Once You Lose A Loved One To Drug Abuse, Everything Changes

Once You Lose A Loved One To Drug Abuse, Everything Changes

My uncle was more than someone with a drug addiction, same as many others, that is why we must try to help instead of shaming others for their addictions.

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Not once in my life did I ever think that I would be jealous of a funeral.

Honestly, I feel crazy even putting those words out for the world to read. Last night, I went to a funeral visitation for the father of a dear friend. He had an overwhelming turnout- you could tell that he was a beloved man to not only his family but to his community as well.

I lost my uncle a month ago. He was only a mere 57 years old, and it was anything but expected. He did not have cancer or any type of physical illness, and he did not get the luxury of going in his sleep.

He died of a drug overdose. Whether unintentional or intentional, we will never know.

There is something to be said about foreshadowed death. It comes with pain, as does any loss, but it gives a chance for closure- to say the things that we need to say and to express to that person how much they truly meant to us. I never imagined that I would be jealous of this type of closure.

Losing a loved one to a drug overdose causes the same type of regret as suicide; instant self-blame.

Your head is filled with thoughts of what you 'could have' or 'should have' done because the person's death was completely avoidable. I knew that my uncle suffered from depression and a drug problem, everyone in the family did. No one did anything, either out of ignorance or denial. I remember watching him leave family events- he was always the first to go. The first time that I realized my uncle had a problem I was a teenager. I remember thinking to myself how I should reach out to him, invite him out for coffee or a beer- but I never did. I was always too busy- something else was more important, or the twenty-minute drive was just too far. This was my excuses for over ten years. Honestly, I think the real reason I never reached out was that I was scared it would be awkward. I let this fear of awkwardness stand between me and a relationship. Now my head swirls at night how if I had reached out to him, I could have changed the outcome of this entire situation.

It was a Saturday morning when we were called to the hospital. He was lying hooked up to five different machines, including a ventilator. The room was trashed- the nursing staff hurried to clean it up as much as they could before we could see the blood stained gauze that littered the counters. The doctor came in and told us they did all that they could to save him, but it wasn't enough. We were advised to say our goodbyes. My grandmother kept whispering in my ear that he was still breathing because she could see his chest rising and falling. I couldn't bear to tell her that it was because of a machine breathing for him. This is what substance abuse looks like.

Drugs not only destroy the addict, but they destroy the family.

If you're apart of a family who has lost a loved one to drugs, know that you are not alone. Do not be ashamed to get the help you need; you're so much stronger than you think.

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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14 Things You Relate To If You Grew Up WithOUT Any Cousins

*GASP* "What, you really don't have any cousins?"

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It always shocks every person who hears me state that I do not have any cousins. For some reason, this is just hard for people to really believe when it's actually not something impossible. I think we are all just so used to large families that it sounds weird when people say that they have no cousins. Yet, it is definitely a potential reality, and actually impossible if each of your parents is the only child to your grandparents.

Here are 14 things that you can relate to if you grew up without any cousins.

1. Nobody believes you when you say that you don't have any cousins

I'm serious, for the tenth time.

2. Your grandparents spoil you

With no other grandchildren to worry about, it's pretty easy to do.

3. You don't understand when people say that cousins are your first best friends

My best friend was my first best friend.

4. You and your siblings are always the youngest people at family events

This was simultaneosuly a good thing and a bad thing.

5. You get all of the attention at holidays

Since you're the youngest one around, then distant relatives are always doting over you.

6. Everything you do is deemed awesome by your extended family because there is nobody to compete with

It's much easier to be praised when you aren't being compared to someone similar to your age.

7. You don't know how to hold babies

You're never around them so why would you?

8. Family photos are pretty easy to coordinate

The less people, the easier.

9. Other family members spoil you just because 

Afterall, you are the only kid around...

10. The family will make comments regarding the potential for you to have a cousin as a justification for why they aren't doing something for you

When you hear, "I can't buy you too much because someday your aunt is going to have kids and I will have to do the same for them" you cringe and just had to know that all of the attention wouldn't last forever.

11. Birthdays are always a big deal

A perk of not having very many to remember.

12. If your parents' siblings own pets, then you refer to the animal as your cousin

Cat cousins, dog cousins, lizard cousins, and fish cousins can be pretty cool, actually.

13. Sometimes you dream of marrying into a big family

This is to ensure that your kids do grow up with cousins.

14. You appreciate the closeness of your tight-knit fam

Maybe the only thing you would miss if you had a big family is the opportunity to develop such close bonds with the few relatives that you do have.

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