What will it take?

Forty days in the hospital. Fourty plus, actually. You’ve been committed, you have a conservator. Your life is no longer your own. You’ve lost the most intrinsic quality given to us all at birth, your ability to make your own decisions. And still, you don’t seem to have learned. It’s the pot, Scott. It’s the weed, it’s the drugs, it’s the addiction. EVERY time you use, or start obsessing about using, you lose. You lose you. You lose the people who care about you. You lose your life. 

Don’t you realize this yet? What is it going to take? 

I do not want to see you in a group home. I do not want to see you in a facility, for the rest of your life. But that is where you are headed. Quickly. 

Or dead. One or the other. 

And you have nobody to blame here but yourself for this. Your constant choice of this lifestyle. Of the drugs. This is your choice, and the result is this. 

I do not want to face what is coming. I keep seeing myself at your funeral. Sitting nearest your family, because…. while I may not be close to the person you are right now, in your addiction and illness, at this moment, I earned my spot there. I am the closest thing outside your actual blood family, TO family. The closest you ever got to a wife. I earned my spot there by loving you, by caring for you. By trying to save you, time and again. And I’m going to be the widow, and everyone is going to know it, except the one person who it should have mattered to most. You. 

I don’t want to be there. I don’t want to see that. I don’t want to grieve you, and dammit, you are forcing me to face it. You’re choosing to force grief upon me, and upon all the others who love you. You selfish bastard.

You had 40 days. You had meds. The marijuana is out of your system, but you made damned sure that it would be there waiting for you when you got out, instead of choosing to do better for yourself. 

What is it going to take? 

My heart is shattered. 

Dear Beloved,

Committed. I can’t believe you’ve been committed. 

Writing these words out, seems too surreal. I can’t get my head around the fact of where you are, in what state you are in. 

I know you are better off where you are, in some ways, than out on the streets. But it is so contrary to human nature to wish you there. 

I hate the thought of you sitting in that place. And every fiber of my being wants to run to you. To be by your side. But I’m not sure how much of “you” is still there to visit. 

I’ve been holding off my grief, awaiting some sort of sure prognosis. Truly, right now, from where I stand, it seems grim. You are showing little improvement. And with each passing day I wonder if you will ever come back to yourself. If you will ever again be the person I knew you to be, the person I had come to expect you being. 

My new job has been keeping me busy. To be honest, I haven’t the time or energy to grieve you during the week. And then, on the weekend, I’ve been keeping myself busy as well. I feel like I’m marching to the beat of my sponsor, and doing what feels wholly unnatural for me to do. Granted, in the moment, in absence of a true prognosis, many would say it is premature to start mourning you. But perhaps my mourning for you started a long time ago, and I just buried it deep, and tried to ignore it. I feel like the ability to grieve you was robbed from me by this program. I’m supposed to focus on myself. I’m supposed to stop obsessing over you. But how do I know what is normal grieving, and what is obsession? 

Right now, all I know is that I miss you. So very, very much. I’m clinging to the last few sweet words that you said to me in the last week or so before you were admitted. You promised you would always be there when I needed you by my side the most. And here I am, selfishly hurting because you can’t be. 

There is so much I want to discuss with you. With the sane you. So much I want to tell you about, show you. I want you to be celebrating my victories with me. I want your eagerness for my success to infect me, as it always did. I want you to see the changes I’ve made in my life, and when I’m tired by this new schedule I’m keeping with my new job, I want to collapse on your couch while you make a quick dinner, and then feel your comfort, through your physical affection, or merely your closeness as we listened to music, and relaxed together. 

Our relationship wasn’t always perfect. In fact, it was so often not. And sometimes, you were not the partner I needed and deserved. But I knew that you gave me the best you had to give. I knew you cared. I knew I meant something to you. I cherished our time together, so much. I miss having you to talk to. I miss being known and understood the way you knew and understood me. And I’m so scared I will never feel it again. 

In fact, there is a pit in my stomach telling me I never will. And it’s such a lonely feeling. I’m tired of being told that I can’t know that yet. And I’m tired of having the faults in our relationship thrown into my face, as if to tell me that they should make me grieve less, or feel your loss less harshly. 

I am well aware of our faults. I am well aware that our relationship was not healthy. But I did love you. And knowledge is so very distant from the processes of the heart. I can’t make myself love you less, or miss you less, or hurt less that you’re simply no longer “there”. 

Tell me what to do, my love. Tell me if I should try to visit you. Tell me if you want to see me. If I should see you. Tell me what to do, what to feel, talk to me, and let me hear “you” breaking through the insanity of your diseases. 

I gave you my heart. I think when I did, I realized it wouldn’t be a relationship I could just ..easily get over. Or leave behind. I very much felt myself to be your mate. Destined from birth. And though you left me months ago, and though I struggled to move on, I have never truly stopped loving you in that way.

I have come to accept that your love for me was not the same. But, that still doesn’t lessen my feelings for you. Love is not rational. 

I miss you so very, very much. I guess I believed, deep inside, that one day, you’d find a way to manage your illness, and when you got stable, you’d learn how to operate your life in such a way that it would allow you to balance your recovery, and other issues, with a relationship. That maybe one day you’d wake up and realize how much I did love you, how truly committed I always was to you, and you’d settle your heart, and accept my love, entirely. 

But now, it doesn’t seem that day will ever come. As if that day was robbed. Perhaps you tried to spare me this pain. But here I am. I only know how to love at one speed. Full throttle. So now, I’m still stuck here, loving you with an ache that just won’t go away.

Please get better, Scott. Please know that I’m there with you in spirit, rooting you on, praying for your recovery. 

I love you. 


When there’s nothing else to do:

When there is nothing else to do….

As there is now.

Nothing else I can offer, nothing else I can say, nothing else I can fight, to fight for you.

I pray. And I’m praying now, Scott.

Right now, I don’t know if I want you out of the hospital, or if I want them to keep you longer. Because I’m torn between the part that hates seeing you caged up in a hospital, and the part that is terrified for you.

I want you to be able to accept how sick you are/were. I want you to be able to see that you HAD to go into the hospital, and get back on your meds. I want you to understand that the only path you were on led to either death, or jail. That there WAS no positive outcome that could have come from where you were going.

You were terrifying, Scott. I worried for you, I worried for those who knew you. I worried for strangers that encountered you.

You were an entirely different person than I had ever known, and not one I cared to know further. But this new you was drowning out the real you, the you I’d loved.  Keeping him from living. Keeping him from eating, sleeping, laughing, loving.  And I couldn’t let you die.

I wasn’t the one who called crisis. But I was thankful when they took you. I had every hope in the world that you would finally get some help accepting your illness, and your addiction, and you would realize you needed to stop.

That you would realize how very loved you are. That you would realize how much you have to offer the world when you are ill, but how very, very critically ill you were.

I couldn’t stand to see you wasting away, physically, as you were. Starving yourself to death. Living in a hovel of chaos. I couldn’t stand to see the danger you were putting yourself, and others in. I couldn’t stand to see you neglect the feeding of your cats, who were innocent victims to your illness. I couldn’t stand to see you bully people, who were trying to help you. I couldn’t stand to see the sweet you that I loved so much, be killed off by your diseases. I couldn’t. That’s not you. That’s not the you I loved.

Scott, you were sick. I don’t want to write a list of everything that you did and said. But there was nobody on this earth who would have looked at you and thought you healthy. Nobody on this earth who wouldn’t have known you were very, very ill.

I hid from you. For the very first time in ALL the years I’ve known you, I felt the need to hide from you. You were in such a state, that to be around you could only lead to destruction. I feared you might hurt me, or yourself, or someone else, if I said something that you didn’t like. And I was always saying something you didn’t like, because you didn’t like anything sane. You didn’t like anything that did not match with your distorted views of reality.

And even now, I am worried that you have no idea how truly distorted those views were.

I think you’ve been sick for quite some time. That without counseling, your meds were not enough to speak truth to your insanity.  And then you went off the meds even.

Oh, God, Scott. I don’t even want to be saying these things. I don’t.

But you’ve got to understand, you HAVE to understand, you were functioning in a completely different reality than the rest of the world.

And you were so unpredictable….anything could have happened.

I want to know that you will understand. That you will see. That you will admit you need the help of meds, and counseling. That you will understand that every single time you start to use drugs, you start to go manic. That it is not just a coincidence, but that it is a causeational effect. I need to know that you will finally accept that you cannot go this alone, that you cannot forgo therapy, that you cannot forgo meds. That you cannot use substances.

More than that, I need you to understand how important you are to me, and to others who love you. I need you to understand that you need to safeguard your health, so that you can safeguard those you love, too. Because when you are sick, like you’ve been, you hurt us. You hurt us, you terrify us, and you rob us of your vital, beautiful essence that you are when you are well. You cause us to grieve you.

Scott, if you were to die, I would not survive it. It’s not like when Scot F. died, or when Jim died. You….

You’re in every story I tell. My vocabulary has become a shared vocabulary of yours and mine. You have become part of the fabric from which I’m made. You’re part of me on a cellular level. I wouldn’t survive it. I wouldn’t survive seeing you in prison. Or dead. And you know, it would even be tremendously hard if you were put in a home for the rest of your life. And those are the ONLY possible outcomes if you do NOT come out of this.

I need you to be out there, happy. I need you to be out there, at peace. I need to imagine you pouring over text books, I need to look forward to the day you graduate. I need to imagine you drinking cup after cup of coffee, listening to your music, playing with your cats. I need to know that you’re living, and enjoying life. Accepting life on lifes terms.

Scott, you matter to me. You need to know how deeply you matter to me. You need to know how much I love you. How much it hurts me when I see you starving, and wasting away. How much it hurts when I see you living in an apartment that looks like a cyclone passed through it. How much it hurts to think of you allowing your cats to go hungry because you can’t even remember to feed those precious creatures, who have been such good friends to you. It hurts when you scream at me as if I were a stranger. It hurts when you no longer see me as your friend. It hurts me when you look at me as if I were the enemy, when I would give anything, ANYTHING to save you. It hurts when you go running off, to meet with people who are irresponsible, and dangerous, when you are in such a state, and to imagine you getting beat up again, or worse, killed. It hurts to see you bleeding. It hurts to see you incapable of processing reality.

It literally feels like you are punching me in the heart, when I see these things. It hurts, on a physical level.

I want you well, Scott. I want to know you’re well, even if we never see each other again. I need to know you are well.

Losing you, would be losing a part of myself, and I don’t think I could take the pain of that amputation.

So different now.

There is a song, by a band I like. “Girlyman”. It’s called “Somewhere Different Now”. 

Now I’ve just been reeling, staring up at the ceiling, wishing someone would reach out, come and bust up my hide out. 

I’m not quite lost, but not quite found. I’m just somewhere different now“. 

Seems to describe that point I’m at perfectly. 

The thing is, I’m not over you. I don’t know that it is possible to be over you. And I think I understand why. It’s because you’re actually two different people. There’s the you you were when we first met, and who you were at the beginning of each reunion. And then, there’s the you you are when you’re relapsed on substances, and not treating your mental illness. The thing is, the one I love, is always pushed out by the one I hate. The one who hurts me. Who screams at me. Who says awful things to me. Who rejects me. Who leaves me. And I never really get to say a proper goodbye to the person I love. And I can’t make him stay either. 

…..I’ve finally realized I’m powerless over your disease.

That’s the found part. I guess. I’ve found out that I’m powerless. I’ve found out that nothing I did caused it, and that nothing I can do would cure it. I’ve found out that I deserve happiness, and fulfillment. I’ve found out that it’s not healthy for either of us to be together. I’ve found out that I have become a manifestation of your illness, by enabling. I’ve found out that I’ve become a safety net. I’ve found out that what we have is not healthy love. 

But to do that, I had to get lost, too. I had to lose my sense of direction. I had to lose my heart. I had to grieve. I had to hurt. And that…that is a process I can get lost in, all too easily. And it doesn’t take much. And each time I reach out to you, and get sucked in for a moment, I wind up losing you all over again. And I wind up losing me all over again. And I wind up losing my heart again. And I have to begin grieving all over again, when you tell me to “get lost” again.

So, here I am, sitting at home on my computer, while you’re in the hospital..hopefully getting better. And I’ve got this small nauseous knot in my stomach, not knowing what to hope for, not knowing what to expect, fearing my response to you when you’re out, in one way, or the other.

I fear that you’ll reach out to me, and I’ll be too weak to resist. I fear that you won’t, and that you’ll wind up hooking up with one of the women you were trying to get together with prior to your hospitalization. I fear the truth: That you wanted me around as your safety net. But that you don’t really want me. That you’re not capable of real love. That I simply won’t hear from you, simply won’t ever hear that you’re sorry. Simply will never hear that you care enough about me to BE sorry, for all that you’ve put me through, time after time. 

I fear that I’ll never stop loving you, or wishing for a different reality. 

I fear that I’ll never be able to let go, truly. 

I know what I should feel. I know I should be thankful if you do move on. I know I should let you go gracefully, and focus on myself. I know I’d be lucky if these feelings faded, and I was able to open myself to true love one day. 

But try to get that through to my stubborn heart. 

A day at a time. Some days, a minute at a time. I try to choose what’s best for me. Knowing it means watching you go. 

And my heart aches, for the reality that never was. 

And because of the reality that is. 

I wish I could fly far away from here, from this town we share. From constant reminders of you.

It hasn’t been long enough yet. Seven months, was not long enough for me to let you go. I’m not quite lost, but not quite found…

I’m just somewhere different now. 



Missing you.

Good Morning, my beloved.

There could be a million posts by this same name. I miss you every moment, of every day, when we are not together.

But the sweet smell of spring in the air on this amazingly beautiful March morning, make the missing you all the more potent.

On mornings like this, I long to wake with you. To share a cup of coffee with you over the news paper, and then sneak back to bed to make love with the breeze from the open windows skipping over our skin, and then languidly stretch out beside you in repletion.

I imagine turning to you and saying “And what shall we do in these hours together?”.  And heading off on some small adventure. Everything with you always seemed like an adventure. Even something so simple as going to the grocery store, or pharmacy, or to buy cigarettes. It was the adventure of exploring each other that fulfilled me. Our thoughts, our reflections, our insights, and opinions, and observations. This is the adventure that never grew old.

Sometimes I wish that we lived together, against all logic. Because, I figure, that if we DID live together, you’d have no choice but to return to me at some point, when you’d finished whatever internal task you were working at. That somehow, I could help you learn to find the way to overcome your obstacles, to deal with the fluctuations in your mood, head them off at the pass, so to speak.

If you but had time to get yourself into a daily pattern with me. Know that there was no rushed deadline you had to meet, to squeeze time with me in, because I’d be there with you, all the time. Even the most meaningless small task in our shared space, would still be together time. And you would have alone time, when I worked, or when I went out with friends, or to do errands and chores. But I suppose that this is unrealistic.

And arrogant. I think the demons that haunt you would simply find another way to manifest themselves. For whatever reason you try to push me away, repeatedly, has not been confronted.  And may never be fully understood within you. It is self destruction, and fear. And it’s not just fear of love, or commitment, but a fear of your own success, or that you might never reach that success.

I wish I could help you to believe in yourself. I have tried, so hard to do so. I wish I could instill within you not only the joy of being able to see each small accomplishment the way that I see it through my eyes when I watch you. I wish I could instill in you the patience with which I view the obstacles that jump in your way, at times. The gentleness with which you need to treat yourself, the realization that it is okay to go slower than the peers you hold yourself in comparison to, on your road to success. That it is okay, to go at the pace you need to go, one day after another, moment by moment. That there is no time limit, that you can get there only IF you treat yourself gently.

I picture it this way. You’re in a marathon, but you’re running it with an injury. You’ve wanted to join this marathon, and finish it, every day of your life. But this injury has not allowed you to ever even entertain the thought of beginning it. And then, after a lot of therapy, and treatments, you got there, to the starting line. Your injury is still bothersome, it pulls, and aches, and stiffens, but you are determined to finish this race. So now you are faced with a choice. Knowing you have this injury, you can run this race at full throttle, full speed, knowing that if you run too fast, and put too much weight on that “bad leg”, that you can maybe make it to the half point in record speed, but then you won’t be able to make it to the finish line. The leg will blow out, and you won’t be able to finish, and perhaps, never be able to run again. Or, you can take the race slowly. Jog it, and then walk it, and rotate between those two speeds. Then, when you are in feet of the finish line, you can blaze through at blinding speed, turning to your spectators, and supporters, and seeing their pride in seeing you accomplish your life long dream of finishing a marathon.

What would you choose to do, beloved? The world has a certain percentage of amazing athletes who can accomplish incredible feats of incredible speeds in running such events.  Not everyone who runs them will finish in the top ten percentile. And these are people who do nothing but train, night and day, most of their lives. But even they started out clocking in at a slower speed. Even they sometimes faced setbacks. That marathon you accomplished, for the very first time, could be your first, of many, if you but held back, and ran it at your own pace. Then set yourself your next goal of beating that speed by just a little. And each race after that, just a bit more. This is the race of your life, my love.

We all want to see you succeed. We all want to see you cross the finish line. But we grieve to see you hurting yourself doing it. Because if your final goal is becoming an “athlete” figuratively, then the way to do that is not by blowing your chances before you even get there.

So take time, to slow down..to appreciate one accomplishment at a time. Make sure that you’ve mastered the weight machine, and then the treadmill, and that you’ve managed to jog around the block, and then increased your speed by shaving off five seconds the next time. One step at a time. Know that you can, and will get there, but that you’ve got to take care of that injury, in order to do it.

God I love you. After everything, I still love you so much. It feels like I’m functioning on half a brain, because the other half of it is with you. It beats in all the hopes, dreams, memories, concerns, that I have had for you..all this time.

I don’t know how to separate my thoughts, my feelings, from you. You’re in every one of them. “I” ceased to be, when I fell in love with you..”I” turned into “We”, and now I don’t begin to know how to find “Me” again. And the problem is, I really don’t want to. Everything I did with you was so much more..wonderful, than anything I ever did alone. So much more pleasurable, and joyous. And the visions of the future that I had with you, can’t be replaced.

I still want to be there, when you cross every finish line.

I thought today, of how I can know that you truly did love me. That you haven’t left me for lack of love for me.

And the answer comes immediately. You treated me, all along, with infinite tenderness, and utmost respect. I have witnessed outbursts you have had on others. I have witnessed your tempers, and rages. And I have never truly seen you reach that point with me. You did manage to control your shadow self all the time with me. True, there were moments where I knew your control was slipping, but I could see how hard you fought to maintain it. And I believe that these long absences, are your attempt to avoid that slide into anger, and not victimize me by it. This is how I know that you love me.

And I thank you for that, Love. For never willfully hurting me in the myriad of ways you could find to do so.

I love you..I’ll keep loving you. I’ll be loving you with even my last breath on this earth. This I know.