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7 weeks and medicating

7 weeks and medicating

“My mommy is a drug user and my daddy drank himself to death.” How’s that for an opening statement? I should stop typing and call Dr. Phil now, because this is daytime Emmy material. It’s my opinion that they’re textbook examples of people who day after day, choice after choice, medicated the feelings right out of their lives. I could write for days on those two and fill the pages with all the material they’ve given me over the years, but since I don’t find them all that interesting or helpful, I’ll spare you the boring read. I’ll stick to writing about me, and my journey. That may also turn out to be a boring read, no guarantees.

I watched a video today called “Lessons from the Mental Hospital: Glennon Doyle Melton at TEDxTraverseCity” – you can find it on YouTube.   I was struck by this powerful piece of advice, “Be brave enough to tell your own story, and kind enough not to tell anyone else’s.” She also said “Sitting with the pain and joy of being a human being, while refusing to run for the exit, is the only way to become a real human being.”  Amazing.  As I limped through one of my most difficult days yet, I carefully considered these words. I want to be brave enough to tell my own story. I want to be kind enough to not tell anyone else’s. I want to be a real human being, and I share her perspective on the necessity of actually feeling our way through life.

So here’s a little about me…

I’m anti-medication. I think I’ve seen too many people numb themselves to prevent pain, avoid accountability, dodge feelings, and develop addictions over the years. When I have a headache, I just have a headache. I don’t run for the medicine cabinet. When I am sad, I cry. When I am angry, I rant. When I’m blue, or feeling down, I sleep. I don’t chew Xanax like Chiclets, and I don’t put Grey Goose in my Dasani bottles. I have memories of my mother offering valium during times of stress and sadness, rather than a hug. I’ve said many times, “It is okay to feel. We were created with emotions for a reason. I will feel this, and I will overcome this.” Some people get me, others don’t. I’m thankful for the ones who do.

I should also note that I am a pharmaceutical sales rep, and my job is to promote the use of certain medications ‘for the appropriate patient.’ I love that tag line… it appears everywhere in our training materials, and it truly is a core belief and a part of our corporate culture. It wasn’t always, but it is now. My job isn’t to sling drugs at anyone and everyone, it is to discuss specific treatment options for patients whose medical condition might benefit from the unique capabilities of the medications my company offers. Not to brag, but I work for the only pharma company that doesn’t bonus its employees for drug sales. How about that for being patient focused??? Yep! We are paid for our scientific knowledge, business acumen, and ability to engage customers. Why am I explaining this? I think it’s important to have a clear picture of the drug rep who doesn’t believe in using drugs.

Meds have their place, don’t get me wrong. I’m not a weirdo. I’ve tried Latisse, helllloooo! That is a miracle drug. I’ve had botox, helllloooooo again! Start that ninja-med young, is my advice. I also got my kid vaccinated, pumped him full of antihistamines in spring, and allowed him to take advil on occasion, so don’t call me a whackadoodle, just yet. I guess I shouldn’t describe myself as anti-medication. Rather, I am anti-abuse and anti-overuse. That’s a little different, yes? Okay, so I’m a drug rep who believes in using medications, appropriately and with extreme caution. That’s better.

So why did I ask four people if they could find me some cocaine, just last week? I am telling the truth. If you don’t want to read it, stop now.

Let me remind you that my gorgeous, intelligent, happy, hilarious, and amazing son ended his own life in a moment of panic, on impulse, in the middle of a day of extreme highs and lows. He was 14 years old, and king of the world. He was everyone’s friend and confidante, he was a leader, and he was not depressed. I am left wondering what to do now. I’m Jackie O climbing over the back of the car, trying to pick up pieces of brain matter and put my loved one back together again. I’m all the king’s horses and all the king’s men. I’m the dreamer whose teeth are falling out, and I keep trying to put them back in but they won’t stay. I’m the woman they call an amazing mother, but I no longer have a child.

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So here I am, Miss Anti-abuse and Anti-overuse asking not one, but FOUR people to get me cocaine. I told them I had a bucket list and wanted to check off a few items. Cocaine is just one of my bucket list items, no biggy, right? I’m not a mother anymore. I’m not a youth leader. It’s just me, and I can do whatever I want, right? One friend cautiously asked, “What else is on that list?” (I am laughing out loud at the memory… brave little friend of mine!) Thankfully, I have some pretty amazing friends, none of whom know how to score coke. So they said. To those four people I’d like to send out a quick hug & kiss, and say thank you for NOT helping me.

P.S. I don’t have a bucket list. Never have. I’ve always just done whatever it occurred to me to do, and even if I did have a bucket list, cocaine isn’t really on it. You can exhale now.  You’re probably thinking, “Is she ON SOMETHING while writing this? I don’t follow…”  Don’t worry I do have a point.

Here it is: sometimes we get hit with something so big, so unexpected, so painful, so traumatic, that we are ill-equipped to handle the impact. I feel like that is where I am right now. I am sitting smack dab in the middle of the most horrific event I will ever face, and I have no idea how to get through it. I don’t have just one emotion to deal with, I have them all. I am bingeing on guilt, purging self-esteem, gagging on grief, and choking on huge quantities of bewilderment. I’m injecting pain, and snorting confusion, and washing it all down with a double shot of despair. I have no light at the end of my tunnel, and I wish my mom was here with a big bottle of her special hugs.

THAT is my truth.

7 weeks today, and it gets more and more difficult as the days pass. Last week I was asking for cocaine, for pete’s sake! What do I know about drugs like that??!?! My friends must have thought I had lost my ever-loving mind. It’s actually quite funny… now. It wasn’t funny last week. I thought last week was hard then I met this week. Today was one of my most difficult days … but I’m still here. I’m still trying. I am still the girl who doesn’t believe numbing myself is the answer. I am not feeling better, but I am feeling. I don’t want to always write about pain and struggle and despair.  Those who know me know that is not my style. I am full of joy. I am hardwired for faith. I am an overcomer.

“It will get better” is one of the most useless pieces of advice I’ve ever received, but I know it is also the truest. It will get better.

Self-harm isn’t the answer, and neither is a big bump of cocaine.

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23 Comments
  • Juli Curtin
    Posted at 22:04h, 22 July Reply

    Seriously powerful……seriously raw……..seriously beautiful in your gut-wrenching honesty and exposure into a world that most of us will never experience……..I am grateful to you for all of what you share with us, Holly. Through all of your pain and anguish, you are giving us a gift that will we will never forget. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Love & strength and peace to you on any form that you are willing to receive it. Xoxo Juli

  • Anna
    Posted at 22:10h, 22 July Reply

    I can’t even imagine the grief you are experiencing. I am praying for you and wish there was something more I could do.

  • Laura Renstrom
    Posted at 22:26h, 22 July Reply

    My god Holly, how do you do it? How do you write so honestly, so deeply, so interestingly, so well? How do you begin to put into words what you are feeling and experiencing every moment of every day?
    I love you. I adore you. I am in awe of you. I absolutely LOVE reading your blogs. They truly serve as a window into your heart and into your soul. We are all so privileged to share in it.
    Please keep writing. Please keep feeling. Please keep sharing. And, please know how very much you are loved. I love you holly.

  • Laura Renstrom
    Posted at 22:30h, 22 July Reply

    PS. I am so sorry that today was one of your most difficult. I feel honored to have shared in some of it with you. Thank you for letting me in.
    I love you.
    Hoping tomorrow is less difficult.

    • hollygurl73
      Posted at 23:28h, 22 July Reply

      xoxo laura… thx for letting me vent a little earlier today

  • Deb Taber
    Posted at 07:14h, 23 July Reply

    Holly, thank you for being real, honest, and sharing your pain. I know it doesn’t feel like it, but truly in the midst of the words and the wreckage that you are dealing with, there is an amazing woman shining through. We can all see it, even if you cannot right now. Much love!!

  • carolyn hoffmann
    Posted at 07:17h, 23 July Reply

    Dearest Holly, though I have but met you on occasion through our salon,I can’t help but leave a few words in hopes they will in someway bless you.First of all, I pray that the power of Christ in you continues to strengthen you lady! Secondly, a compliment on your gift for writing, already you are touching others deeply as God touches you daily. Thirdly, some advice from one who just wrote a book for the first time in her life, keep everything you write, continue to leave your heart open widely to your readers and remember, it is our Father’s will that our lives touch others. Well done Holly! With the whole of my heart I pray much comfort be sent you this day from the throne of God.

  • Debbie
    Posted at 07:37h, 23 July Reply

    I’m so sorry you had such a rough day, Holly. I can only imagine how rough it really was. Actually, I can’t imagine how rough it was and still is. I’ve lost a lot of people in my life…parents, multiple miscarriages, grandparents, my in laws and sister in law, pets…but I have not lost either of my children and that is a pain I hope to never experience. I can’t imagine how primal that loss feels and I wish I could do something, anything for you to help ease that pain but realize I most likely cannot.

    As I read your blog I am always struck by the natural ability you have to put your emotions into words that can not only be understood but actually felt. You are a very strong woman with a very strong mind, Holly and you amaze me. I’m so glad you’re able to write and grateful that you’re sharing your words with all of us. I imagine it to be somewhat cathartic for you, at least I hope it is. Praying for you, Holly. Praying for Mason. Sending you light and love. May each day get just a little bit easier to get through.

    • hollygurl73
      Posted at 22:07h, 24 July Reply

      thanks debbie bellon! i appreciate the compliments and encouragement. i don’t feel strong at all. i feel inept, at best… but i’m working on it and trying to keep it real. hope it helps me find my way out of this fog, and maybe helps someone else as well. btw, your word choice ‘primal’ is perfect.

  • Lesley Kim Grossblatt
    Posted at 10:42h, 23 July Reply

    Holly, I don’t know you, but I started reading your posts on my friend Lisa Maszewski’s Facebook page. Your writing is so moving and heartbreaking, but yet even still . . . so hopeful. Thank you for sharing your truth and your insights small and large. You’re helping so many that you don’t even know. So thank you, thank you, thank you.

    • hollygurl73
      Posted at 22:05h, 24 July Reply

      thank u lesley- i love to hear from people who have been affected by this blog. i am thankful that i can make a difference, however small it may be. keep reading, keep sharing, keep commenting. xoxox

  • Debbie Robbins
    Posted at 11:07h, 23 July Reply

    GOD has such great plans for you! I hope to be able to witness them, even from afar. Know I think about you often. Deb

    • hollygurl73
      Posted at 22:03h, 24 July Reply

      thanks debbie robbins! keep me in your prayers, girlfriend. i am excited to see what god does with this too!

  • Sarah Somewhere
    Posted at 18:09h, 23 July Reply

    I just love this so much, and it is my favourite post so far, which is kinda bittersweet because of the extreme, inescapable pain you are in. The thing that amazes me is how justified it would be for you do do this, to spiral into destruction, and yet, I just don’t believe you will your light is too strong (But if you do, I’m here for you). God has got your back, and you have work to do young young lady!! xxx

    • hollygurl73
      Posted at 22:03h, 24 July Reply

      ah, sarah somewhere! thanks for the note and thank u for the 457 ways you have supported me since june 3rd. you are the best!!!

  • Tricia Clayton Dickson
    Posted at 21:12h, 23 July Reply

    Holly, I do not know you, I know of you and your awesome son thru my friend Lisa Maszowski, I just want you to know that my heart has been touched , from one mother to another, I think that you are an amazing woman and so very brave to write what your feeling right down to the very core! Thank you so very much!!

    • hollygurl73
      Posted at 22:01h, 24 July Reply

      tricia – thank u for your comment. any friend of lisa’s is a friend of mine. thank you for reading, and for understanding with the heart of a mother. i’m broken… but i have hope to be whole again one day. xoxox please share the blog as u see fit… thanks!

  • Leslie Althof
    Posted at 12:59h, 24 July Reply

    Holly, I keep starting this sentence and then erasing and starting it over trying to communicate just exactly what I want to say. You are a really good writer, Holly. You have a way of putting it out there that really captures peoples hearts. I feel for you and the pain you are enduring. I also want you to know you have such a way with words…so expressive and beautifully put. I am just a gal who loves to read and I wanted you to know that I look forward to your posts, not only to see that you are making it through but because I can feel it all with you. You make me laugh out loud, feel pretty sad and cry too. Keep writing and I will keep reading….XOXO

    • hollygurl73
      Posted at 21:59h, 24 July Reply

      thank u leslie… i appreciate the feedback and encouragement. i actually had an easier day today… it helps to be busy building the aMasongrace project. it gives me a sense of purpose.

  • Laurie Johnson
    Posted at 01:25h, 25 July Reply

    I don’t even know you but I am shocked at well you know yourself and how easily you can reach into your heart and bring all that up and put it out there so simply for all of us to see, hear, and feel what you’ve endured!!! You are an inspiration and an AMAZING human being!!!! Thank you for this… Laurie from Pleasant Hill, Ca with almost 10 yrs of recovery:))))))

    • it's just me
      Posted at 10:01h, 25 July Reply

      thank you for the comment, laurie from pleasant hill! 🙂 this is an incredibly difficult journey. let’s encourage each other along the way. xoxo

  • Julie
    Posted at 12:26h, 25 July Reply

    Add me to the list of those that do not know you, but we are blessed to have “a Daisy” in common. I was drawn to you through her. Drawn in by your heartbreaking story and captivated by your writing. Your words; ” I don’t have just one emotion to deal with, I have them all. I am bingeing on guilt, purging self-esteem, gagging on grief, and choking on huge quantities of bewilderment. I’m injecting pain, and snorting confusion, and washing it all down with a double shot of despair.” actually make me ache inside, and I have no experience with that level of pain.
    Your gift for communicating is going to touch so many people and change lives. I have no doubt about that whatsoever.
    I don’t know you, but your way with words makes me feel like I have always known you. I will keep praying that breathing will get a little easier for you everyday.

    • it's just me
      Posted at 12:31h, 25 July Reply

      thank u, julie. i appreciate your comment. it’s funny how my heart says over & over “there are no words to describe this…” and yet my mind keeps trying, keeps pouring, keeps spilling out into the blog, trying to find the right words to explain what is happening on the inside. :-/ thank u for reading. caring about someone u don’t even know is a testament to your character, and i love that kind of character!!! xoxox

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