When someone you love dies from an overdose, your grief is replaced with anger, because this didn’t have to happen. They caused it to happen. It’s their own fault. That is why your tears are filled with rage. You hate them for leaving you. You hate them for choosing their addiction over you. You hate them for not caring enough about you, about the rest of their family, about themselves.
But at the same time, you feel like an asshole for getting angry, because you can’t even begin to imagine the pain they were going through. They weren’t stupid. If they resorted to popping pills or gulping liquor, there must have been a reason.
You know who they are deep down, you know the real them, and they would never resort to something so terrible unless they were going through unspeakable tragedies. They must have been fighting off demons you will never begin to understand. They must have been in an unbelievable amount of pain.
When someone you love dies from an overdose, you feel like you could have done something to stop it from happening. Even if everyone keeps telling you there was nothing you could have done to change things, you still blame yourself. You wonder if you could have talked sense into them. If you could have helped them put down the bottle. If you could have dragged them to rehab by their hair.
You let yourself drown in the what ifs. You convince yourself you could have been the person to save them, but you didn’t try hard enough. You feel like you failed them. And you feel like they failed you.
When someone you love dies from an overdose, you have trouble dealing with your pain. You want to reach for a beer or a blunt to numb the pain, but those are the same kind of things that killed them. Those are the same things you should stay far away from. You aren’t sure how to cope with your loss. You aren’t sure what you’re supposed to do next. You’re as confused as you are angry.
When someone you love dies from an overdose, you hate all of the time you missed out on spending with them — and you’re not just talking about the fact that they are gone now, that you will never see them again on this earth. You also missed out on seeing them for months before their death, because they weren’t really there. They were distant. They were argumentative. They were different. They were not them. Not the them you want to remember.
When you think about them in the future, you aren’t going to think about the person who hated themselves and hated the world surrounding them. You are going to think of the person they were before their addiction overtook them. You are going to think of the better days. The days when they were happy. The days when you never imagined they could turn into someone unrecognizable. The ways when you never imagined you could lose them.