Fuck The Rules I’m Tired

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I’m realizing I’ve been ‘being brave’ for the last six years. SIX FUCKING YEARS OF TRYING TO KEEP MY DAUGHTER ALIVE. I’m fucking worn the fuck out.

https://weirdwomanlivespast40.wordpress.com/2012/10/16/begin-again/

My earlier blog. Its a good blog. I am a good writer. I beat myself up way too much. I’m so glad I wrote about what was happening back then. I need to do that now. It fuels itself somehow. I kinda want to continue on in THAT blog as it is such a good body of work. I am so scattered now though. Every tiny decision making effort now rattles my brain.

I have to clean my apartment so people can come stay in it for Airbnb so they can pay my rent.

I had a fundraiser Wednesday night in Denver and raised over $1600 for Shatterproof.org I did stand up comedy while hosting the comedy show for the fundraiser. My boyfriend went all over town to gather donations. HUNDREDS of people came together for this. My boyfriend hosted the auction and donations and giveaways. I spilled my heart out onstage talking about my story. My parents came. My aunt came. Savannah keeps bringing people together in her death. My family notoriously does not speak to one another. My mom and aunt haven’t spoken in over 15 years. I haven’t talked to my mom in over 5 years. I wasn’t speaking to my ex husband and now we cry on the phone together.

Why couldn’t have this all happened while she was still here? Why does mental health live in the darkness?? We are all SO FUCKING TERRIFIED THAT’S WHY. You just want that person to live. You have so much fear inside you it makes you so angry and scared and no one treats you right and you hate everyone and no one can help you because you are FINE.

Savannah never wanted me to talk about any of this ever. So there’s some of it. I wanted to reach out years ago and she would get so mad at me. Didn’t want me to post anything EVER EVER EVER. So how do you get around that? Piss off your kid anyway? I don’t know. But I’m going to figure it out.

After I make my bed with fresh sheets, go buy a coffee maker cuz I don’t want to piss anyone off who stays here. (I use a coffee press) On second thought – fuck that. They can use a coffee press too. I’m barely hanging on here…fuck your dumb coffee makers.

I am going to be part of a Storytelling video for the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention who together with the Story Center of Denver is going to put together a presentation of people’s personal stories regarding the opioid epidemic/addiction for a conference they have coming up in October. For three days we will immerse ourselves in video making and each other and our stories.

I had the webinar for that yesterday.

YOU SHOULD GET A JOB.

YOU SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD…

I’m going to piece together an income so I can stay up here in Boulder. My heart smiles when I drive over US Route 36 after McCaslin Blvd. and see the Flatirons. So yeah. Am I going to do this with a 9-5??? NO. How am I going to do this? I DON’T KNOW YET. Suck on that for a while.

I can see from my past blog I’ve been ‘starting over’ for so long.

It’s time to just start. This is start. This. Right now. Fuck the rules.

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Missing In Action

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Literally. I’ve been M.I.A. I’m being a little hard on myself to be honest. I’ve been putting forth a LOT of action, I just still feel like a ghost. Most of the time it is Savannah or Anthony that keeps me going. Savannah will say ‘DO IT MOMMY’ if I’m hesitating about something, or I think of my son and want him to be proud of me and not worry about me. Yesterday I could not get out of bed, get dressed, or stop crying. It has only been just a little over 11 weeks since Savannah died, so I need to cut myself a little, tiny break.

But here’s what’s happening. I am a list maker. An action taker. When I say stuff like: ‘I want to move.’ ‘I want a new job.’ ‘I’m going to paint this room.’, within two hours of making the statement, action is taken. I’ve already milled it over and over and over in my head a million times and so by the time I say it, that’s the countdown to rocket launch; I’ve put it in the world and it’s already DONE. ‘I want to travel every two months.’ DONE. I’ve been doing that for almost a year. I just got back from Chicago visiting Ant. (Blog to come.) Travel has turned into about every 4 months, and there was a stint in there where it was twice in one month…but when I say I am going to do something, I do it. Welcome to my world. It might be a crazy thing, or a jump off a cliff thing, but I’m in.

I also have this thing where I always get the BEST PARKING PLACE. Always. I have always said that and it always happens. The parking lot is full, people are leaving without finding a spot, I pull in ANYWAY, because I believe this without uncertainty, and a person is backing out. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. So now, just to do that with money, and writing, and dreams.

I don’t know how to have my dreams now. I don’t know how to believe in anything. My grief brain is killing my regular brain. I ruminate over how I should have gone to New York with Savannah. I should have moved to Utah. I should have never let her go. Yesterday when I couldn’t get out of bed, I read all of our messages to one another. I am CSI-ing her whole life. WHAT SHOULD I HAVE KNOWN??? HOW CAN I HELP OTHER PEOPLE NOT HAVE TO GO THROUGH THIS???? WHAT DIDN’T I SEE???

One thing I saw is that she was my biggest cheerleader. We maybe shouldn’t have been so close but we were. Neither one of us ever followed rules. I was never a ‘cool mom’ who bought her beer or anything, but we told each other everything. I could tell her stuff and she wouldn’t fall apart or worry or be mad at me. And if she was, she told me and we talked about THAT. I didn’t have to filter anything with her. We were soul mates.  I tend to protect my son more in that regard, I don’t know why. He doesn’t like to see me upset or mad I guess. Savannah and I could handle eachother’s shit.

One time (and Jordan knows this story) I asked Savannah to clean her room or do something chore like. She was about 13 or 14 or maybe older, (?) I am getting all mixed up about stuff. We were living with my mom in her basement. We all had our own rooms and a little kitchen and stuff. She was passing by me and I asked her to do the thing and she said ‘Fuck you’ under her breath and she walked into the bathroom. I was stunned. I was like ‘Ok, this is it. You have a choice. You can be the mom that ignores this shit or you can stand up for yourself and say something. If you don’t say anything this will only get worse. But she never does this. She just wants a rise out of you. Ignore it. No! You can’t just sit here.’ It took me a minute though. I was stunned. She had never done that before. Not within my earshot anyway.

So I got up and tried to get into the bathroom and she had locked it. I knocked. She was silent. “Unlock this door!”

“No.”

“UNLOCK THIS DOOR!”

“No.”

Then I thought about all the mom stuff I should say and am supposed to say. I was so mad she would talk to me like that. She gets to express herself all the time and I always have to be a MOM. So I let it rip.

‘FUCKYOUFUCKYOUFUCKYOU!’ I screamed as I pounded furiously on the door. Then I felt dumb. It felt great too though. I didn’t care who heard me upstairs. They don’t live my life. It felt great not to be proper. Then I walked away into the kitchen and paced in there a minute. The ‘kitchen’ was also the laundry room. The only space out of the vicinity of the rest of the basement. Savannah came out of the bathroom.

“Really?” She said as she came around the corner.

“What? You tell me to fuck off when I ask you to pick up after yourself? Like what a jerk I am??”

Then she said she was sorry, I said I was sorry and we got some ice cream.

That’s how it always was with her. We didn’t harbor anything. We just hashed shit out and we were done. That fuckyoufuckyoufuckyou became something we said all the time and she told her friends about. We all did it when we were pretending to be so mad about something.

So yesterday I missed her so much because she was always the person who could get me out of a funk. And I will be forever sorry we were fighting when she died. It’s like the fuckyou fight though. We knew it wasn’t that real and that I was going to come out to Utah to see her new place. I DID talk about moving out there and she said I would love it. We were both scared about her graduating, she had JUST relapsed a few weeks before and I thought she was using again. It was just fear. She was scared. I was scared. We fought instead of just saying we were scared.

I was mad at her yesterday. I said ‘You left! How am I supposed to do this?’ And she said ‘I’m right here. I didn’t leave. I am helping you. It’s okay to be sad. You are doing so good and so many people love you. I’m right here.’ And the thing is I know she is running around helping so many people right now. And she’s with Lilly. They are being giant goofballs running around trying to help people because that was their favorite thing. Both of them. (And if any of you want to smile or laugh, go look at Savannah or Lilly’s Instagram’s.) Sometimes she is with different people and different energies. Sometimes she’s like ‘Do this!’ and I go on a walk and meet a really cool person or say something to someone and have a great conversation or see dragonflies or a dog walks up to me.

I moved up to Boulder because I love it up there. I wanted to have my own place so my kids could come visit and we could be in our own space. I thought Savannah could move here and it would save her life.

So now here I am trying to save my own life.

She always was my teacher.

Here are Savannah and Lilly. 💛

How To Stay Alive

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  1. Get out of bed.
  2. Self care. This means BATHING. BRUSHING TEETH. FEEDING YOURSELF. It doesn’t always mean getting a massage.
  3. Tell yourself you are going to be okay. It’s great if other people tell you. But you need to tell you.

That’s about it in a nutshell.

How I am staying alive right now:

  1. Talking to the people I love and to people who love me. Noticing people in the world. Letting them in.
  2. Doing work and putting myself in the world.

I signed a lease and had a new lease on MY LIFE set into place and then my daughter died.

I had a choice to go back into the hole I was living in or go find a new life.

Before this I was lying in bed until I had to work at my kitchen job. I would go to work and come back to bed. I would drink a lot because I hated myself and I didn’t want to think about stuff and so I drank so I would fall asleep. And sometimes when I drink I am more loving and kind and I get let out of my BRAIN PRISON that tells me I’m so stupid.

I bought blackout curtains and lived in my bed. I quit comedy, quit seeing friends, wanted to heal my wounded heart full of so many years of pain. I quit expressing myself. I quit being in the world. For five months I did nothing but lie in bed and make pizzas for my job. I was afraid my daughter was going to die. I felt helpless. I felt abandoned I felt like I was a mother for twenty years and then I was not. I felt trapped in the place I lived in a situation I did not want to be in.

My friend told me YOU ARE GOING TO DIE IN THAT BED. Move up to Boulder. You love it up here and if I can do it you can do it.

I stayed with her for a couple months every weekend because I had to get out of my apartment while the boyfriend’s kids were there. I no longer wanted that situation. I began packing, looking for jobs, creating a business of healing and coaching, writing, and Reiki and I don’t know what or how but all of my loves needed to come together somehow in all of the things that I like and people keep telling me I’m incredible and amazing and I keep going to bed. So I got out of bed and started creating this new life.

I signed the lease. I got my website going. I had interviews lined up.

I got my own apartment. This is something I thought and told myself I would never have. I have bad credit and background check bullshit that had prevented me for the last 20 years ever getting my own apartment. I paid those dues, paid them dearly, I spoke out about something and I am here to tell you it most certainly does NOT take a village. The village ruined my life when I came forward with incriminating information. I fought that and almost went to jail and I fought that. I petitioned the court and I fought that. My big mouth saved my life along with friends who supported me who also saved my life. The people that tried to ruin my life, I just stepped around them and got away from them. I got a judge to stop her court proceedings after I was sent up to the courtroom by some kind of angel in the public court system. The judge then called me off to the side and she apologized to me and got me the correct forms I needed and she looked me in the eye and said she was sorry all of this had happened to me. After twenty years.

Getting my own apartment is a really big deal.

I got it.

The very next day my daughter died.

  1. Get out of bed.

My number one rule.

3. Tell myself I am going to be okay.

I just made some lunch. I just worked on the property here cleaning up the courtyard and weeding and keeping the garden boxes cleaned up. The landlord here offered me this job. ALL I HAVE TO DO IS GET OUT OF MY BED AND WALK OUT THE DOOR AND I CAN WORK. I am meeting all of my neighbors. People come up to me and say thank you. I told the landlord’s sister (THESE ARE AMAZING WOMEN BTW. ONE CARRIED AN AIR CONDITIONING UNIT TO MY APARTMENT AND PUT IT IN MY WINDOW. THE OTHER PAINTED MY PLACE AND GOT IT READY AND I SAW HER MIXING CEMENT AND POURING IT THE OTHER DAY.) Getting out of bed means showing up.

I told the sister, ‘You are saving my life by letting me do this work.’

She said ‘You are saving mine.’ She has a husband and two teenagers. She used to be able to do all this work and now she can’t.

WE are all exactly where we need to be. Even if it doesn’t feel like it.

I want to be the Groundskeeper here til I can’t walk around anymore. I live in a house built in 1901 on the best street in Boulder with women who work their butts off and cry for me and want to help me and give me work. I want to be 98 years old sweeping off the sidewalks here and they just keep me around at that point because no one has the heart to get rid of me. I can make this whatever I need to. I implemented a landscaping layout and she said ‘DO IT. I’LL GET EVERYTHING YOU NEED.’

The universe wants me to succeed. Even though I am heart broken. Even though I don’t want to.

1. Get out of bed.

Last Night my cousin, Aunt and best friend went to go see Book of Mormon, Savannah’s favorite musical. I was on the phone with my cousin and Aunt daily while I was in Utah with my best friend retrieving my daughter. Not a day went by that I didn’t talk to them 400 times a day. Savannah chose rehab in Utah because of the Book of Mormon. My son and I walked all over Temple Square with her in November.  I spread her ashes all over Temple Square in April. I know why she loved this musical so much. It was about friends and sticking together and holding up for something and being kind. I can’t stop listening to it now. I would give anything to be able to have Savannah still be here just so she could see this show and listen to it every day for the rest of her life.

  1. Get out of bed.

The night before we went to a show Savannah was supposed to go to the next week after she died. Trixie Mattel, her fave drag queen. I got to meet her, thanks to my cousin who contacted someone who could get me up there with Trixie. It was a meet and greet but Savannah would have given anything to be up there with her idol. The show was funny and Trixie is a comedienne extraordinaire who happens to play guitar and wear a mean pantsuit. It was amazing. It was inspiring. Savannah was right. I was with my cousin and best friend. It was so much fun and I cried and laughed and am overwhelmed everyday with love.

  1. Get out of bed.

A dear friend sent me money so I could live through these next few months with my broken heart and not have to worry.

  1. Get out of bed.

Right now I am getting ready to go deliver food. I can drive around, get to know Boulder, see ALL the restaurants here, go to people’s doors bringing cookies, and make money so I can pay for this apartment I thought I could never get nor thought I didn’t deserve. I am lining up my healing business. People are offering me jobs in that arena ALREADY. It’s happening. It’s coming. Right now, all I can do is anything that is bringing me money. I’ll start there. I like this place. I get to have a life. Right now it’s an uphill battle with a pain in my life that will never get mended.

Right now I can drive around. I can do that. I can weed and sweep and plant flowers and dig out grass and lay rock and mulch and be in the earth. I can do that. I can love my loved ones.

I asked Savannah if she can go anywhere in the world that she wants to now. She said yes. I asked her if she could go to Australia. She said yes. (But she doesn’t.)(I’m the one that loves Australia.) I asked her if she visits all her puppies. She said yes.

  1. Get out of bed.
  2. Self Care.
  3. Say: I am going to be okay.

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This Isn’t Going Down Like This

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One day I am inspired and the next day seems like a colossal waste of time if this grief shit is never going to end. And it isn’t. Twenty year veterans still cry everyday. Three days ago I was ready to save the world, today I wish I had drugs, or anything to kill myself with but I don’t. I have nothing here that will kill anyone. Except pain. Can you die if you just stay in bed and cry? Ummmm NOPE. Still here. I mean I went out to dinner last night with my boyfriend, I worked on the landscaping and weeded yesterday, I helped carry a mini fridge up stairs, I took a goddamned shower. It looks like I am doing okay. I guess THIS is okay. I don’t want to be here anymore and I’m not allowed to say that if I have a son.

Am I going to reach out? Nope. I have two people that contact me everyday. Am I going to reach out to all the people who are having their lives with MY nightmare? No. Post all the suicide hotline numbers you want, that’s not how this works. I’m reading all the manuals, going to a bereaved parents group, texting and calling people. I still want to die. I have the best apartment in the best city with the best friend and know simply the best people. I have ‘it all’ -except I don’t have the life of my daughter. And not being able to help my son who feels like his world crumbled and to be a mom in this helpless pain is unbearable.

Even if I wanted her back, I would want her to be in a pain free life. She never got to just enjoy her self and her body and her life. I look at pictures of her as a little kid and I can see THAT’S WHERE SHE WAS STILL HAPPY…then around 5th 6th grade is when I can see the body shaming, depression, ill at ease with herself but still able to bulldoze through life. So I would want her to come back at around five. But wait, I got divorced when she was around 2 and that broke her heart. So 1. Yeah 1. But I’ll have to stay married. And change who I am so I don’t mess anyone up. Wait, I’ll have to go back to before I was born. Wait.

None of this works.

Yesterday I believed fully in the fact that souls go on to a beautiful blissful place and they are all guiding us to our own physical bliss. YES RIDE YOUR BIKE! YES TAKE THAT JOB! YES MAKE A SNOW ANGEL! RIDE THE ANIMAL GO CART AT THE MALL! They get it. They want US  to get it. They chose to come here and be with us and leave so they can guide us. Like they hooked us. They came down here on our physical plane and are all adorable and wonderful and loving and ornery and full of piss and vinegar and make life a crazy adventure and then they leave. So I stand corrected, she IS helping me get good parking spaces and remember people’s names and I KNOW she is playing with all of her puppies and she IS talking to all of her friends and family because that was her favorite thing, helping. But today I will have none of this.

I’m helpy too and I can’t help myself here.

This is going to scare some people and resonate with some people. I don’t want to reach out. I’m exhausted. I’m mourning her death and the last five years of her life. I read all the ‘how do you live after your child dies’ articles and they don’t count to me if they were babies, or died of cancer or of car accidents or murder or bad hearts. The pain that addiction wreaks on everyone and everything is devastating and then they die because of the thing that has been hurting your heart for years and there’s nothing anyone can do. I became a different person years ago at the beginning of this battle and I have morphed again here at the end. Yes, those other child deaths are just as tragic, its all an equal tragic nightmare of zero control and tremendous loss I know this, but my heart right now is in so much severe pain as I thought I was already mourning. It’s like two trips to hell for the price of one.

I asked her when she was going to pay back her dad and stop manipulating everyone.

Then yesterday her rehab center, on a phone call with me, that I initiated, told me no one could have done anything at all. She was happy and excited about life and talked about seeing me in a week and said she was probably triggered by something that set off an unbalanced coping mechanism somewhere in her brain that nothing could control.

So today I feel like I was that trigger. I was mad at her. I wanted my daughter back. I was sick of worrying about her living or dying everyday. Would she die in her new apartment? She was so blase about using in the past, insisting she could probably use a little here and there. Feeling at home with addicts and no one else. Missing her acting. Acting was everything to her and heroin killed that. This was not my daughter’s life she was supposed to have. But it was. I wished I had a daughter who didn’t have to worry so much about living and who could just be. Who didn’t have to work so hard just to stay here.

Now that’s what I’m doing.

I have my stupid post it notes. I am probably NOT going to stay in bed all day. I am probably going to go weed the property, put on my headphones and zone out with bugs and worms. I don’t know how I am going to stay here.

I will not be reaching out though. I will be reaching in. In and in and in. My stomach is sick. I feel fake if I do anything fun. I don’t know how I am going to sustain myself. I know getting out of my head is the best thing I can do so staying out of my head is all I do all day. I might go on a walk in this beautiful town and buy coffee even though I CAN SAVE MONEY BY MAKING IT AT HOME. I can’t make the right decisions ever. So I try not to.

I am making plans. This month is full of friends and fun and adventure. It really is. Crawling out from under grief everyday is another kind of exhaustion. So I don’t. I do things I don’t have to think so hard about. I try and do things that make me smile or that sound fun or that I have the freedom to do. This was supposed to be my time. My adult children had moved out and started their lives. I got my own apartment which is something I have always wanted. I have everything I always wanted or thought I needed. I got it. All of it.

Right now, whenever I barely think about wanting something, it appears. I can’t throw a rock without hitting something that is good for me. I’m not kidding. So if I don’t stay open and positive to things around me, that is not going to happen. Savannah and all of our loved one’s did not die so we would die. It’s bigger than this stupid earthly plane we are on. It’s so dum that we come here to LEARN THAT. I’m so mad at the universe right now.

You know what I’m going to do today? The opposite of what I ‘should’ – I ‘should’ work. So I am going to go up to Nederland and get more of that damn coffee I like and eat some Nepalese food. No, I should work. I need money because I am going to Chicago at the end of the month to see Anthony for his birthday. He is amazing and just moved to his dream city and is living out his dream with this punch in the gut too. The true path to least resistance for me here? Do both. I can work outside when the sun relaxes tonight. I can do food delivery later…I can do all the things. My extreme brain needs to shut the FUCK up.

The thing is, if you don’t stay open, that good stuff can’t get in. Something is coming for me I can feel it. I put my healing biz in motion, my teas in motion…art in motion…performing in motion…advocacy in motion. Now I go get coffee, hike and eat my fave food.

That’s what’s happening here.

That’s how I’m going to do this.

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The Underbelly of the Underbelly

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I felt you when you were the life inside of me, and I can feel your death inside of me like I am in pieces. Like my heart is beating although being held down under iron walls. I talked to you before you were born and I talk to you now, after you have gone. Every day.

I was watching Chef’s Table featuring Jeong Kwan – it is beautiful. Her story is incredible, Here is the quote I was thinking of about the pain of loss. She said it so perfectly. This from that article by Greg Morabito about the episode:

Kwan’s mother died when she was 17. Kwan explains: “I was deeply upset when she died so early. And I realized there was no guarantee that I wouldn’t give my children the same kind of pain someday. I vowed never to pass down that pain… One day, I just disappeared without telling anyone. I didn’t take anything with me. I just decided to be a monk.”

She didn’t want to have children because to love is to live is to die is so painful. This pain is unimaginable, you are correct. It is everyone’s worst nightmare, you are correct. I don’t think I could be here right now, standing, typing, getting dressed, walking around or doing anything without the strength and compassion from the people closest to me who have also lost children. Or they have lost parents, or a spouse. Or a sibling. They can reach out of the ether and touch my brain and my heart like no one can. It makes me know that in the past I was a bad death person. Did I do enough? I know I had friends on facebook and in the real world who had loved ones pass away, but was I a jerk?

This is a sucky learning curve.

Some people just love me or they loved Savannah and they just want to be good. They are good. I appreciate every single word and gesture you have no idea. The biggest rock is my friend Rachel who went to Utah with me. To see the body. To bring her back with me. To spread my daughter’s ashes with me. I will love her forever and ever and ever even though I’ve known her forever already. I know people think of me every day. I know this. My heart is so full. I am learning about love by receiving the most love right now. The contrast of grief and love is dizzying. I moved out from living with my boyfriend because (READ THIS BLOG FROM THE LAST YEAR) I wanted my own space. It is a confident man who can say yes to that and carry on and then carry me.

I will be the best casserole making, gift giving, house cleaning, art making, friend who knows just where to go in your heart and in your life when this happens to anyone around me from now on.

My son is also a sibling of loss that I am speaking of. He has carried on, found his curve, he probably doesn’t think so, I know he is lost. He is brave I think. He is scared I think. I can’t reach into his heart and hold it like I want to. None of us know what to do. It hasn’t been very long (a little over 7 weeks) he’s doing so awesome but doesn’t feel it. How can we?

I have been talking to Savannah’s dad and reaching out to him and we cry on the phone together. We were there when she came into the world and we were there to bring her ashes home. Twenty years apart and it’s a bond that is never broken. Your parents are your parents are your parents. ‘Please don’t fight.’ My son said to me. He was the one who had to tell me about Savannah because I blocked almost everyone on my phone. I couldn’t talk or breathe. ‘Savannah’s gone.’ He said. NO! I said. I had to call her dad but I couldn’t find his number. Nothing in the last 20 years mattered. Nothing mattered. I couldn’t call anyone. I blocked my family. In the midst of this wreckless, time travelling nightmare of getting this news, I was faced with all of my anger. “I can’t live like this anymore.” Flashed into my brain like lightning.

I have everyone’s number now. Savannah dying changed my life path forever. She always managed to stay vulnerable and reach out and stay strong and also private. I don’t know how she did it. She didn’t mince words and she was honest and she helped me with so much because of her compassion. She did not like it when I was angry with people, she always devil’s advocated everything yet we always fought for the underdogs together. Who is going to be my guide in this now? Even she and I were fighting. We both knew I was coming out to help her move, but our last words were fighting. I thought she was using, her dad and I were fighting, he was sick of paying my school loan, didn’t want me to come to her graduation, I was fighting with all of Denver Comedy and with my son. I was sick of being ignored. It all blew up. When people die we all tell nice stories. Well I don’t. Things were bad and tragic and sad and heavy. This has been a long LONG road of addiction hell and midlife hell and female hell and family dysfunction hell.

 

In elementary school Savannah shoved a kid down on the ground who was picking on a special needs kid. I got a call from the school that Savannah was being a bully. Savannah told me the story. She said ‘I don’t really like that kid either, she puts tater tots in her shoes; but it wasn’t right that a bigger, mean boy was picking on her and that everyone was just STANDING AROUND WATCHING IT. EVERYONE WAS JUST STANDING THERE!” She was so upset about everyone just watching. She was so mad. She was not sorry for what she did and I was not either.

Needless to say, I lost my shit in the principal’s office. “WHERE’S THAT KID? WHERE ARE HIS PARENTS? I WANT THEIR PHONE NUMBERS! I WANT THEM HERE IN THIS ‘BULLYING’ MEETING! I will defend my kid every damn time for standing up to people like him. EVERY TIME.”

The school preferred calling her dad instead of me from there on out if anything arose regarding Savannah. I would show up anyway. We showed up together for a lot of stuff. with both kids. A lot of people didn’t even know we were divorced. Savannah doesn’t even remember that story. I asked her about it like in the last year, and she didn’t remember it. It was just a thing she did I guessed, and probably had a lot of stories like that I didn’t know about.

So we aren’t fighting anymore, her dad and I. I told him at the funeral home, that our son said that to me, ‘Please don’t fight’ and he said ‘Well, we’re not fighting now.’ And although at the time, I was crying and wanted more emotion from him, he’s right. We aren’t fighting now. We talk several times during the week. We cry. We have each gone to grief groups and counseling. All we have is now. He’s absolutely right. I am not fighting with anyone anymore. Not even Denver comedy. : ) I can’t believe all the people who asked about if I was still mad at them. Words are powerful people. Boundaries are powerful too, but being a woman who thought she was ignored, I am not. I am using my strength for good now instead of evil. To fight evil. I like words. I miss being on stage. I have things to say.

I am having a harder time relocating myself. How am I in this world? How do I step? Where do I go? Thankfully, a kind, caring, benefactor reached out and took care of the rent for a few months while I cry in bed, in the kitchen, while I eat, drive, shop, walk, sit by the river, do yoga, cry and cry and cry into my pillow. They said they couldn’t imagine having to find a job at this time if it were them so they wanted to help out. I had interviews set up. I was sending out resumes the week she died. It’s what I do. I barrel through. This has knocked the wind out of me however and I don’t know where I’d be right now if I didn’t have this opportunity. Or the friends I have right now. Thank you.

I also don’t want to screw it up.

I’m tired of managing my grief. I don’t want to MANAGE anything. I am angry I have to work so hard to just CARE. Then moments come where I know I have to set it aside. And I go to my little side hustle jobs I conjured up and I work, and cry.  I clean up my apartment. I am grateful to be here. I love where I live. I make guacamole. I try not to be in my head with worry. That is the worst place to be. I’d rather sit and look at old photographs and cry than use THAT part of my brain.

I signed the lease on this apartment, that I waited MONTHS FOR, and Savannah died the next day. I moved up here anyway. I was ramping up a new life. The contrast of the worst thing in the world and the best thing in the world living in the same exact moments with one another is devastatingly confusing at best.

My lesson at this time is to LET GO. Savannah is forcing me to LET GO. I never had control of her. None of us really have control of ANYTHING.

LET GO.

‘DO IT’ she said. It doesn’t seem fair or right for me to strive for happiness right now. Its CRAZY. Of course that is all I am preaching. Just notice one another please. It matters. But I am standing on this pillar of strength somehow and people are listening and I am listening to her and to others around me and I’m doing it. It does not make sense. I am stuck in trying to make sense of it.

I am estranged from my family. I am loving them from here. I will not speak bad about them, they miss Savannah too and their hearts are broken too. Everyone is broken. I was broken before this and that is not the person I want to put back together. I felt abandoned so I abandoned. Then the ultimate abandonment took place. The universe is a BITCH, man. But damn if I don’t like a good fight.

I am working with Shatterproof.org and was called and asked to be on a planning committee for their 5K that I am fundraising for anyway! I am working with the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse and Prevention. Whatever I think I can do to help anyone in this position, I will do. I am talking to Savannah’s rehab and seeing if they are changing any protocols of transitional living within in their program. I’m kinda UPSET to say the least. I’m kinda not kidding about not shutting up.

So I make lists. So I will do things. Things that are good. Things that are fun. Things that help others. Things that help me. Things. All things are on that list. This website is helping me a lot: What’s Your Grief They don’t sugar coat shit either. I like that. I am doing something right now from that website and its called PERMA. They just started it June 1st as a ‘challenge’ (My favorite word.) If anyone is struggling, it is a great help on not having to be HAPPY – but just taking care of yourself. It was a way for me to organize my murder wall of post it notes.

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Thank you Eleanor Haley and Litsa Williams. You are saving me right now. I only hope I can do the same someday.

So I thought I would reach out to my blog again. I am writing in my journal too. And although this seems raw and harsh, my journals are where THE SHIT is. I will publish them in my memoir that I seem to be writing, that people keep asking me to write. : )

For now, I will pop in here when I want to spill some guts for the public. There’s a lot goin on over here. Reach out whenever you feel like it.

Thank you for reading. I know it was a bit scattered. Until I have an editor…this is what you get.

Keep keepin’ on warriors.

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Coping and Living Are Two Different Things

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Everyday feels like that scene in Beetlejuice where they step out the front door and they fall into a vast desert of nothing and craziness. I feel like it’s been months when it’s only been a day or two. I am buying food and working on the landscaping here, I am talking with people and taking walks and I went on a bike ride and I danced one night. None of it makes any sense. As much as I want to crawl into a hole, that is not an option and that seems so weird. On the outside I look like I am coping, and I am, but I am also alive.

Keep going mommy.

That’s all I hear when I want to stop.

There is something here for you. Keep going.

I do not know what it is. I do not think it is spectacular. But what if it is? I don’t know. Doing laundry yesterday was pretty spectacular. I feel like I have walked into another realm and I want to see all of it. I want to wander in and turn corners and look in all the rooms. I want to keep going. What a horrible waste if we all just stopped. Am I going to cure cancer? No. It’s just that there is nothing stopping me now. All signs are leading to me succeeding in this avenue of my life. This is a path I set out on months ago, that I wanted to halt after Savannah died, and I did not halt it. People are helping me and loving me. People are giving me money. For support. For work I am doing. Everything is ok and it is all so weird that I am being rolled out a red carpet right now when I stand naked and ravaged.

I was so angry, and bitter and depressed and trapped. My heart was not beating right. I was having anxiety attacks. Not sleeping.

Now I am free.

I said last night to Michael: How can the story be that her daughter died and her whole world opened up?

And he said: How can it not be?

It doesn’t seem fair. It also doesn’t seem fair if I lie down in a hole. Which I do for a couple hours a day, don’t get me wrong. I just can’t stop thinking that if I quit, why did she even come here? I know so many people are changing their lives because of her, because they are telling me so. I have opened my heart. It’s a funny thing that grief does to you. It makes you compassionate. I have no road rage. Every little thing does not insense me.

We were out at dinner the other night and there was a fire in the kitchen and a man was screaming and all the staff ran back there and then they came out to tell everyone they had closed. Our waitress was crying. I rubbed her back and asked if she was ok and if he was ok. It was so sad and it scared everyone and the ambulance came and the man walked out to the gurney, and his arms and legs were burned pretty bad but he was essentially ok. Other people just ate their food. I was so sad and could feel them all being so scared. Some people seemed like they didn’t even notice and finished their meals. Maybe they were scared. We tend to ‘act normal’ when we are scared. I am crying out wherever I go now. It feels good and there are Others. We see one another here and there.

I was out trimming the hedges that were taking over the sidewalk and a woman stopped and thanked me saying she was sight impaired and appreciated all my hard work as sometimes it is very difficult to walk by places where branches and things are sticking out. She said a lot of sight impaired people live on this block and one is a mom and she can’t see the lower branches that stick out and they poke her kid in his stroller. I listened to her. I saw her face and her eyes and heard her voice. I am not changing the world but I am changing little pieces of other people’s worlds. We all are. It just doesn’t seem like it sometimes but we are.

I am talking to my ex husband, Savannah’s dad. That’s all both kids ever wanted; for us to get along. I am worried about my son. He is brave and in the world and so sensitive and quiet. I try and talk to him everyday. I don’t want to lose him at all to anything. I have moved out of my apartment with my boyfriend to have my own space. We are creating that. No one tells you to ‘grow up and get your own damn life’. They say ‘GET MARRIED HAVE KIDS’. I am not following any kind of rules that were ever set out. There are none now. There is a freedom in this new territory of being. There is both a non existence of being and a hard won, deep core existence that is mounted in sheer pain. Teetering between the two is where the freedom is. It’s a treasure map you never want to find.

Savannah felt so out of sorts and like she didn’t fit in and she was so beautiful and so loved. Even way before the drugs there was eating disorder pain and hating her body pain. I don’t know how far I need to go back if I could go back to a time and pin point something that would save her. She didn’t want to be here. So??? It all makes so much sense. Bad sense. How our bodies are NOT who we are and how clear THAT was at the funeral home. That vision won’t leave me. THAT was not Savannah in there. She did not like being here so of course she did not like the dumb bodies we have to wear and that we distort and contort and fight with all our lives. No wonder.

Our brains are cruel creatures sometimes. Because of all that pain it feels weird to want her to stay here. Like its now a selfish thing if I were to say ‘keep enduring your deep pain just so I can see your face and know you are there and so I don’t ever have to let go of you so I don’t have to feel my pain.’

I had a dream about her last night. She came back. She came back because everyone wanted her back. So we had a party and said we thought she died but she didn’t. That none of that was real. That she was okay and that her mouth wasn’t glued shut and that it felt so good that none of that stuff from a few weeks ago was true. And I cried and said to her ‘please stay so you can turn 24.’ She said ok. She wasn’t thrilled and I didn’t know anyone there and she kept leaving and I couldn’t find her and I looked for her and waited and saw glimpses of her here and there but never really got the chance to sit down with her. She was restless.

She couldn’t stay.

She was using for the last few weeks leading up to her death, come to find out. I suspected as much and called her out and she got angry. I blogged about it here and I took it down. Addiction puts you in a jail that you live in where the addict runs your life with a lifeline of fear attached to you like an umbilical cord. Except that umbilical cord  is killing both of you. If you anger them, the addict, they won’t speak to you and then you don’t know if they are alive or not. Its like that Twilight Zone where that kid puts everyone in the field that pisses him off and they all tiptoe around him. And you love this person. And you hate them. And they love you. And the disease wins. And everyone else in the family is on the wayside and heroin is your new child and it eats everyone and spits them out. Then it thanks you for being quiet so it can keep killing.

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She was going to use. It made her sick and sad and killed her eventually. It’s all so fucking tragic I want to scream and hide in the bushes and shoot people who drop off heroin for kids staying in rehab apartments. I feel terrible now that I liked Breaking Bad. THAT’S the reality of how bad this really is. There are truckloads and planeloads and boatloads of drugs and a whole commerce of government involved that is unstoppable. So all we can do is not shut up. All we can do is love people and SEE them. Put your phones down for five minutes and listen to someone. I am so tired. I didn’t know I had been fighting for so long; I thought I was ‘coping’.

Appearing normal is the worst thing we can all do. Savannah looked happy and beautiful the days leading up to her death. ‘She had makeup on and was dressed and looked pretty and was excited.’ Her therapist told me that about the day before she died and how she was in their meeting. We think addicts die in gutters on on trains, but they are also beautiful young people and they die in bed waiting to start their lives. Her facebook photo is from just a week or two before she died. She was loved and cared for. I feel bad talking about this. Still. It’s so evil. She was so many wonderful things. So MANY wonderful things. THAT is the Savannah in our hearts and the one we carry on for. THAT is who she wanted to be and couldn’t win. My heart breaks for her every. single. day.

So I am going to follow my guide.

I am to heal, to discover things and to leave all my pain aside for moments in time so I can find this new life. I have so much love to bring with me. And to give. Such a weird dichotomy of being. So sad and ripped to pieces and at the same time, if I’m torn down, I get the chance to build a whole new life that I know nothing about nor could I have planned it. It got removed. Deleted. I have no choice but to start with this bare bones Judy I have here and see what she finds. That’s all I can really do.

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From a walk about in Boulder. This is at a gallery called Rembrandt Yard. Needed to see this. https://rembrandtyard.com/

 

 

Choices Indeed

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Today is more melancholy than grief stricken. Like it has been years since my daughter died. So strange. I will see a photo and think, ‘Well, I always knew you were going to live a short, fast and furious life.’ How did I know this? Savannah told me this when she was a baby. She was so MAD she was back on this dumb planet. Like, really exasperated. She hated being a baby. I could never hold her like a baby in my arms, she would struggle and fight to hold up her head. She would not relax into it.

One night I was rocking her and she told me, like her head/thoughts were telling my head/my thoughts; that she came here to save my life. That she had saved my life several, several times. I thought ‘No. I’m going to save your life.’ She said no. I’m here to save your life, I came here for you. I told her I was so sorry. I know she didn’t like it here and if she came back for me, I was sorry and thank you. She was three months old.

She did everything in her life like a little bulldozer. That’s what I called her in my mind. Bulldozing through life. She liked dresses and girly things and always had a purse, but she barrelled through things like a machine. She fought with passion, she cried with all her heart, she laughed until she cried, she fell hard, she got hurt hard, people hurt her feelings hard, she never liked to fight but she would not mince words. She was honest and brutal and in the face of life like no one I ever knew or will know.

If I couldn’t tell anyone anything, I could tell her. And she told me. I am seeing that she told me the same things she told her friends. We were soul mates.

I talked to a psychic yesterday whom I adore as a friend, and she confirmed this whole story Savannah told me when she got here. I wanted to know if Savannah was ok, I wanted to know what to do with my life. I am working through this grief with every tool imaginable. Some ways I like, some ways I don’t like, my favorite part is that I have quit justifying anything I do. To anyone.

She confirmed, without me asking, that Savannah’s Soul Purpose is to be doing the work she is doing RIGHT NOW. I miss her, I miss her so much, and I understand this. So. Much.

I knew that if I curled up, all the hard work Savannah did while she was here on this planet would be in vain. We think our purpose sometimes is to ‘be a doctor’ or do some amazing life changing activity and that we need to figure this out so we can have a REASON. Her leaving me has essentially saved me. That sounds so selfish and crazy. She was following her soul’s purpose, I was following mine, she was done and on to the real work and I am here. I cannot live a life where I am not as authentic as she was. It would be a waste. It is saving me. I was so bitter, and sad and depressed and now I have lost all rules and all conformity and all Ways of Being that I thought were me.

It is so amazing. This is bigger than us. This life thing.

I am more present, I am more in the moment, I am less angry, it doesn’t make any sense.

I am still sad, I feel left behind, I feel like this planet IS DUMB, but she keeps insisting that I keep going, telling me there is more work for me. So I will take her at her word. She didn’t just touch me, she touched every single one of her friends. That’s why she was here. For us to learn. Of course I wish she could have fulfilled all her dreams and lived a peaceful life. But sometimes what we want for people is not what they have in store.

The work of the soul and the work that we do when we are no longer human, is more than our human minds can fathom. It is unexplainable to us because we ARE human and we can’t even…comprehend isn’t even the right word. It just isn’t for us to understand. She is doing that work now. She is not floating around making sure we all get good parking spaces. I mean, it’s fine if you want to have that or know that, its just good positive energy that we all need, but it is bigger than that. She is on a journey now that is more than we will ever know until we are on ours, and we will not know that while we are humans. She was so outstanding and other worldly anyway, and if you knew her, you knew that. We all soaked her up and wrung her out and soaked her up again and tried to make her bend but she did this life of hers on her terms and no other.

She knew. She knew she wasn’t gonna stay, and on her terms she peaced out and on her terms right now there is no contacting her. STILL ON HER TERMS.

I don’t care if you think I’m crazy. Its just as crazy to think she’s in heaven with all her dead dogs and grandparents in my opinion.

Like I said, I’m not justifying ANYTHING. ANY. MORE.

Now I will go garden. Pull weeds, transform these apartment grounds into something pretty and that’s all I’m doing today.

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From Savannah’s instagram page. So true.

What If You Knew You Only Had Five Years Left With Your Kid?

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Five Years
Pushing through the market square, so many mothers sighing
News had just come over, we had five years left to cry in
News guy wept and told us, earth was really dying
Cried so much his face was wet, then I knew he was not lying
I heard telephones, opera house, favourite melodies
I saw boys, toys electric irons and T.V.’s
My brain hurt like a warehouse, it had no room to spare
I had to cram so many things to store everything in there
And all the fat-skinny people, and all the tall-short people
And all the nobody people, and all the somebody people
I never thought I’d need so many people
A girl my age went off her head, hit some tiny children
If the black hadn’t a-pulled her off, I think she would have killed them
A soldier with a broken arm, fixed his stare to the wheels of a Cadillac
A cop knelt and kissed the feet of a priest, and a queer threw up at the sight of that
I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlour, drinking milk shakes cold and long
Smiling and waving and looking so fine, don’t think
You knew you were in this song
And it was cold and it rained so I felt like an actor
And I thought of Ma and I wanted to get back there
Your face, your race, the way that you talk
I kiss you, you’re beautiful, I want you to walk
We’ve got five years, stuck on my eyes
We’ve got five years, what a surprise
We’ve got five years, my brain hurts a lot
We’ve got five years, that’s all we’ve got
——

Savannah graduated in 2013…and died in 2018. I was not counting the days. Although with addiction, your heart races with every phone call, from anyone, ever. It’s a crazy ghost world you live in. There just shouldn’t be such a shush on the help these kids can receive. If you have diabetes or thyroid issues you can get help for your disease. This is a disease that you can see symptoms of, and should be able to get help for.

 

I believe there is a correlation with heroin overdoses and kids aged 18-24.

 

“Heroin Overdose Deaths in Colorado From 2000-2015, there were 10,552 drug overdose deaths among Colorado residents with age-adjusted rates rising almost every year. In nearly every year, Colorado’s rate of drug overdose was significantly higher than the national rate. Opioid-related overdoses, which comprise a significant proportion of total drug overdose deaths, tripled over the 15-year time period in Colorado. Heroin-related overdose deaths are a subset of total drug poisoning deaths; although these rates in Colorado have tripled from 2010-2015, there are signs to suggest that heroin overdose death rates have since stabilized. The 2014 and 2015 rates were not significantly different from one another.”

 

This quote above is from: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/PW_ISVP_PDO_Heroin-in-Colorado-2017.pdf

 

‘Little is known about the characteristics that may predispose an individual to being at risk for fatal overdose from prescription opioids.’

 

– another sad fact. One I would like to change.

 

Searching for a solution

read more info by clicking on above link…

“Winder recalls a situation in which he responded to a report of a woman overdosing, slumped over near an I-15 onramp in Midvale. “ —— this is where my daughter lived for seven months, got drugs and died on April 17th.

But in a review of compiling data for heroin related deaths, they only speak to residents of the state where the death occurred, when so many kids go out of state for rehab, this seems like an impossible number to chase. Or kids that have run away? How is this being counted?

“Across the country, drug overdose death rates increased by 21.5 percent, with prescription opioid-related deaths rising 10.6 percent and heroin-related deaths rising 19.5 percent. The starkest increase was deaths from synthetic opioids, which more than doubled from 2015 to 2016.

From 2015 to 2016, some of the biggest increases in opioid deaths were seen in men ages 15 to 24 (36.7 percent) and in black people (56.1 percent). Young people between ages 25 and 34 were among the hardest hit, with a 33.5 percent increase in deaths. And double the number of men died from overdoses in 2016 than women (27,642 men and 13,079 women).”

FROM:  https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Opioid-Overdose-Deaths-Heroin-Synthetic-Fentanyl-New-York-Connecticut-New-Jersey-478326103.html

 From THIS article:

What causes addiction? That’s a question that floats around at Next Level Recovery. And it’s a question that can truly only be answered individually.

Not all addictions are the same and the same can be said about what fuels an individual’s addiction. It’s partially the reason why solutions to the addiction problem is so vexing.

“Sometimes people are looking to really escape painful emotions, a lot of people have trauma going on that they’re trying to escape the memory of it or those painful feelings that go along with the trauma. A lot of people start out with curiosity,” Beckstrand said.’

This is where I’d like to reach out, and also through legislation and available help to addicts. I’d like there to be more info and thus more help.

https://www.nbcnewyork.com%2Fon-air%2Fas-seen-on%2Fopioid-crisis-new-jersey-roundtable-video-New-York-462824193.html&t=opioidroundtable-1512750265129

 

Colorado beats out Utah in deaths to heroin overdose.

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Where are our kids supposed to go?

Decedent

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Decedent is the word for ‘a person who has died’. I hit the sound icon to hear the word. I played it over and over and over. It’s 5 in the morning. I haven’t gone to bed yet. Although I was pretty active today and if you saw me in the world you would not know this about my life. I am not acting fake, it just comes in moments. Decedent is how the dead person is referred to regarding the death certificate and anything legal that needs to happen. It looks like you should say it like you would say Decadent. But it is the opposite.

I am looking for things I can do to help my son. He is grieving. He has lost his first friend. It was so cute when Savannah was born, we (me and their dad) got Anthony a present from his new baby sister. He loved Thomas the Tank Engine at the time, so at the hospital, as soon as he could come in and visit and hold her, we gave him this present and told him ‘this is from your little sister!’ and handed him the Thomas toy. He was so happy! We read about that idea in a magazine somewhere and it melted his heart and he loved her so much anyway right away, the train was just a bonus. I’ll never forget his face.

Also, Savannah and Anthony’s dad and I are divorced. He is remarried. We’ve been divorced 20 years. Nothing I am reading about grief enters this realm. I am finding articles about grief and very young siblings, siblings who die from cancer, what it does to the marriage, and if the sibling who dies is a baby. All very horrible things, but not our realm exactly. Despite the fucking numbers of drug overdoses, there isn’t much on the family grief regarding them. Our realm is of three separate people who are a family and who are grieving. I don’t know how Anthony is doing because he says he is ok. He has opened up a little, but I don’t know how to handle this, and I’m afraid I never will. Like I said people are reaching out to me, but he is not. Everyone wants to be brave for me. I want to be brave. I will not let silence prevail here. I can’t.

I am working through thinking I should have never gotten divorced, how I did everything wrong, how I messed up my kid, then I don’t think that, then I do. I stay up nights studying stupid shit like death certificates and what pending means, how long it takes to NOT be pending, what I have to file and submit and what happens if its not accidental? I know the codes for accidental overdose and intentional. I read her journals. I look up statistics. I am mad I did not know her favorite songs. I am mad she lived a whole other life that I was not really a part of. She barely mentions me in her journals. I know they were for therapy and I wish I could find REAL journals. I mean, they are real. Rehab is a harsh reHASH OF EVERY EMOTION YOU HAVE ALL OF THE TIME SHE MUST HAVE BEEN EXHAUSTED. Everything is a clue. Just of the puzzle of Savannah. I think I read the last thing she wrote and I think I am nervous about what code is going to end up on the death cert.

I stay up late feeling sorry I kicked her out like I thought you were supposed to do. She had already been in two rehabs for eating disorders and used in one of those. She had been using heroin and other drugs, for three years. I was in a battle with a ghost. With a person I didn’t know. I detoxed her on my sofa. I don’t think she actually detoxed…but I found needles in her purse a couple weeks later and kicked her out. I was a ghost. I was living with my boyfriend and his three kids, she couldn’t live there and have needles under her bed. She couldn’t live there and make me helplessly watch her hate herself and hurt herself. I wanted her to go to rehab and she wouldn’t. She’s already OD’d a couple of times by this time. Later I found out in recent studies that DISCLUDING addicts hurts them the most. The one thing they want more than anything is to be included. I told her I was sorry. She was sorry too. I told her I don’t know how to do this.

It was the worst day ever in my life to hug her and be so terrified and have her leave. We both cried and said I love you on that day too. She came back, stayed a bit until she could stay with her friends, but that day at the front door was awful. Then the phone call the day she died. THAT one was the worst day.

I just spent an hour looking over this blog and can see HOW HARD I DID NOT TALK ABOUT THIS AS IT WAS HAPPENING. She would get so mad at me if I wanted to speak out. So mad. So I bitched about my life mentioning everything BUT the killer elephant in the room. I have been a ghost too. I have already walked around like a fake person for almost five years. That was when she moved to New York and soon after that she was never the same.

She never gave herself time to heal. She just got out of eating disorder rehab and felt confined and restricted and mad and moved to New York to go to a summer acting progam. She called me and said ‘I made it here! I’m in school. I’m never coming back.” Everyone was terrified and warned her and told her they were terrified and I told her she was brave. Everything is my fault. Nothing is my fault.

Where the fault lies is seeing mental illness early on and just not knowing it. Having an eating disorder is a giant thing in and of itself. She was mad we put her into Children’s Hospital. One of the best in the nation; offering a family based therapy called the Maudsley approach. People from all over the US bring their kids there. I quit my job, broke up with a boyfriend and stayed with a friend and for 7 days a week for 5 weeks, several times a day I went to the hospital. There were parent therapy sessions, family therapy sessions, group sessions, one on ones, eating with her, family eating; it was demanding. This isn’t about some kid partying too much. It’s about a person in pain, and a person who was amazing, all wrapped into one.

Children’s Hospital was in 2013. My family were complete unsupportive pricks to ME, my sister visited her once. My mom drove her to the hospital once, and asked how much she weighed on the drive there. I was doing all of this ALONE. Her dad came to as many sessions as he could, and he paid via his insurance and I abandoned my life. She was angry with us, and was angry she missed working at her favorite place: Casa Bonita, she was angry she missed school and theater. She was never the same after that.

What are you supposed to do? She’d already been suffering from this illness for about a year to two years? THAT whole year was an ordeal with school, smoking weed, going to court, losing so much weight. I don’t know. I’m CSI’ing her journals and life right now. That’s what I do instead of sleeping. It’s a curiosity thing. A fact thing. A where does this start thing.

She was successful in acting in school and in New York, and heroin still won.

I need to organize this more but my brain does not function like an organized person.

I will just come in here and write.

I want to help my other kid. I want to help anyone out there who has nothing to read and no where to go and doesn’t know where to start. I mean, I’m in the same boat as THAT, but I’m gonna start here.

Writing this down.

It’s not just about a kid wanting to party. It’s about self esteem and fighting demons. It’s not just ONE thing. She was so loving and amazing an compassionate, therein lies the puzzle.

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I want to talk about and enjoy my other kid.

I want to share in his dreams and happiness.

I’m so exhausted.

One Month

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Today is one month. I have so many tears and so much sorrow I can’t believe I have eyes or skin or that my heart beats. I don’t know how people go on. I don’t know how I am going on. It’s because of the support I have. They believe in me. And a big part of me believes that a kid can’t just die in an apartment in rehab somewhere and we all just go on like it was nothing.

I can’t just curl up.

If I curl up it means all of her hard work and all of her love that she was so concerned about giving was all for nothing. Like we just all quit and she did all this work. I’ll say it again, she’s not having human emotions…but she would be PISSED if I didn’t keep going. She would be PISSED if everyone who loved her just quit loving. I still am getting messages, or phone calls every single day.

My cousin Andrew, my friend Rachel and I, all made a pact to Live Big in her honor. To stop and listen to people, to follow instincts to reach out and to connect. All three of us have stories that happen where these connections are made and they are overwhelmingly profound experiences. Don’t stop being big. She never did. Everyday we share with each other and we talk, the three of us, and we move on and we do something that seems small, but is very profound. It’s all in connections with others.

Then there’s my other fight, the fight I have with the building numbers of heroin overdoses. Do I join something? There are so many programs out there trying to fight this. I’m still working on that. I’m still working on getting out of bed everyday. What is happening is there are growing numbers in the suburbs, by younger and younger kids doing heroin. I’m finding that the people who have this addiction share similar amazing traits; they are very intelligent, kind, loving, hardworking and they also share in a variety of mental health issues like depression, anxiety and other mental health issues affecting their stability and self worth.

What is killing them, besides easy access and cheap cost, is the way heroin is made and that is with fentanyl  You can get even more high and the dealers can make even more money because its synthetic. The drug they use to help save someone from overdosing, Narcan and Naloxone, quite often is not strong enough to shut down those receptors, even though they will shut off morphine; they can’t reach through fentanyl. It’s stronger than that. Savannah got this heroin for free off of an app that delivered her her drugs to her in rehab. ‘Fentanyl, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is up to 100 times more potent than morphine and many times that of heroin.’ – quoted from this article. Salt Lake City has the highest rate of deaths in the nation from heroin. Colorado is a close second.

People are wanting to take away their pain and heroin promises that. It’s a euphoric dopamine rush. Your brain feels happy.

When you take too much of it, or fentanyl, it causes respiratory distress, shuts off your brain, everything stops working, and you die. Then your family has a funeral and all of your friends and family have a deep, deep pain forever that never gets filled with anything else.

Sad, anxious kids are taking heroin. Sad, anxious kids are dying so they can just feel better. Soccer moms and amazing people are dying because they are addicted to pain killers. This is happening. When you have diabetes, you get help. When you have a drug addiction everyone turns away and shushes everything.

Don’t shut up.

So here’s my day. I am getting toxicology reports, autopsy reports and police reports so I can get the death certificate filled in with something other than,

CAUSE OF DEATH: PENDING

It’s not pending.

It’s very concrete why my daughter is dead. She was a complex soul, who lived a very large, amazing, dangerous, loving, open, caring life and now she’s gone. Because she was sad. And heroin NEVER LETS GO of you.

It’s not pending.

MY life is pending. All of the lives left behind are pending.

Every. Day.

Hug your baby, say hi to a stranger, call your kids even if you think you might be bugging them and even if they are jerks and think you are bugging them.

Be big.

babysav