I follow some pretty awesome-sauce bloggers in CLE.
One particular rock-star blogger recently created another blog, dedicated to a delicate, sensitive topic: addiction. Not their own addiction, but a loved one's battle.
As I was reading her words yesterday, describing the pain, sense of helplessness and all-around shitty feeling of slowly losing someone you know and love to drugs, it stirred up a bunch of memories I had neatly tucked away into a little box o memories in the back of my mind.
Reading her words, feeling the ache of watching a loved one slip away from the REAL WORLD into their LAND OF DRUGS...well, MY box of memories I had tucked away had the lid knocked off. I tried to sit on that lid so the box of memories wouldn't open....but I guess I couldn't keep the lid on any longer
So I decided - F* It. Let's look inside the box, Gina.
For the rest of last night, I couldn't stop thinking of her. My friend who slipped away from me - and all those who loved her - into addiction.
My best friend.
Every day. All day. Sunday thru Saturday.
The beautiful, smart, hilarious, sweet and amazing friend I loved.
I met her when I was 9 years old. She was eight and lived across the street with her grandparents. We grew together until I left for college in another city.
We stayed in touch. She visited. But something was changing.
I heard rumors. I didn't want to believe. She was different but she tried to be the same around me as best she could. I knew. She knew I knew.
I came home from college for a visit my junior year, April 2002. I saw her and my heart just broke. She was a skeleton. Her skin wasn't tan - it was gray and just plain gross. She looked at me and it was like she had no idea who I was. Her eyes couldn't focus on me long enough to remember.
All the memories of our friendship had left her. Only heroin was her friend now.
I tried to help. Everyone did. Trust me. But she moved into the LAND OF DRUGS.
Her land of drugs took her to jail. For a while. In October 2008, she was sent home. She said she was ready to start over sober. Her family was so happy. I was hopeful to see her and have some laughs. Share the person I'd become with her and help her get back on track.
November 7, 2008, she left home to visit a friend.
She didn't make it back.
Addiction was too much of a friend to her.
She overdosed on heroin, 10 days out of jail.
On a cold, dirty bathroom floor, she died. With no one around.
But I have to tuck those memories away.
Or I'll fucking lose it.
So instead I focus on the memories I love. The beauty of memories of my awesome friend Wendy.
I love you Gwendaline. You will always be in my heart.
Just like this.
That's the beauty of memories.