When Someone You Love Dearly Dies From An Overdose

Overdose
Unsplash / Lindsay Cotter

When someone you love dies from an overdose, you are torn between feeling upset and angry. You know you are supposed to cry tears over their coffin, but you want to punch the wall instead, because they could have avoided this. 

They did not die from an unavoidable accident that no one could have ever seen coming. They brought this on themselves. They were slowly killing themselves each and every day. Thinking about the way they acted makes you sick to your stomach.

When someone you love dies from an overdose, you blame yourself, even if you did everything within your power to help them. Even if you had no idea they were struggling. Even if, deep down, you realize that you couldn’t have changed anything.

You overthink the last conversation you had together, the last time you argued, the last time you exchanged I love yous. You wish you could rewind time and say something nicer to them. You wish you wouldn’t have canceled the last time they asked to hang out or texted them back instead of called them. You wish you did something differently. You wish you did everything differently.

Friends and family will attempt to comfort you by saying all of the right things, about how they are in a better place and they are at peace now, but words never seem to help. Sometimes it makes it worse. Sometimes you want people to be angry alongside you.

Of course, some people do not even know the truth about your loved one’s death. They are told some ridiculous cover story about what caused the end of a life because others are too embarrassed to admit someone they loved overdosed. They would rather make the death seem peaceful, more palatable. They would rather play pretend and act like it happened some other ‘acceptable’ way.

When someone you love dies from an overdose, you want to scream your lungs out at them for being stupid. For making the worst decisions. For caring more about their addiction than the people who love them, the people who are currently sitting around and mourning their loss.

Some people won’t understand your anger, but that anger is only there because of how much you love them. Because the thought of them no longer being in this world makes it feel like your ribcage has been ripped from your chest, like you are bleeding onto the floors while everyone stares and watches.

When someone you love dies from an overdose, you rethink your own priorities. You decide to break your own self-destructive habits. You make a promise to yourself that you will live your best life moving forward. That you will not waste a second of your time on this planet.

When someone you love dies from an overdose, you do not know how to feel. You keep switching back and forth between hurt and angry and upset and confused. You have a hard time getting over what happened because they could have been right here, they still could have been with you. TC mark

The truth is that you can be struggling and still be loved.

You don’t have to solve your whole life tonight. You just have to show up and try. Focus on the most immediate thing in front of you. You’ll figure out the rest along the way.

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Image Credit: Unsplash / Lindsay Cotter

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