Life often takes some very sudden turns. When Sean died, I was in shock. It didn’t seem real. He was on life support, no sign of life, at least in his brain. However, his body seemed in such good shape. He was fit, not underweight. He looked nothing like what I thought when I thought of substance use. Sure many times he had looked thin, gaunt, a hollowed out form of a human. This wasn’t one of those times. The image didn’t fit with the reality.
So, with this pandemic.. I should have been more expecting, more prepared. Sure, I ordered a few masks for my medical office. I even bought some face shields. I just never thought it would come to the dangerous fight that is happening across the country.
Life is like that often not what your expecting.
I have had so many patients fear ovarian cancer, only to neglect their diabetes and hypertension. I have had so many anxious Mom’s fear losing their children to stillbirth, or childhood cancer. Yet, when my son was dealing with life threatening illness, I couldn’t see it. Those episodes were behind him (us). He had survived the worst and was fine now. Well, maybe not fine but, at least in the improving category.
When it did happen, when Sean overdosed, I wasn’t on a trip, or at work. I was at a program meeting. Surrounded by friends. I was scheduled for vacation in 2 days. I hardly needed to take time off work.
Life is fragile and we often are the worst at seeing our own reality. Thank goodness for all those therapists and good friends out there. They can clue you in. Take your own inventory as they say.
In the mean time, stay aware, flexible and kind…you never know when you’ll need that kindness coming back to you.