i got through another meeting last night, even though there were emotional moments.  At first, i felt a lil awkward, since the majority of the people in the group have living relatives, and not dead ones who were addicts.  So, i tried to put it into context, thinking about the ones who i know have lost loved ones.  That did, in a way, balance some of my uneasiness.  My mind continues to go in so many directions at the same time, that my thoughts tend to become jumbled… {i get frustrated, still, when someone asks me to explain something, and i know what i’m trying to say, and expect that information to come out of my mouth, but somewhere along the way, there seems to be a glitch, of sorts.  It’s like my mouth has it’s own…brain?  i dunno…i remember how i felt, initially, after coming out of a coma, in ’97.  i believe then, a lil worse than now, my wiring was a bit off…. It frustrated me, to no end, since i knew what point i was trying to make, but when the words came out of my mouth, they were totally unrelated to the subject matter, at times.  That’s like a good hard kick in the gut, when you’ve been accustomed to knowing what you’re saying and doing, and actually getting it done.  Just another one of those learning experiences that can really teach or break a person, i guess.  i dunno…}  Anyway, i got through it–that’s pretty much all that matters.  i spent quite a bit of time yesterday, thinking about Shelby… i’m trying to learn and work on my own feelings and ideas of how most mothers (i believe) feel a high level of guilt, when they lose a child.  Personally, i’ve always felt a need to shoulder a lot more guilt than humanly possible, in an effort to protect other people.  This has worked out sooooooooooooooooooooooo well for me in the past.  *sigh  i know.  But, for the purpose of  coping with my daughter’s death and the other issues that are present, afterward, the guilt is obviously a bit different.  Of course, i question myself over whether i ever should’ve left, to begin with, though she’d already left the month before.  So, i go on to question if i’d stayed a bit closer and had easier access to my kids, would that’ve made a difference?  Then, i have to turn the light bulb back on:  my kids were not the reason i left–they never were.  i left so they wouldn’t be the ones to come in and find my lifeless body.  They didn’t know any of the private details that’d happened between their father and myself, and even now, i don’t think it’s right to share those things with your kids, especially when they’re under the age of 18….  i never spoke negatively about their dad, regardless of what was going on between us.  i felt they needed to know the positive….i just didn’t see any reason to sway their thinking, and it’s not like they didn’t see some of the negative….  Anyway, regarding Shelby, she tried so desperately, to get her father’s approval, especially after she’d started other issues, earlier on….  (the dodging school to be with friends; and then, trying to run away).  i have to say though, even though we didn’t speak more than the one time on the phone or message for more than the final six months of her life, i will always be grateful i had that time with her.  It could’ve been so much worse…i know this.  Death is bad enough–painful enough for the ones left behind.  i just wish i’d had a clue or known….i don’t know if that would’ve even made a difference, in the long-run.  But, to have been left out of so much….*sigh  It’s just hard to figure out what i’m supposed to feel–not that there’s any manual to go by or how things should happen.  All i can say at this point:  i have no control over any other person’s choices or actions, on this earth, other than my own.  And, sometimes, i don’t feel like those are totally within my control, either.  i am powerless over the decisions others make.  i have to find my own self and learn to enjoy some of this “life,” before it’s too late.  

Be well my dear friends and fellow tribe members.  Learn to trust your gut.  Learn to love yourselves.  You truly do matter.  Remember: you are NOT alone–lean in when you need to–and share a shoulder with someone who needs one, too.  Take care of yourselves.  ***Hugs***


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