This picture, taken by Mom, late summer 2015 outside of the gym, absolutely breaks my heart. I smile, of course, because it’s adorable. My two little men, tools in hand, marching inside the building, ready to conquer what’s next. It’s cute. But it’s heartbreaking. Just a minute ago, you guys were tiny. I held you all the time. You slept on my chest when you were tired. You needed me for everything. Now you guys are traipsing around, seemingly on your own, with purpose. Purpose of your own. Purpose and a backpack. A fucking backpack! What happened here? I love you guys far more than life itself. I might love you more than you guys are able to understand until you have your own kids. And I have, thus far, absolutely loved the process of watching you grow. Everyone says it happens so quickly. And it does. But Mom and I are so lucky, because we’ve been totally present for it. We know it’s happening as its happening. That’s why seeing this picture fills my heart with joy, then breaks it, almost instantly. And that’s okay. That’s how it’s supposed to be. Nice backpack, Deck! Nice shades, Gibby! Have an awesome day! I love you!! Dad
The title is drugs are bad. It’s almost a silly thing to say. Of course drugs are bad. Well, mostly. Cocaine is bad. Heroin is bad. Cigarettes, very much a drug, are bad. Ecstacy, molie, meth, are bad.
Is a glass of wine bad. Probably not. (It is for me, but that’s a different story.) Is smoking a joint once a month bad? I don’t know. (It is for me, but that’s the same different story.)
Is using a substance to feel differently inherently bad?
I’m tired in the morning, so I drink coffee. That’s not so bad. And God forbid you are in pain to the level requiring heavy narcotics/opiates…some substances to make you feel differently might not be bad for a time.
Using substances to avoid your life or to cope on a regular basis is almost certainly bad. By bad I mean wrong, ie you should not do it as it will yield bad consequences.
I helped bury my good friend this past year. He died from a drug overdose. It’s heartbreaking. Here’s what I just wrote to another of our friends as we try to cope with what happened.
I’ve been thinking about the short exchange of words we had at his grave. About why this happened.
For me, I take solace in the fact that I can’t know. I’ll never know – at least not in this lifetime. Why some people get the chances they do and why some people don’t. I don’t have answers to questions this big.
I failed our friend. When he OD’d awhile before his death, I went down there and I took him a big book and told him if he ever got out of that coma Id be there for him. He did come out of the coma, and we went to some meetings and some dinners. And then there were times when he called and I wasn’t available. What if I had been? Would this be different?
I doubt it.
I think this is what it is because his time here was done, simple as that. Maybe he’d done all that he was supposed to do here. Maybe it was time for his suffering to end.
Maybe we all failed him, but I don’t think so. I think in the toughest moments we turn inside for strength. He had the strength inside. But he let his guard down, said “Ah, fuck it!” a little too loudly, at the wrong time, when his body didn’t have more to give him.
For me, I take him with me. I converse with him in my mind. I don’t wonder why he died. I wonder how it made it so long.
I think of that Queen song, Under Pressure. “The terror of knowing what this world’s all about, watching some good friends, scream “Let Me Out.”
I know I will use the things I learned from him throughout my life. I’m grateful to him for being the person he was. I grateful for the memories.
May his memory be a blessing, they say.
To me, it will be. Always.
Love you bro
I hope you guys don’t have to be too close to these problems. I love you guys so much. I hope that I can pass along what I’ve seen in the hopes that you can have some experience without having seen it first hand. I’m not trying to take away your view of the world. You will only ever truly get your view. But if I can inform your view, just a little – or if mom can or mimi or poppop or grandma or grandpa or your teachers or many others can – you will be slightly better off. The more perspective we have, the more we stand a chance in this world.
A smart person learns from his mistakes. A wise person learns from the mistakes of others. I think that’s a saying!
Love you both!