I’ve talked before about the survivor’s guilt I battle daily. The guilt of looking back from the other side of addiction. Why am I here? Why are the others stuck or even worse, dead?
I don’t know how long this guilt will stay with me.
I have a neighbor that lives 3 doors down from me. I’m not sure how old she is…mid forties maybe? I’m not close friends with her, but we’ve bumped in to each other over the years. We have kids the same age. Our daughters aren’t tight but they run in the same circle, I know her son from the days I worked at the middle school. One time him and a friend snuck to my home in the middle of the night and left notes to me everywhere. Your the best they all said.
The very first time I met this neighbor I was picking my daughter up. She had went to a party at her house for her son. I remember the lady invited me in. You want to watch The Girls Next Door and drink a beer? I said no, at the time I wasn’t a heavy drinker. I kept my drinking at home. She seemed nice enough. I did learn she managed a restaurant that had been in her family for years. She told me how hard it was, but that she loved it.
As I went up and down in my life, I now know she did as well. She had to sell the restaurant. The new owners kept her as an employee but according to her they weren’t nice and ran her out. My daughter says she believes that is when my neighbor first started loosing control.
My daughter has a boyfriend of 5 years. This boyfriend is best friends with my neighbor’s son. Because of this my daughter has been in and out of that house for years.
I’ve always seen the house was known for parties. Drive by and there would be 15 cars there. Teenagers to adults. Complete opposite from my home, where I locked people out.
Multiple times I’d run into my neighbor. I watched her turn from a very pretty lady, to a person that was completely miserable. I worked at a gas station for a short time. She’d come in and say oh good grief my husband ran out of beer. I knew this lie because at the time, I said it too. I’d talk to my daughter….no he didn’t even drink tonight, she did.
The last time I saw her I was no longer a drinker. She was buying the same brand 30 pack I’d bought for years. She was drunk. I heard the same line….my husband needed beer. My husband was in our car waiting for me. My neighbor and I talked for awhile. She wanted a job so bad. Asked me to go looking with her. We could talk and hang out. This was what she was saying….we’ll be friends. I felt so bad for her. Trapped in my pill addiction, I could see me in her. I wasn’t drinking but I was no different than her. We were both sad miserable moms and wives. Trapped in our own skin. I got back in my car, who the heck was that? Our neighbor, you didn’t recognize her? No….I don’t want you hanging out with her. That worries me. I understand honey, don’t worry. I was just being nice to her, I won’t volunteer my friendship right now.
My husband isn’t rude or judgmental. He’s quite the opposite. He has a huge heart and was fighting to protect me from myself. It wouldn’t be good for me to become best friends with a known drinker at that time. Maybe never.
I never heard from her again. Didn’t run into her at the gas station anymore. Any news I heard was through my daughter.
About 2 months ago my daughter told me she has cirrhosis of the liver.
My neighbor never picked up another drink. I don’t know if this is true or not, but it’s what her kids believe.
Her kids were angry, upset. This upset my daughter. I tried to explain. Remember how angry you were with me? Think about my own moma. How angry am I with her. How would I be if she was sick. I believe you can turn fear to anger because that’s way easier to deal with….I won’t judge her kids. They are kids….late teens.
It’s been up and down. She’s better, she’s not, she needs a transplant, she’s in the hospital, she’s back out.
My daughter, who has a heart as big as her daddys told her boyfriend’s moma about the neighbor. Her response was goog god! She drank that much?? This was said as she was guzzling her wine. I can’t stand a judgemental person.
Can’t stand them! Why judge? Just keep your mouth shut…
My daughter’s boyfriend got the latest news last night. She’s on a breathing and feeding tube. The chaplain came. The doctors said it wouldn’t be long, possibly in the night.
I told my daughter you guys need to go. Go see her kids. Just let them know you are there. They went.
I don’t know how to process this. I don’t know her very well. But I do know her very well. We’ve walked down a similar path.
I’m praying for her and I have been since I heard. Even before I knew she was sick, I would think of her. Does she know how much alike we really are? Does she know there are people near her that felt bad for her? There were people that never judged and understood? I secretly rooted for her in my heart.
She’s still alive as of this writing. God could pull a miracle and she could be fine. Or the news could come at any time. According to her son, she is saved.
I’m praying for God’s will. I’m praying for her husband and her kids.
Addiction and alcoholism is so real. It kills people every day. It shouldn’t be this way. It’s an epidemic that isn’t discussed enough in my opinion.
I’m still rooting for her and all the addicts and alcoholics stuck in themselves