Forgiveness is Tricky 

“I forgive you” it just rolls off the tongue. To forgive goes much deeper than words. Forgiveness is an action driven by emotion. To practice forgiveness takes mindfulness, dedication, and a willingness to move forward.

With our 5 month old in tow we headed to an ENT. His infection had spread through his sinus cavities and was threatening to enter his brain. He needed surgery to figure out his diagnoses. I had no idea what was about to unfold.

Surgery day, that hallway where I got the news, is burned into my memory. Hearing the surgeon say the words “he’s lucky he isn’t dead” started a serious of events that changed our lives forever.

A rush of thoughts and reactions exploded all at once in my head. Then it felt as if someone had karate chopped my throat. I fell to my knees that morning, everything went dark, my ears were ringing so loud I couldn’t hear, my chest was pounding, my stomach in a knot. When the hot sweats left I caught my breath, I called my best friend. He showed up pronto. His hug was the kind of hug you never forget.

As my bestie and I talked it out I explained how I thought I was losing my mind. That it was a relief to know I was dealing with a man who had an addiction. He encourage me to seek help. Scared, broken and feeling like I couldn’t even trust myself, I went for that help. I did not know what I was in for.

First thing the therapist said “Be sad, be angry, have a pity party. Get your self to a meeting. But figure out whether or not you are on this journey with him. (Great advice) I was forced to really look at myself and figure out where my place was in our mess, cause hell ya I was angry, so angry in fact that I was stuck. I just wanted to punch him. It felt like I’d never be able to move on. As I worked through those emotions my therapist said “When you are ready to forgive, I’ll introduce the tools of forgiveness. But you need to be ready.”  I never would have thought learning and practicing forgiveness would be the hardest part of the recovery process.  She later shared “Your heart has to be in it and willing to do the work.” Mind blown! So I began to learn how to forgive.

I sat in a room full of mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, wives, husbands, sisters and brothers. Horror stories being thrown around like war stories. The devastation caused by their loved ones was awful, unspeakable acts of pain had been inflicted. I found comfort in these people’s stories. To have someone know your shit show with no explanation was nirvana. It was in these meetings I found an understanding of my love for my active user and I found my will to forgive.

To forgive is to let go of the pain and replace it with hope.  Forgiving offers up so much more than another chance. It opens your mind to the compassion your heart wants to give. To forgive him has been the single hardest task I’ve faced next to birthing our daughter. The act of forgiving him has given me inner peace an awareness I’m not sure I would have found otherwise.

Faced at forgiving him a second time I realized I now need to learn to forgive myself. What a wierd turn of events. Not sure there are meetings for this. Lol

There Was No Saving Him

Self preservation is a strange thing, it goes against how I’m hard wired. I’m wired to walk into tornados not walk away from them. Put others first and if there’s time left over than focus on myself.

Just when I think I have a handle on self care I blink and realize that is not at all what I’m doing. Sit still, quiet my mind, breathe, find my joy. These things are wrapped up in my daily choices. These should be my first thoughts. I turn to the outside world first forgetting to look inside myself and take inventory. What do I need? What choices should I make to remain in balance.
I walked away from a friend in need… he took his life. It haunts me. I never talk about him or that time, it’s a pain I’ve never been able to face. I couldn’t bring myself to attend his memorial, I haven’t been able to face his Mom. There was nothing I could do, I offered up some advice he couldn’t hear. My “self preservation” fell at a time when he needed me most. I was putting myself back together after having Hadley. I could hardly handle my own broken, never mind his. I have very few regrets, this is one. I should have defaulted to my old ways of putting others first. I do realize there was no “saving him”, still as I’ve started to own my part, I would have handled myself completely differently.

I know he’s found peace, I’m pretty sure he’s not angry with me, so I’ve decided instead of lugging around this regret I will allow his death to inspire me to find my own peace. Stay committed to self preservation but add an awareness I didn’t have at that time.

I miss his laugh, the way my head fit so nicely into his armpit when he’d give me his signature side hug. I miss the talks, the crys, the music we’d listen too. Light and love my friend.