Losing someone to drug abuse

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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To The Grandmothers Who Made Us The Women We Are Today

Sincerely, the loving granddaughters.
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The relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter is something so uniquely special and something to be treasured forever.

Your grandma loves you like you are her own daughter and adores you no matter what. She is the first person you run to when you have a problem with your parents and she never fails to grace you with the most comforting advice.

She may be guilty of spoiling you rotten but still makes sure to stress the importance of being thankful and kind.

Your grandma has most likely lived through every obstacle that you are experiencing now as a young adult and always knows just exactly what to say.

She grew up in another generation where things were probably much harder for young women than they are today.

She is a walking example of perseverance, strength, and grace who you aim to be like someday.

Your grandma teaches you the lessons she had to learn the hard way because she does not want you to make the same mistakes she did when she was growing up.

Her hugs never fail to warm your heart, her smile never fails to make you smile, and her laugh never fails to brighten your day.

She inspires you to be the best version of yourself that you can be.

You only hope that one day you can be the mother and grandmother she was to you.

A piece of girl’s heart will forever belong to her grandma that no one could ever replace.

She is the matriarch of your family and is the glue that holds you all together.

Grandmothers play such an important role in helping their granddaughters to grow into strong, intelligent, kind women.

She teaches you how to love and how to forgive.

Without the unconditional love of your grandma, you would not be the woman you are today.

To all of the grandmothers out there, thank you for being you.

Sincerely,

the loving granddaughters

Cover Image Credit: Carlie Konuch

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You Don't Have To See Your Friends Every Day

We all have lives that we're trying to balance.

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For as long as I can remember, whenever I would have no plans and go on Snapchat to see all my friends having fun without me, I would get FOMO. I'd get really sad and think that they didn't care about me because they didn't invite me. It would get me in such a bad mood that it would ruin any chance of going out with someone else who wanted to hang out.

I don't know if it was just my anxiety of people hating me or if it was a fear of missing out (FOMO). Even recently, it has gotten me down. However, over the past month or so, I finally realized something: you don't have to hang out every day to still consider each other friends.

Everyone has a life that they're trying to balance, especially after high school. People work (maybe even more than one job) and go to school. Some have to take care of family members or do things for their family. Some people are focusing on themselves. Some have relationships to maintain. Whatever it is, we all have lives that we're trying to balance.

We all want to have fun, but school, work, and our families are the priorities.

Even if they're out hanging with other people, it doesn't mean that they don't want to hang out with you. Free time is served on a "first come, first serve" basis. It's hard to balance hanging out with multiple people.

I also learned that it doesn't matter the number of friends you have. What truly matters is the quality. Ask yourself, "Who's there for me when I really need someone?" The people who are there for you when you really need someone to talk to are your TRUE friends.

It's not easy to be there for someone and make them feel better. If they offer to listen or give advice, they care!

I know that it may feel like you have no friends sometimes, but that's not true. Life after high school is hard at times. You're an adult. You have to do adult things and take care of yourself first.

You have to realize that everyone has a busy schedule and not all your friends' schedules will align with yours, but that's okay! You don't need to hang out with friends every day to consider them your friends. What truly matters is if they are there for you when you need them.

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