I feel kind of ridiculous now for posting about how going on vacation is going to be hard for me because of much I am going to want to drink. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it still rings true. However, I found out this afternoon that my Aunt Laura passed away and that it was alcohol related.
I wasn’t exactly close with my aunt, but that doesn’t mean anything because she was still family. I haven’t seen her in, I don’t even know how many, years. My mom and I just started to reconnect with her again a few months ago. Maybe it has even been about a year by now. She didn’t even live in the same state as me, so going to a viewing or funeral is absolutely out of the question for me.
I don’t have much information on her actual cause of death at the moment as we are awaiting the official coroner’s report, which will take a few days. What we do know, for sure, is that it was definitely alcohol related in some way.
My Aunt Laura was a severe alcoholic, like a lot of people in my family, and has been drinking since her teen years. I believe she was only in her 40’s. From what I have gathered, she went on a two-week binge, and barely ate anything during that period of time and her heart just couldn’t take it anymore and gave out.
I honestly don’t know how I feel. I mean, I feel bad, but not depressed. Like I said, we really weren’t close. Surreal maybe? I think that’s the word I am looking for… it just feels surreal. With me being a recovering alcoholic, and having a relative die from alcoholism, it just feels surreal to me. Like, this isn’t right, this must just be a dream. People in my family don’t die from alcoholism.
Then a strange thought crosses my mind; Could I die from alcoholism? Nah. Not me. Even though somewhere inside I know that I am blatantly lying to myself by saying not me, because the older I get, there seem to be more and more people that I know that are passing away from drug and alcohol related deaths. Surreal is the perfect word to describe this feeling.
No one ever wants to think that bad things could actually happen to them. I know I am guilty of thinking like that. I try to reason with it by saying that there have been so many times in my life that I should have died but didn’t, therefore I must be indestructible. It’s distorted thinking and I am aware of that now, but I have used that line on myself for so long that I feel like it is permanently ingrained in there. It’s sad to say, but in a way, it’s like I believe my own lie, while still knowing that it’s a lie. How does that even work?
But after today, I think that distorted thought has shifted a bit. I don’t know for how long, but this shift could be good for me. Especially since I am going to be leaving to head out on vacation in… 4 hours.
It’s just really sad that my aunt let the bottle take her. She never stood a fighting chance against it. If I can get past this next week, better yet, if I can make it past these next few hours, or minutes, then I know I will at least have a fighting chance. I just have to try to take things a little bit at a time.
Right now, I am fine. But I am also writing this, and writing is my main coping mechanism. I guess any follows I have on here can expect a lot of posts out of me over this next week. I will also have my article assignments to keep me preoccupied when I need them too.
One Day At A Time
Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.