Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Suddenly and too soon.

                                    Wild poppies, Katoomba

A woman I knew died recently - alone, in her car. Suspected overdose. It's all I can think about. She told me she was struggling, then going well. Then struggling again, well, etc. Her youngest baby was about six months old. She had older children, all with the same tired look in their eyes.

Some people have a glass of wine or eat chocolate or do an exercise workout, to take the edge off.

Some people inject heroin into their veins to take the edge off. Sometimes they die.

And all of the people around them are not *that* surprised, because a using addict is only really half a person anyway. Shadow people.

Such a terrible waste. Such selfish, horrible, no-good, shame-filled, vermin, bloody junkies.

There but for the grace of God go you - if you don't think you are addicted to anything, you need to look again.

I saw her for the last time two weeks ago, looked straight into her eyes as I crossed the road as she sat in her car waiting for me to pass. And I wondered how she was going.

And now I know.



  1. Yep. Just a matter of time.

    Especially awful when it's family. Part of you wants to say, "Fuck you and your selfish choices" but that's just the part that is so frightened, terrified that the phonecall is coming.

    At this point, I am choosing to believe in miracles...

    I'm sorry she didn't get hers.

  2. I hope (suspect) your message will be heard loud and clear by all who read it.

    Addiction is a terrible affliction—breeding loneliness, contempt for oneself and others, and a sinking feeling of despair.

    Please ask the person/people in your life (we all usually have at least one person in our family/friends/social or work network) how they are and if they need help. Lessening the gap between them having to ask you for help or pretend all is ok may be the most pivotal and life-changing thing that you could offer them.

    Sorry for your loss Edenland. You have written this beautifully and I'm sure your friend would be proud that you have shared her story and hopefully created a change for others reading it.

  3. Albert Camus noted "Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal."
    Addiction is something that privately curses you until you overcome it.
    It is always devastating to see someone worn down by addiction.
    Here's for all those struggling to survive with all sorts of addictions and hoping they can come over to sobriety and see it's not such a bad place.

  4. JLB ... wow, thank you so much for your comment. I tried to click onto your profile but couldn't get through, do you have a blog?

  5. Last 100 Days as an Alcoholic: WOW! Who are you??!!

  6. It bites hard when these things happens shock and it's hard to know what to think,sometimes its more the familiarity, knowing the situation could have been you in another lifetime, and sometimes it's just the feeling of being powerless to stop it. All the shoulda coulda's in the world, but nothing changes it all we can do is learn from it and hope that the kids will be alright. Sorry xx

  7. So very sad.
    My heart aches for the children... especially the one that will never know her.

  8. Hello, Sweet Eeeeedz.

    Have you had a chance to crack that book I sent you?

    You're in my thoughts and heart.


  9. None of us are untouchable, none of us are immune to life's tragedy's. That could of been any of us had we had the life she lived, had we walked in her sad shoes.

    Sometimes I don't know what untangles in peoples lives to choose the recovery road or the end of the road. I wish we knew, so then we would know what it is we could do. Maybe that one little thing that would start some one on a new road.....

    Maybe she had no guardian angels in her life. Or maybe she just couldn't see them through her own anguish.


  10. if ever there is a thought that brings me sorrow, it's that my children would grow up not knowing me. Because I'm egotistical, so I see it from my persective - I don't want to be forgotten.

    But from the children's perspective, there is nothing sadder than not having the cure-all that is a mum. I'm sorry for the mum, and I'm sorrowful for her kids.

  11. Oh God Eden.
    Much much love to you right now, and to your friends family.
    I know that in their sadness they will be feeling relief, and a guilt for that relief that she is no longer suffering, that they feel helpless because they don't know how to help her.
    Do not let this trigger you. Let this remind you that you never have to stay quiet. xx

  12. I wonder though, if you had asked- would she have told the truth? Would she have done it anyway?

    While I think it's important we stay in touch with one another and ask the important questions, I also feel that there's a little emphasis in comments above that 'maybe if you'd said something, she'd still be alive'.

    Drug abuse is a serious issue. Thinking of her children and family.

  13. Incredibly sad. For her. And her family. x

  14. I agree that most of us are addicted to something - we all have our crutches.

    St John of the Cross knew all about addiction and the weariness that it brings; a kind of death to the soul. He spoke about attaining detachment to all things (in his words, 'nada' or nothing) - I guess similar in some respects to aspects of Buddhist teaching.

    I like the wild poppies Eden. She will be remembered.

  15. How sad for that family. How sad for those who knew and loved her.

    Thank you for the reminder that we do all have something in our lives.

  16. What a terrible waste, so sad. Thinking of you x

  17. What can you say. Those poor poor poor kids. My heart breaks for them. What a way to begin your life.

  18. Addiction. She's a thieving bitch.

  19. Oh Eden, I am sorry. For you, for her, for her family. For every addict - you are right - we are all addicted to something. It's crippling.


  20. You know what I love about you? You write about everybody, everybody, with compassion. You don't judge. You see the shared humanity in all of us, because it's true, none of us is any better than anyone else. None of us know the burdens others struggle beneath. When you look at life through the lens of compassion, the whole world looks different. Thank you for offering us that lens, again and again. x

  21. "... all with the same tired look in their eyes." I can't stop reading that line. I know that look, I have seen it recently. I have a phone call to make. Thank you, thank you. x

  22. My friend who passed away last month was an addict. And I assumed she had taken too much either mistakenly or on purpose. When I found out that she had died from complications of her addiction and not an actual overdose I felt so ashamed that I had thought that of her. But then again, everyone had thought it... even her parents.

    Sometimes looking someone in the eyes and asking does nothing... you know how Oscar worthy the acting can be. We can fool anyone... sometimes we can even get our eyes to lie, too.

  23. Some battles you win, some battles you lose and you end up losing the whole damn war. But the miracle of it was that you were able to muster the strength to fight at all.

    Far too many lose the war.

  24. What a desperately sad time. I can't help but think of the loneliness in her soul overwhelming even the most rational or positive thought. May she rest in peace with boundless love warming her right through.

  25. So sorry.
    for her.
    for you.
    for her family - I know how much loss sucks.
    But I've been to the edge of where she went.... and its a bloody hard hole to pull yourself out of.

    Hugs to you, to her, to everyone....

  26. :-( addiction is an evil, evil thing and it definately strips the person of who they truly are and in some cases destroys them until they burn away completely.
    And I too love that you show no judgement Eden. I try to be like that every single day.
    "Judging a person does not define who they are. It defines who you are".
    May that lady, mother, daughter and any other important role she possessed, rest in peace x

  27. This is my true deep down fear for my sister.....her bi-polar mixed with almost life long addiction are slowly but surely taking her away from me and her family. It eats at me every day. I'm going to check in with her tomorrow, and see what else I can say or do to help her check back in to life. Thank you Eden.....

  28. So very sad.

    You have to live every day to the fullest.


  29. A simple phrase that speaks volumes......."shadow people". Such a sad story all round. Wishing peace and healing to the children.

  30. I agree - a terrible waste. I'm sorry that she couldn't find her way through the hard parts.

  31. Sad, wasteful and such a shame. But there amongst the sadness your wise words
    'There but for the grace of God go you - if you don't think you are addicted to anything, you need to look again.'

    Tell you what half of society are addicted to, me included...the quest for perfection. Be it perfect home, perfect food, perfect kids, perfect boss. I have internal panic attacks and raging insomnia from the worrying about the perfection.

    It will kill us all slowly whether or not we chose to speed it along by taking off the edges.

    Sorry about your friend xox

  32. But for the Grace of God go I.

    That bloody sucks, praying for you.

  33. Eden I am so bloody glad that you said everyone has an addiction because it's true.Sadly though not all addictions can kill you but plenty will fuck you & your family.I cannot imagine what was running through your friends mind prior to her death.Many many years ago when I wanted to leave this mortal coil all I really wanted was my brain to stop.I wanted to be free of thinking & feeling & not have to face another second of bullshit.You are right when someone dies it tears the living apart,they are left to scrape together life without them.Having said that we do not know how intense her (or anyone's for that matter) lot in life was & her soul may have been broken.Life is cruel & I am so sad for her family.In the end nobody can judge whatever it was that was demonizing her is over.I love that you have this blog by the way I you are a real honest & down to earth writer.

  34. trying to make sense out of senselessness...

    and yep "but for the grace of god go I"

  35. Thanks for that blog. For me, I choose to look at the fact that she was a human being, struggling with life.

    Importantly for me, and what I am researching is the desperate confusion and struggle many women go through in the early to mid years of motherhood.

    We can choose to judge her to criticise her. Or we can truly feel compassion and do exactly what another blogger wrote above and look into other mother's eyes to see if they are ok.

    We can not save a single person if they choose to exit this world. We need to be wise in our compassion and realise that everyone controls their reality through the thoughts that are in their mind.

    I am by no means suggesting that you could have done anything to save her either, but the simple act of writing about it, means that you have brought awareness to others.

    Perhaps we can all reach out to others, and in doing so, help reduce the suffering of someone else, even if, only momentarily.

    thanks again for your insight


  36. Every single time I read your blog, I say a silent thank you...thank you for your words, your experiences, your sharing, your existence. You manage to bring such a wide group of people to this space, and I always leave wiser and more forgiving.

  37. This post has resonated deeply in me. I have tears in my eyes. I am remembering looking into the mirror and seeing that look. I often wonder about my old "friends" and sometimes when I hear bad news about them my heart aches.

  38. I'm struck into stillness by this. Quiet stillness. I have to keep faith and hope that posts like yours are what makes the difference because asking questions - as so many commenters have said already - don't get honest answers.

    BUT..... asking the question and looking the person in the eye can be the start of something shifting for that person. Someone asked after me? Someone cares? We never ever know, do we? If we ask - without judgement, with the compassion that Kristin has correctly identified as The Thing that draws us to you, Eden, time and again to read your Universal writings - then we are at least providing the opportunity for something to change, however subtle, in another.

    So we have to keep holding out the non-judging hand. It's not good to say "Why bother, he/she is a good actor and wouldn't have told me the truth anyway... I know I wouldn't." Because I've been in that place too. So dark I would have 'dunnit' but I just couldn't think clearly enough to think of a method to end it all. Nobody was asking. Everyone was avoiding.

    Ooops. Sorry Eden darling for the droopy-long comment... I think I should make this a blog post!

  39. There but for the grace of god go I. My heart is with her family xxx

  40. Another great life lost to addiction and it's chains of hell! I have no doubt she is now free from her struggles in this life.

    We need to have more charity for all... "Charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth". And the truth is we need to stop judging.... because don't we all have our struggles one way or another.

  41. So sorry to hear of your loss, Eden. Addiction recovery can be quite a struggle for everyone involved. It certainly is true that addiction does not just affect those who are addicted, but everyone around them.


Write to be understood, speak to be heard. - Lawrence Powell

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