Saturday, June 9, 2007

Family Traits

Brown eyes, curly hair, long narrow feet.... all those are things that I've inherited from my parents and their parents and so forth. My long face, my large hips, my thin lips are all from my father's side. My curly hair, the mole on my back, my butt, and most of my personality is from my mother. That's the way it works, though it's not just physical attributes that are inherited. unfortunately.
My grandmother on my daddy's side died tragically young and miserable. And she died addicted. She was addicted to the same type of crap that is bringing me to my knees now. I have a lot of my grandmother's traits- the not so good one's. She was sick. Always. She had TERRIBLE migraines that were debilitating and left her bed-ridden. She had kidney trouble and ultimately died of kidney failure. She was an insomniac, staying up all night smoking and reading or watching tv. And she took medicine. Prescription medication- pain meds, anxiety meds, uppers, downers... I really feel like she (like a lot of people) believed, for a while, that the doctor gave it to her, so it must be ok. She knew that wasn't the truth after awhile because she learned that but, it was too late and very hard to get off the meds.
I remember only small snippets of her. None of them are good. I remember her yelling at Cody (my cousin who is 2 years older than me) and me to be quiet. I know I thought she was mean. But, according to everyone, she loved me to pieces. I was special because I was her baby's little girl. Lil Harry's baby- with the same big brown eyes and long skinnyness that she and my father had. She bought me dresses- the favorite red one with lace and paid to have my picture taken. She did love me. And right now, my heart breaks for her.
A funny story I just heard this past Christmas- I was 3 1/2 when she died, and so I noticed she was gone, obviously. My momma told me that maw maw went to heaven. We were at my granparents' house and I saw her purse hanging in the hallway and said, "Oh no! Mom, maw maw forgot to bring her purse!" How cute am I?
My mom's grandmother suffered from depression. She lived in a time where she could've had any degree of depression and was just dismissed as crazy. Her husband, my great-grandfather, was an alcoholic. I'm sure my family loves all this "airing of the dirty laundry" but, oh well... These particular traits have trickled down the branches ofthe family tree as well. Depression is something I have struggled with and I know many people in the family who have as well.
My poor children have really not a lot of luck in the mixing of the blood pool. Luke has an aunt, his dad's sister, who died from a complication of her addiction. The story is unclear and is really not mine to tell but, I know that Luke really loved her and lost way too many people in his life when he was young. His mother's brother was a terrible drug addict- cocaine and the like. Grandma has told me the horror stories of being the mother of an addict. He died of cancer when Luke was young.
I know mothers of addicts. I know families of addicts. Addicts of drugs that should have killed. The type of horror you "hear" about that "will never happen to you".
A very close and sacred friend of mine had this problem. We will call him William. William came from a good family. His parents sent him to good schools, they loved him and spent time with him. He had extended family, was very smart, sweet and beautiful. He was sensitive and did I mention smart- way smart. His drug problem began very early in his life and was very difficult. He did it all, from what I know... He was injured and should've died probably more than once. I know of at least TWO times for sure. I'm sure my friend has kept a lot from me. Those two times were terrible (that word doesn't even began to describe bcause there isn't one) for all involved. Those times were rougher than rough. Cut to now- William is clean. We are still friends. And I thank God everyday that he survived.
So, an update for those wondering how I'm faring in the battle against the evil benzo... I've decided to do another round of 1.25 mg for the week. I refilled the medicine giver (didn't I say I wasn't gonna talk about my meds?? Well, this is different) on Friday and was gonna go down to 1.15 mg. That would leave me with a whole pill and a crumbly little piece of a pill but, that's what has to happen. I decided to stick with the 1.25 for another week to stabalize myself. I've decided to go slllllllooooooowwwwww. If it takes a year, so be it. It's important to me to get rid of the medicine but, it's important to me to be happy and as well as possible.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

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