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Lost the two most important people to overdose.


SaraF

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It's been more than a month that I lost my only parent to overdose. 

Growing up it was always just the three of us. My mom, brother, and me. She was always a single parent. Never married. Matt and I were her only kids. We moved all around growing up due to the ministry we were apart of. From Indiana, Idaho, California, New Hampshire, and back to Indiana.. I have some of the best memories of my life when it comes to all those moves. 

From a young age, my brother struggled with some sort of addiction. From alcohol, pills, coke, etc. He drove my mom crazy. She was a ball of nerves most of his teenage years. He only lived on his own a few times, and back to my moms he'd always end up. In 2008 my brother was diagnosed with chrones disease. Shortly after his diagnosis...he spent more than a year in prison for robbing my home while I was at work. Once I found out who did it, I dropped charges...but it wasn't in my hands any longer. The prosecutors office took charge, and decided to  move forward with everything. I ended up being the bad guy. Walking into my home alone after a long shift at work, and being almost 9 months pregnant (my husband was out of town for work).. everything came crashing down on me. My mom was upset with me, as well as my uncle. I was confused on how I could be the bad guy. Why was it my fault? After he got out, we repaired our relationship, and washed our hands of any bad feelings. 

In the years following, my brother had received many surgeries, including the worst one in which he had to wear a colostomy bag. He was on several different medications with the highest dose being a 100 mg fentanyl patch. My mom was already taking pain medication from a incident that occurred when she was 19. She was hit by a car and suffered genuine pain.  And later in life when she had the insurance to cover a hip replacement, she was told it couldn't be done due to how badly it was shattered. 

Between the both of them, my husband and I had found many things missing that would mysteriously reappear weeks later. And with each new bundle we'd bring home, my pain pills from birth would be gone every time one of them visited. I was told that my doctor would subscribe me more.. in which they never did. I had a baby, not major surgery. 

My brother died on Jan 30th 2015. He was found by my mom around 3:30am that morning. He was revived after 30 mins of intense CPR, and shock, and was rushed to our local hospital where he was put on life support. There was a lot of testing being done, and during the waiting process.. my husband and I ran to the store. We were gone for not even an hour when we got back to the hospital. He was pronounced dead. My brother was gone. He died of a heart attack lead on by overdose. As I'm grasping for air at this new knowledge, I look around for my mom and she's nowhere to be found. I asked the nurse if she had called my mom to let her know the doctors new findings of his condition and she told me that when my mom left at the same time we did.. she told the nurse she wouldn't be back for she had already said her goodbyes. I'm sorry. What? What kind of mother leaves her son on life support? I struggled to find understanding and patience with her and her actions following his death. It wasn't until a few weeks later that she called and told me she needed to go into rehab for she had a severe addiction and needed help. I took her. I stayed with her and helped pay her bills even tho her insurance would only cover 5 days. I cleaned her house, took care of her animals, and raked about 1000 bags of leaves. I did everything I could to ensure that when she did come home...the only thing she needed to worry about was her health, and getting back on track with life in general. Well, I later found out that she only went in because she had eaten all 150 percocet her Dr had been prescribing her monthly in less than a week, and was having intense withdrawal. I had absolutely no clue her addiction was that bad. I mean.. a few pain pills missing here and there..wasn't a major concern I thought. I was more annoyed that she couldn't just ask.

For the first year after my brother died I truly believed it was the grief. I did everything I could to protect her heart from the loss of our Matthew. I am a mother to 4 and could not imagine the level of grief she must've felt. I lost him too. I lost my only sibling. I lost my childhood. I lost my friend. I was devastated and a total mess like her.. but I needed to be the strong one, so I never properly have dealt with the loss of him.

That same year following my brothers death,  I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, and within 3 months had to undergo a 15 hour long diep flap surgery. I lost both breasts, was in the hospital for almost a week following the surgery. The recovery was pure hell, and in between tubes being removed, I was having to go in for smaller reconstructive surgeries, follow-ups, etc. I heard from my mom twice. She didn't come visit me in the hospital, and she stopped by my house for about 20 mins two weeks after the initial surgery. I was so hurt. I needed my mom. My only parent. Where was she? I had sacrificed time with my family, got in multiple arguments with my husband over me lending her money, and was emotionally depleted from losing our Matt. And then I get dropped with the big bomb of having Cancer? It wasn't fair. I needed my mom. 

In the next year following her rehab stint... she went in again, and then again. I was her accountability partner. I was responsible for giving her her suboxoen and making sure she was going to her meetings. I went with her. I cried with her, I accepted her apologies, I forgave her. I loved her and comforted her. She vowed to me and my kids that we were going to get her back. I was going to get my mama back, and her grand-babies were going to get their Nana back. She was back on track. She had gained almost 30 lbs in the recent months before her death, and I thought for sure... the drugs were behind her. Sure, I knew it was going to be a struggle, and some days would be better than others, but I was ready for it. I was in it for the long haul with her. She would not be alone. We got her back. So we thought...

On Friday June 15th 2018 around 4:30pm the phone calls started. First from my grandpa. He was anxious and worried for she was supposed to stop by his house around 2pm for a visit and it was not like her to not show up. I assured him she was fine. That it wasn't unlike her to not call for a day or two. She must've gotten caught up at work and forgot about their visit.. etc. etc.  Around 6pm that same evening I started receiving text messages and phone calls from other family members expressing their concern as well. I decided to go on the hunt for her bosses home number. She had worked for an elderly couple taking care of his wife who is in the final stages of advanced Alzheimer's and has been an invalid for more than 8 years. After leaving 3 vm's and eventually learning that my mom didn't show up for work that morning... well the alarm went off, and my husband and I left to make the 25 min drive south to check on her. We got to her house close to 9pm. I went to her front door, all windows, and nothing. Her dogs were going ballistic inside and I quickly remembered she had left her bedroom window unlocked for her cats who liked to perch up on their window bed. I crawled through, made the dreaded walk down her hallway calling out for her, and there she was. I ran up behind her for she had appeared to have slipped out of her computer chair and was sitting bent over on the floor. I pulled her back to me and she was cold. Her face was blue, she had foam in her mouth, and rigor mortis had set in. My mom was dead. My only surviving immediate family was gone. But how could this be I asked myself? My husband had just seen her the night before when he went over to help in her yard. She was healthy I thought. She had gained weight, was wanting to be involved in my kids' life more than ever in the previous weeks. How could all the fighting for her, and encouraging her, and the promises not have worked? How could she promise me and my family that we were going to get her back, and to stop worrying. How could she make future plans with us. How could we have just talked about the upcoming holidays. How can my mom be gone? I am so angry. I am so lost, and scared, and confused. I just don't get it. And to leave me to be the one to find her? How could she do this to me?

She hardly had 2 dimes to rub together. There was no will. No executer of estate. Nothing. I have now been left with having to take over her light and water bills just so I can start the process of moving her out. I have to obtain a ton of death certificates for all the bill people, mortgage company. I have been a mess. I still don't understand why. Why do drugs take such a hold on the ones we love and care about so much? Why am I now left without a brother, and mom from these drugs? Why do I have to raise my family without them being there for all their milestones? I just can't. I'm in a fog. I walk through each day as I am just existing. It's hard for me to get back into my work. My family. I'm broken. And I don't know how to move forward in this life without her. Without both of them. How come I received a random text message from her phone a couple days after she died asking if it was strong enough, because he hadn't heard from her. Why do they sell burner phones? Because i now can't find this guy after calling him and telling him he's the reason my mom is dead. How is this right? 

I have researched her drug of choice. The drug that killed her. Herion. I've watched documentaries, and am absolutely disgusted watching these people use this drug and go into such a trance. Kids are losing their parents to this drug. and Parent's are losing their children to this drug. It's taken over more families than not. When will it stop? How can these dealers feel good about selling straight poison to these people? They're murderers in my book. And nothing happens to them. If they're lucky enough to stay under the radar. They just keep dealing, and more and more people keep dying. It's not right. It's not fair for the families that do everything they can to help save their loved one who's an addict. Was I not good enough for my mom to want to get better? Did she really pay those bills she needed that money for? Did she really not make it to Easter because she had to work late?  Since she's been gone, I've been getting in my head too much. And the more I think about all those unanswered questions.. the more angry I get with her.  I am so f'ing angry. 

I ask for continued prayers for peace and guidance. Because those are 2 things I just can't seem to find. 

Thank you for reading if you got this far. And if you pray. Pray for my heart, please. 

-Sara

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Hello Sara. I just read your post, and I’m sitting here quietly crying trying not to wake my family. First off I’m sooo sorry for your losses. My mom just passed in April too and she was also an addict. Her thing was alcohol. I totally understand where you say that how can someone be so selfish to not want to stop for there child or grandchildren. It kills me my mom passed while my son is only three. I hate that she won’t be here to see him go into kindergarten or even high school. Just want you to know that you are not alone. It’s been three months and I can’t do anything with myself and it’s driving me crazy. If you need someone to talk to feel free to reply. Not sure how this site works but I’m here. 

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Hi Sara,

My prayers are with you, your family, your late brother Matt, and late mother.

I agree with you that this world in its current state, makes no sense. Why do we classify these as 'victimless' crimes? Can they not see the cascading impacts, the devastation, that ripples across multiple relationships as a result of their actions? 

For 5 years, I lost my mother to a gambling addiction. For the next decade, we are still enduring the repercussions. It is not the financial ruin that angers me.

I relate to you, because like you, I have extended beyond my means to nurture and heal her state of mind, find her lost self-esteem, curb her impulsivity, live with the paranoia of her relapsing into old habits. Anger in myself and in her, for breaking our trust and violating the fundamental expectations of her being a loving parent - a luxury that everyone else seemingly enjoys and takes for granted. And then there's that onset of guilt for having those thoughts!. Oh the irony. 

I tell myself this.

The problem is the addiction. She is just one person. She was fighting an internal demon that outsiders could not see, touch or feel. She understood the damage that was done, and she had to live with that guilt every single day. There was nothing more I could have done to save her from the addiction. I have forgiven her. Pray that she has forgiven herself.

I am sorry for your loss. I hope this journey does not dull your evident generosity - please continue serve others and be the light in others' darkness, prayers be with you.

M.

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Missing papa

I also lost my father to an apparent heroin overdose. Like you this has gone on and off my whole.life growing up. I dont know why bit I always thought I was prep for this day. We mended our relationship and finally I was so happy to have a healthy and active dad. I didnt even know he was using again. Now I am heartbroken and at a lost. Alone in this world as well. Thinking of you

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Sara I lost my father to suicide, by gun, not by drugs. But a drug conflict sent him into a bipolar spin. I was diagnosed with bipolar this past Christmas. It terrifies me. I have been suicidal since my early 20's. I put the gun down. Am I weaker for not pulling the trigger? Or stronger for choosing to live no matter how bad life may seem? It is not a true addiction as you and the other commenters have dealt with. But my addiction is feeling that I am a burden to my family and they would be better off without me. Despite being on medication and it working so well for about 6 months, recently I have begun to have the same thoughts. Regardless of the circumstances it is devastating when I come to my senses. I believe it is a generational curse (my fathers mother also killed herself, with,the same gun). Some peoples brains are hardwired to be super addictive (which is why I've never tried any drugs, because I know I am). Some are wired for mental issues. For all of you dealing with the guilt, it is not your fault. I also feel guilt. But, in the end, it was a choice they made knowing what the possible outcome would be. Be grateful (no matter how hard it is to understand that idea) that they are no longer in the prison of their minds.

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