Addiction, Suppression & Losing a Spouse

"Perfections is attained through slow degrees; it requires the hand of time." - Voltaire

We've all experienced loss of some kind. That could be a close friend, a family member, a spouse, a pet or even some parts of ourselves. What matters most in these instances is how we acknowledge, analyze, and process these moments n our life. After all, death is the only guarantee that we are ever given in life. Yet, death is something each and every one of us handle in vastly different ways.

I lost my fiance four and a half years ago. We learned after a routine doctor's visit he was dying from late stage 4 Angiosarcoma. Angiosarcoma is a cancer in the lining of the blood & lymph vessels, and is considered a rare form of cancer to be diagnosed with. They optimistically gave us 3 months, and ultimately he succumbed to his diagnosis in just under 6 weeks. I watched him slowly die more and more each day. I was barred from attending his funeral, so to say my head, and my heart hurt doesn't begin to state the obvious. I spent the first year hating myself, and suppressing everything with drugs and alcohol, but what did that really do for me? Not a fucking thing. I cried harder, and longer every single time I would get intoxicated, but those reactions manifested more often each time in toxic & unhealthy ways. I was lashing out at people that only wanted to help, whether they understood or not.

That first year of Birthdays coming and going, Holidays feeling like a blur, the excursions I once loved felt like punishments. I was angry at the world. Instead of taking care of myself and actually spending the time to deal with this life changing loss I played a facade. I was only 23 when he passed away. I was throwing myself into relationships that were clearly unstable and toxic on both sides, and even in therapy I was hiding and acting like things were not what they actually had been the entire time. The second year though? Having to deal with secondary losses from his passing somehow felt much more intense, and uncomfortable for me. I personally experienced secondary losses like a lack of self care, I lost interest in physical intimacy & sex, I buried some traditions we would share with one another, and I blamed myself for so much of what was never in my control. I STILL can not eat a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie without absolutely balling my eyes out. Secondary losses are a different experience for everyone, but the only thing that helped me truly be able to process and deal with it was removing the toxic, and suppressive habits I continually chose to make, alongside time in therapy to deal with what I tried so hard to avoid. Drugs, alcohol, self harm, neglecting my mental & physical health; among so many other things that felt so easy, things I thought made me feel good. That's a total crock of shit, and the word irresponsibility doesn't even begin to cover how I feel about having made those choices for so long.

Two years after his passing, when I made a choice to end an abusive relationship, I ended up checking myself into a mental health facility, and THAT was the true start, not only from ending my cycle's of addiction, but also giving myself permission to be responsible for my own actions. I spent so much time in and out of therapy, embracing my tears, nourishing my body, mind and soul on days I felt desperately alone. I found a strength inside me that he would be proud of today, but that also does not mean I still do not have days where I see something that reminds me of him, and I need to take a moment to cry it out. I'm telling you, those damn cookies get me EVERY damn time! I've cried typing, and re-typing this ,unsure whether or not it was what I wanted to truly speak on.

The important thing when we experience death is to allow ourselves to sit down with it, and understand why we feel the way we do. After all, as quoted above, perfection takes time, and if we do not allow ourselves to take those baby steps toward bettering ourselves, we will only begin to further fuel our own deprecation and rumination. I promise you, you do not want to go down that rabbit hole. Are you actually dealing with your loss, or are your suppressing it, and lying to yourself and those around you who ultimately care?

With Cosmic Love,

Reverend Damion

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