The following is a guest article from one of my greatest friends from the last 15 years, and the first ever guest post on this blog.
We all have our own way of dealing with grief but it takes a lot of courage to open up and write about such raw emotions in this way, so thank you Beccy, you’re a strong and wonderful woman and I love you.
So where do I start, I suppose I should start with the loss that has made me understand and realise how I have dealt with all my problems all my life. I have lost many people in my life, close friends, family and I have never looked at the way I have dealt with those losses until I lost my grandma.
The moment I got that call to say my grandma had terminal cancer something in me changed. Don’t get me wrong I have lost some dear friends and family but that moment my whole world shattered because I hadn’t realised before that other than my mother, my grandmother was one of the biggest influences in my life. I didn’t know how to process what I had been told, couldn’t understand what I was feeling. I didn’t cry, I didn’t get angry, I just sat there and stared into space and my mind was actually blank, that is how I know that this was different to everyone else I have lost.
To try explain let me give an example, my other grandmother was with a man who I looked at as a granddad, I grew up not having a grandfather in my life and when he came into mine he was like a kindred spirit, he was an ex-alcoholic like myself and when I had a relapse he was the one who helped me. I later found out that all along he had been secretly drinking and that demon was what killed him, he shot himself in the head at the end of his garden and let my grandmother be the one to find him. Now with that loss I cried and screamed and was beside myself. So why I asked myself did I not do all that when my dear grandmother was diagnosed with terminal cancer?
After the diagnosis I completely shut down. I can’t remember much of what happened, the doctors told us she had a few months left but honestly she lasted 6 weeks, in those 6 weeks I shut off from reality, started drinking and taking drugs again, this is no excuse but just before my grans diagnosis I had just found out my grandad had shot himself so as you can imagine I was all over the place. I wasn’t there for my mum when she needed me, I started to resent my mum because she didn’t and doesn’t understand the dark cloud that I have had hanging over me for most of my life. I mean most people would probably be thinking “my God how selfish of you” but I couldn’t help it, this disease sometimes makes you selfish, and the only way I can describe it is it makes you shut down emotionally and all you think about is how your feeling because those feelings inside you are somehow heightened.
So halfway through my grans last weeks I had to leave and go down south to my other grandma to be there for the funeral of my grandad and I stayed with her till two days before her birthday in 2010, the day I went home I went straight to the hospice my grandma was in. Her last wish was to see me before she died and say goodbye, but when I got there the staff had to sedate her so all I saw was my poor grandma laying there unable to move, unable to feel. So I sat with her and spoke to her I held her hand and I said goodbye she squeezed my hand so in that moment I knew she was saying goodbye. After that I made my excuse and said I wanted to take my cases home and I would come back to the hospice. I didn’t. I went home called my ‘friends’ and got wasted, I did what I now know I’ve always done I ran away from it, my feelings, my emotions, my family.
I got the text the next morning at 11.11 am on the 19th may 10 days after my birthday that my gran had passed away peacefully. I didn’t cry, I didn’t feel, I just took more drugs. I had unknowingly pushed myself further away from my family by being so selfish and not facing up to my feelings and not standing by them. That’s how I now know and realise what I’ve always done when something hard hits me I run away and try to blank it all out. That was 7 years ago nearly and in those 7 years I have learnt so much about my past and how I’ve dealt with things.
I don’t know if I’m dealing with things in the right way now, I don’t think I am as I still keep all my feelings and emotions locked up inside, I am what you would call a social recluse, I don’t go out unless absolutely necessary although I am trying to push myself into social situations more. The reason I think I find it so hard is because all I’ve ever known from the age of 22 is to socialise while on drugs or drink, I put myself into a world where I could forget all about what was real life and just have fun with like minded people, I opened up whilst on drink and drugs and told people some of deepest secrets and feelings and I made myself believe that they cared but they didn’t, not really only my true friends who are still there for me now cared, but that’s what depression does to you, it makes you grab hold of things that feel good and that aren’t real but you want them to be so much.
Which brings me to a massive loss that started off my wayward behaviour, although this person is still alive it’s still a massive loss to me as you will realise when I explain, I got pregnant at 16 and had a beautiful baby boy when I was 17, he was and is an amazing child, I met his father when I was 15 and he was my first real love but it wasn’t all good. We argued, a lot, and it turned violent when when I fell pregnant, that’s when his abuse started. He would mentally break me down and physically beat me, I felt lost until I had my baby boy but it got worse when he was born, it got so bad that one day I lost it and beat him back that’s when I knew it had to end and I sent him away from me and my son. What I hadn’t realised was how he had scarred me mentally and I started going out drinking, I left my son with my brother when I went out but one night my son hurt himself and I hadn’t noticed till the next day. I can’t get into that right now but it lead to me losing him and him having to go and live with my father and step mother who he is still with now at the age of 16.
That’s when I went out of control on a downward spiral of drug and drink abuse. At first it was great met some amazing people and had some amazing times! But that’s when I lost a close friend. Her name was Lisa and we were very close but we lost contact as I was going through addiction at the time. It was one of my biggest regrets as in the time we didn’t speak she became a mother but a few months later she took her own life, her funeral was when I was half way through a rehab, I ended up being late for the funeral and unable to say my goodbyes which hurt me deeply. I didn’t end up finishing rehab as I was drinking and taking drugs while I was there so I obviously wasn’t ready to get help.
I have lost many friends before and after Lisa, and many of them were through drugs, and you would think I would learn by all this but I didn’t, although I came through all my addictions and I’m now in control. I very rarely drink but that is mainly because I have distanced myself from many people and become a kind of recluse. I have many more things that have happened in my past but I will write about them in the near future but for now thank you for reading.
About the Author
My names Beccy, I’m 34 and live in Leeds. My profession is customer service, I love to read and write. I’m currently single and I live on my own in a nice one-bedroom flat in a lovely area. I feel I’m in a good place right now but things could be better and hopefully will be in the future.