Monday, October 1, 2018

An Interruption in My Regularly Scheduled Glass Posts, Ramblings of a Grieving Sister…

Where did the summer go? I’ve already started the preparations for hibernating thru the winter, ordering pellets and cords of wood for the stoves to keep the house warm, scheduling appointments before the snow flies and generally going about winterizing the house.

Autumn is my favorite time of year. The cool crisp days of Fall bring clarity to my mind and soul. There is a special magic about Fall that shakes the old cobwebs out, and refreshes my being, something the hotness of Summer nor the cold of Winter does for me, and Spring flashes by far too fast for the chillness of winter to have worn off.

I’ve spent many hours on my torch this summer, making beads like crazy. It has been a much needed distraction from the reality of life while also being a way to meditate on the meaning of life.  In June I lost my younger sister Darlene to a drug overdose.   The truth is, I have been very lucky to have this wonderful, funny, kind, generous woman in my life for as long as I did. As with any addiction, Dee’s life and our relationship were complicated. The opioid epidemic is a crisis in our country and I have been thinking about it quite a bit, you could say it has consumed my life as of late.  One thing that surprised me was that when I ventured to share my story to others in my town, everyone has a child or sibling that they are, and have been for some time now, waiting for the same dreaded phone call about their own loved one, an overdose …

I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and kindness from friends, especially those that I have met thru social media; Friends, who shared in my grief and supported my efforts to create a memorial to remember Dee. How can so much love come from so much pain?  

This summer has been a re-awakening for me -- cliché, yes, but nothing is more true -- life is short, period.  Another day, another hour, another minute is not guaranteed to any one of us. Prioritize making time to see the people you want to see, do the things you want to do (if not now, when?) and live life in the present moment (be here now).

Dear Darlene,

I will be haunted forever by your leaving us too soon.
Did you know you were leaving us that night?
There was always supposed to be more time…
I will miss reminiscing over our childhood, what you remembered, what I forgot.
I will miss seeing your beautiful smile and the twinkle of mischief in your eyes.
I will miss hearing your giggle, as you were making us all laugh.
I will be missing you Dee to the day I die.

Dee enjoying a stay in Gloucester

The Opioid Epidemic, My 2 Cents…

The Problem:

  • The initial introduction to a narcotic is either:
    • Recreational or
    • Prescribed treatment, where the drugs are often over prescribed.  We can throw a lot of blame to the pharmaceutical companies for this… but the problem is now much more complicated
  • There no longer is any denial that narcotics are addictive.
    • For many years, the pharmaceutical companies and doctors lied to us all. They knew the truth. Their greed and corruption led us to where we are today. Big Pharma and their chief officers have blood on their hands, while families continue to grieve the loss of loved ones. They dumped millions of narcotics on small unsuspecting communities. There wasn’t then and has not been now any accountability for their criminal, unforgivable, murderous actions.
  • For those prescribed a narcotic, when the prescription runs out, and you need more, what are your options/choices?  Turning to the streets?  Today’s Heroin cut with Fentanyl is a killer!

Added Complications:

  • For some people:
    • The altered state, created when taking a narcotic can be an escape from reality, a sign of depression or other mental illnesses.  A willing or unwilling game of Russian roulette, a disengaged route to commit suicide?
    • The withdrawal symptoms feed the need for more drugs, hence the addiction

My Reaction:

  • Awareness that drugs and /or alcohol are not a cure for loneliness
  • Not everyone wants help
  • Programs are needed to help an addict cope long term, not just take away their immediate addiction to narcotics.  You don’t just put someone in electric shock treatment to disrupt their behavior without teaching them a new way to cope with life.
    • Programs to learn about one’s self worth and gain self esteem
    • Learning the joys that come from helping others unconditionally
    • Tools for reintegrating into society or their community drug free
    • Teachings on how to rely on others, without becoming needy
  • There needs to be a “safe”, “inexpensive”, “timely”, and “convenient” way to wean a person off narcotics.  It is time for the pharmaceutical companies and the insurance industry to step up to the plate, to find a solution, and to be held accountable for their part in this epidemic, for their lies and profit mongering.