading it? Do I truly care what they think? Not in a shitty way but, I am sure that what I have written so far has some sense otherwise it wouldn’t be uploaded. Right…?
But most importantly; I am going to live life to the best of my capabilities, chase goals, climb the ladder at work and get as high up in the company as I can, lead my daughter toward the life she wants to live and shape her way of thinking and I’m also going to embrace L, hold her, tell her as often as possible how much she means to me, how much I truly love her and appreciate everything she has done for me, for us and how great a mother she is to our beautiful and kind, loving little girl. I am going to make sure that when I do leave this world and I’m on the threshold to the other side (Still don’t believe but lets make pretend!) that I have done everything I can to leave an impression on not just my two rocks but everyone I have known, met, fallen out with… I won’t live the ‘go to work. Go home. Sleep.’ Life, I’ll be leading the ‘Lets go watch a film, lets go for a walk, A lets do some dance and teach me some moves, lets learn that Ukulele we strum, take L out more often…’ I want to be spontaneous and not moan and groan when we have to go shopping, even if it is clothes shopping, I’ll still be bored shitless, but I’ll be with them and that’s what I want That is what I’ll always want. I want to chase my personal hobbies for many reasons, do what I want for a living, I look at the young artist ‘Billie Eilish’ she’s just a 17/18 year old and she is slaying her music, she fucking went for it and now look… If I don’t become what I hope to? At least I can say I fucking tried! (Sorry for the swearing, just getting a little passionate.)
In life, Dan gave me laughs and was a real decent, kind and humble person and in death he has taught me to not waste any of the time I have left. Hell, I could live to be 90 (doubtful) but as I mentioned, and with what happened, again, you really don’t know when your ticket is getting punched. Think about it, take a step out from yourself and ask, ‘Am I happy with what I’m doing and where I am in life?’ because, although I am happy, there are a ton of things I could change and will change for the better. I’ll be doing more of the things we do. More girl time, more writing, more exercise, more work…’ I will stop to smell the roses. I will take time to listen to others and really take it in.
Until the next one,
Stay Strong & Toodles!
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