Is giving up simply an excuse for not trying hard enough?

 

 

This has just popped up on my memories, I came across it four years ago Alcoholic, 41, given a lethal injection because he saw death as his only option. I still remember how the article unsettled me at the time, I even shared the post posting ‘I’m on the fence with this one’. However, after hours and hours of writing since first coming across the article, I now know why it unsettled me so much – So here is me pushing my ass off the fence.

 

Mark Langedijk’s life had become ‘a hopeless cocktail of pain, drink, loneliness and sorrow’ His sister Linda talked in the article about how after multiple attempts to get clean, his brother had, had enough. He had given up.

 

I could empathise with Marks story and his sister Linda, and it saddened me that Mark felt that euthanasia was his only way out. But what angered me the most was the quote from the MP Fiona Bruce, co-chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group, who said ‘This news is deeply concerning and yet another reason why assisted suicide and euthanasia must never be introduced into the UK. What someone suffering from alcoholism needs is support and treatment to get better from their addiction – which can be provided and should not be euthanised. 

 

‘What someone suffering from alcoholism needs is support and treatment to get better from their addiction.’

 

I re-read it and re-read it, for me that line implies that there is always a solution or that Alcoholism can alway’s be fixed and I was incensed. My Dad was already committing slow suicide, we knew it, and towards the end, he did too, and I’m sure if he had the option, he might have taken the same route. He would often remark ‘they wouldn’t let an animal suffer like this’ every time he was released from another hospital admission. His wasn’t a life. It had become a constant cycle of being admitted into a hospital, going through painful supervised detox’s, only for him to be released, each time his body becoming frailer. He was a quarter of the man he was two years earlier; trust me this wasn’t a life. 

 

Drinking is like playing Russian roulette, and nobody ‘really’ knows where that often invisible ‘fine line’ is. I don’t know when things changed for Dad. Who once used to enjoy a social drink to swapping his usual morning mug of builder’s tea to drinking a mouthful of Jack Daniels from his tumbler which would often make him wince, especially when his lips were cracked from dehydration?

 

I cannot pinpoint the time when there seemed to be no turning back for Dad? I’d overcome my addiction demons; I’d been working in the substance misuse field for over 15 years. Some amazing recovery stories surrounded me, people who had overcome some past severe trauma and overcome, why couldn’t Dad be like them?

 

She mentions treatment and support, Christ. It wasn’t like we didn’t try; I’d tried and failed on endless occasions to get Dad to services. I had wanted to get him to meet other people who had suffered from addiction and were now coping, hoping that it would help inspire him, show him that there was more to life than the bottle of fucking Jack Daniels. But he would point blank refuse, claiming he wasn’t an alcoholic. This is the same guy who wouldn’t take paracetamol because it wasn’t good for his Liver, whilst at the same time drinking his beloved poison.

 

Only the other day, my sister and I had been reminiscing about just how bad Alcohol had taken over Dad. We also talked about someone else we both knew who had recently lost custody of her kids all because of her drinking. She was deemed incapable of caring for her kids because of her alcohol-induced actions, which was sad because we both know that she loves her kids dearly. Some people would say she must love to drink more than her kids? I know I often wondered the same about Dad? Did he love to drink more than he loved us? Or if he really loved us, he would stop putting us through this endless pain. But the sad part was he’d fallen out of love with himself? I have often wondered if he ever loved himself.

 

I know the cycle of change well, pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and finally maintenance. Fuck me I’d been around the loop me sen a few times and so had Dad. Still, at some point, after endless relapses, he stayed stuck there. He got stuck at what uncommonly known as End-stage Alcoholism.  This is the point where the Alcoholic is experiences severe health and mental issues and a higher risk of death. I never gave up on Dad, I held onto the only slither of what hope I had right up until the end, but the reality was that Dad had given up on himself and there wasn’t fuck all I could do about it.

 

I am an eternal optimist, always have been and always will be, I firmly believe that there is still hope, but I also believe that we don’t always get what we want #Shithappens and sometimes we have to learn to accept #Shithappens and let go.

 

Now before anyone gets this twisted, I am NOT advocating that we should be encouraging euthanasia NOR am I saying we should NEVER give up on ourselves or our loved ones suffering from addiction. But what I am saying is we should never judge another person’s personal decision everyone regardless of who they are has the right to choose how and when they decide enough is enough.

 

RIP Mark Langedijk

Remember, try not to be afraid of who you truly are, be proud of your recovery and remember, if you would like to subscribe to more posts, please go to https://www.shithappens.me.uk/contact/ and sign up, If you liked the post please share, if you don’t then do nothing and that’s ok too 

How’s your resilience bank account looking

I always had a voice and an opinion, but I rarely voiced it, you see I grew up at a time surrounded with messages such as “kids should be seen and not heard” or “ya made ya bed now in it”. Emotions and feelings were either black or white, there was no room for any shadiness. Another phrase that would particularly piss me off was “you should always respect your elders” like their age was the only thing that qualified them as being wiser or more knowledgeable, which was bullshit!

  • Years ago, I used drugs to numb my emotions because I was so scared of how they made me feel.
  • I would avoid trying something new out of fear that I might fail.
  • I would say and do what others expected of me out of fear of being rejected. I would bottle all my thoughts in my head, afraid to share them just in case someone thought I was mad or worse insane – fuck me that worked out well!
  • I was consumed with self-doubt, I never gave myself a chance, so I didn’t need anyone else to put me down, nah fuck that I did a pretty good job of that mi sen.

For years I tried my best to conform, to ‘Shut up and put up” but none of it made me happy, I always felt discontent and disillusioned by life to the point that I nearly gave up. I was emotionally bankrupt  and I didn’t have a fucking bank account, let alone a metaphorical one.

“So what changed” I hear you ask?

I’d been brought up to always be considerate of others, ‘It was the right thing to do” I was never inclined to consider myself. Thinking about oneself was deemed selfish. But that started to change, I started taking notice, and when I say taking notice, I don’t mean taking notice of everything going off around me, I started taking notice of me and instead of questioning everything and getting fuck all back, I started looking for some answers, my of which only i could answer.

I found that there were people and places where people were willing to listen to all the things I’d always thought, but never dared share or voice out loud. It was a relief to I realised that there were others like me! Many were on a journey and had similar destinations in mind.

It was like being accepted into a fucking “secret society” that I never even knew existed.

But unlike some other societies, you didn’t have to go through some dodgy ritual to gain membership or acceptance. Fuck that! most of the members had gone through enough dodgy shit, they didn’t need to go through anymore. There were no oaths, no pledges of allegiance the only oath you need to make was to yourself. That’s where I learned about something called resilience and best of all I learned I had some already, only I never knew it.

Resilience isn’t something you’re born with, tha can’t buy it online and it isn’t just for a select few neither. Most of us have our own bank accounts, right? I now have what I call my resilience bank account and trust me it far more valuable than whats in my Natwest account. Over the years I have come to realise the importance of having some time out, making time to #Haveawordwimisen  It’s the place where I bank my happy memories, I invest and deposit positive thoughts about myself daily.

(like now) to sit alone with my feelings and thoughts including the uncomfortable ones and let go of the ones that don’t serve me.

Every so often I will get a copy of my resilience bank statement to remind myself how far I have come and to make sure I’m not going into the red.

I have a special volt in my account, that’s for the crappy memories, parts of my past., there is only me who has a key. Occasionally I might pop it open have a look, but then I’ll put it back where it belongs in the past.

This hasn’t been easy Resilience isn’t about pushing through and accepting shit and it isn’t about taking control or carrying on regardless of how you feel. Resilience is about developing strategies that help you manage when facing situations, you find stressful instead of running away from them.

I know on the outside that some people think I have got this life malarky all sorted, but they couldn’t be more wrong. There are some days I have to work fucking hard, sometimes all it takes is looking at situations differently or considering a different perspective.

My resilience has developed and changed over the years, based on how I’ve responded to experiences, my environment at the time and all the social interactions. I have come to accept that I will be forever having to learn about myself and accept that #shithappens – it’s how I manage it that counts.

There are now loads of support groups freely available that can help develop your resilience. The best part is their doors are open to anyone who has a willingness to take ownership of their shit and a desire to change, to improve themselves on their terms.

So, stop feeling sorry for ya sen, get off ya ass and start investing in your resilience bank account – cos your worth it

Love Fordy

Remember, try not to be afraid of who you truly are, be proud of your recovery and remember, if you would like to subscribe to more posts, please go to https://www.shithappens.me.uk/contact/ and sign up, If you liked the post please share, if you don’t then do nothing and that’s ok too