Friday, March 15, 2019

Ben's answer to the question I've been asking for four years

This is very hard for me to write for many reasons. On the surface I believe I do my best to honor Ben's memory with SOS; however, those who know me well, know every year around this time I start to crash. I go through the could've, should've, would've and if only I had...

I struggle with his loss every day in one way or another by beating myself up over not doing enough and thinking somehow someway I  missed something.

Every anniversary and often in between I do this and every time I ask Ben for a sign, I get one but somehow its never enough to ease my feelings of responsibility.

Yesterday on my way to work I stopped at the cemetery for a little spring clean up and it hit me again, hard.

I cried as I talked to Ben and told him I was sorry and I asked him to forgive me and I asked him straight up for a new sign, a message...not like the ones before; the numbers, the songs, the hawks. This time I wanted the real deal. I needed to know he forgave me for the could've, should've, would've(s) and that I had done my best.

Ed has watched me beat myself up and has asked me many times in the past few weeks if I did my best. Did I do what I believed was right at the time, would I have changed anything, and I told him I don't know. 

When the outcome is not the one you desire is it really your best?

The answer is yes!

I won't give too many details for the privacy of those I will speak of; however, Ben clearly saw there had to be more than a simple sign, (he knows how stubborn I can be).

I left the cemetery and in my daily travels I was with a young man who was with his mom and he asked what the 333 tattoo was for on my arm (I have almost a full sleeve and he asked very specifically about Ben's) which opened the door to a conversation about addiction/recovery/etc. At which point his mom said oh my God, I knew you were here for a reason. The conversation escalated when police arrived and strategic planning and help for this family was necessary. I would not have been able to help had I not been exactly where I was supposed to be.

I moved on with my day when on the highway I saw a car pulled over with a man clearly not well. I stopped, offered help, called 911, provided first aid and was able to gather enough information before the man went unconscious; luckily I was able to help him regain consciousness after only a few moments. The paramedics arrived, I gave them all the information I collected and they took over.

I was speaking with one of my daughters on the phone and she made a statement about how 'it wasn't a bad thing, but these situations come up often in my life'. I agreed, and it hit me again; hard.

I have no idea what my young man will choose to do; I know I will pray for healing for him and his family. I have no idea how my highway man faired at the hospital. I truly have no idea how what I say, do, don't say, or don't do affects anyone or anything...

What I do know now for certain is I did my best. At these very specific moments in time, I chose what I thought was best. Nothing I do is willy-nilly, I think, some might say over think and others (Ed) say 'thoroughly' think but I think and I act on that thought.

I make mistakes as we all do and my best varies; Yesterday my best was pretty good, the day before, not so much...

Today is another day and I will do my best...
...and it will be enough!

I hope this message helps someone else who carries guilt for the of the could've, should've,
would've(s) that ultimately if you did your best on any given moment that it WAS good enough.

Today, the day after, I am still letting this all sink in. Old habits die hard, but for today I am going to do my best to forgive myself and try to remember I have done my best.

I love you all from the depths of my soul and am so very grateful for our connections today and always.

May the Spirit of loving kindness shine on you on this glorious early spring day!

Me and my boy Ben <3 

hugs Kristyn

Saturday, March 9, 2019

I wasn't ready.....Four years later!

I wasn't ready!
Yesterday marked the 4th anniversary of the day Ben left this life. This year, I wasn't ready. I couldn't wrap my head around how four years had passed. The loss is still so great and the pain for those that loved him hasn't stopped. 

So much has happened since that day and so much happened before that day that led up to his overdose...

What I have learned is, I would never be ready to accept an ending. This is why I always say he left this life for the next because I simply cannot accept that his life stopped.

Addiction is NOT a choice!
Facing addiction, either yourself or through someone you love has many choices.

Yesterday I wanted to stop; as I have over the many years since this journey began with Hillary. Today I cried to Ed, saying I’m pissed off; sick and tired that I can’t turn on the tv, the computer, the radio or walk out my front door without being faced with the pain and suffering that addiction causes for those affected by it. I want to close my eyes and make it all go away because it hurts!!!!! The fear, the worry, the anger, the sadness and frustration....

Then I took a breath and I continued to write this. I go on because I know that when I first learned of Hillary’s addiction it was a quiet disease spoken in hushed settings. The stigma was so great that people were afraid to get help or speak out.

Then it happened, I realized that everything we do everyday as a family facing this dreaded disease makes a difference. What I say and do and what you say and do effects change. It has helped to pull this disease out of the shadows and put it on the tv, the computer, the radio and billboards on the side of the road! This is why we stand together and speak up. Collectively our ripple effect does make a difference. A difference for all the Ben's and Hillary’s out there who need to hear the voice of love speaking directly to them.

So I will not stop, I will never stop. I will keep on keeping on because we are worth it, every single one of us who lives to fight another day toward the eradication of this devastating epidemic.

There are no words to express my heartfelt gratitude to all of you who have been on this journey with my family who are now part of my family.

These stones are available as well as many others;
please reach out we are happy to send them!

The main task of the semicolon is to mark a break that is stronger than a comma but not as final as a full stop.

Addiction can feel like the end, it doesn't have to be!
It is strong, you can be stronger!

You can choose to go on.
You can choose change and keep on choosing...……

When you have the choice to stop.....
stop loving yourself,
stop believing in recovery,
stop believing in a life after the pain,
stop believing in relationships that can be healed
and stop having hope, Don't!

Please don't!
I beg you, the world needs you and
the world needs people who believe in you
to keep on believing.

These stones were painted to remind us all 
the break will not stop us; we will
keep the fight alive!

post note:
This evening as I was finishing this message
I received an email that we lost yet another life to an overdose
 from our community on Wednesday.
I would ask that you take a moment to send 
healing love filled energy to his family
as they face the rough road ahead.

May peace, love and hope find a home 
within your spirit!

~hugs Kristyn Manemeit
with my inspiration and co-writer 
My husband Ed!