TAMMY AUG 312023  Here we are again - Two steps forward and one step back

TAMMY AUG 312023  Here we are again - Two steps forward and one step back 

Raw reflections on a daughter's struggles, the weight of waiting, and the hope in family bonds. A mother's plea for recovery

I had intended this entry to be about grandparents raising their grandchildren and the impact it has on us and many others like us but that is going to wait until next week. 

Today I am going to write about my recent conversation with my daughter that has me feeling a little bit off, please bear with me through this one – it may come across as a bit scatterbrained. 

I haven’t heard from her in over a week which causes the worry to settle in and lately, she had been better with regular check-ins. It seemed like she was trying harder to understand the worry that her lifestyle creates and how hard that can be to deal with for her family. She hasn’t seen her children in weeks, is that good or bad? I really can’t say because it’s likely better for them to not see her looking strung out and seriously unwell ( kids may not recognize what “strung out” is but they know enough to be put off and even scared of her appearance, they can tell she is not okay) but it's also a bad thing that she is distancing herself from the kids and putting up those walls. Those walls go up really fast but they don’t come down as easily. Guilt and shame kick into high gear when she goes long stretches without seeing her children and it’s difficult to watch that struggle for her. Sadly, her children have adapted to her inconsistent presence, and erratic behavior & are used to the in & out routine that she has. 

Back to the phone call – she tells me that her and her boyfriend have been kicked out of the place they were staying (for no good reason, of course!) and they are back on the street with nothing, she continues on to tell me the usual – she hasn’t eaten in a week, she’s cold and sleeping in the park because the shelter is full and she has tried everything – there is no help available to her. I suspect that she was under the influence but didn’t bother to ask because at this point what does it even matter? She stated that she is totally fed up with her life and if she had access to a gun she would blow her own brains out so it could end right now. After that, she apologized and I told her she doesn’t have to say sorry for how she feels, she says she is only sorry for the pain it would cause us but she wants hers to end. I have experienced plenty of suicide attempts with her and this feels different and she sounds different (maybe that’s because of the drug influence, I don't know ) I can hear the defeat & hopelessness in her voice and the depression seems to be quite severe so I suggested she connect with mental health services or the hospital and she said she might try that. Hearing your own flesh and blood talk that way or hear the pain they are in, and all I can do is listen and empathize - I don’t know how to put into words what that feels like, soul-crushing seems fitting. I know this is all I can do but it doesn’t feel like it’s enough. We end the call with me expressing that we all love her very much and miss her terribly and that I believe in my heart that better days are ahead for her, she just needs to hold on, don’t give up, recovery is right around the corner - almost there. What do I do now but wait, wait for her to live or wait for her to die? This level of sadness is so heavy, I sit with it for a short time and cry it out but I know I can’t stay in that so I have to shake it off & get back to living. While I’m waiting I must carry on, life carries on for the rest of us and I must maintain my composure for the kids. They need to be reassured that we will all be okay and I hope and pray that we will be. 

As long as she is breathing, there is still hope.