A bitter pill to swallow: Losing friends to overdose and maintaining our recovery.

One of the hardest parts of life is losing loved ones but it can be especially hard when we are new to recovery. Everytime I log on to facebook I see posts about people passing away from overdoses. America seriously needs to do something about this epidemic and fast before we lose an entire generation.

An especially hard part is coping with the idea that we “left” our friend in their addiction and moved on with our lives. When I was just 1 month clean I lost a very close friend who I used to use with on a daily basis. I felt like if I had just forced her to come to detox with me I could have saved her. But that is not the case, we cant save those who don’t want to be saved. We only recover when we are ready. All we can do is keep Narcan handy, pray, and offer advice when asked.

At first you may feel guilty but remember you are sober now and you can be your loved ones voice, an advocate. Don’t let them die in vain. Spread awareness about the effects of drugs and how they can and will kill you. express your emotions. Do not hold in how you feel express yourself however you can. I choose to create mosaic flower boxes in honor of my friends who have died. In a way seeing the new life of a flower gave me a sense of empowerment over the feelings I was having.

If you start to feel like your life is heading down a deep dark path, stop where you are and pick up that phone. Call your mom, a friend, anyone who you feel safe expressing your true emotions too. I found solace in NA groups because many of the members could relate to me. Most addicts know at least 1 or 2 people who have passed from an overdose. NA groups are great places to vent with others and form friendships that will last a lifetime.

Just remember you are not alone, their overdose was not your fault. You could not prevent an addict who has their mind set on using from using. simple as that. When I was using nobody could tell me anything.

If you are someone you know is suffering from depressions or suicidal thoughts/ self harm please call 911 or 1-800-273-8255 (National suicide hotline) and if you are interested in attending a NA meeting visit NA.org

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