If you haven’t read my part 1 associated with this post please take the time to check it out. In Loving Memory of James Enright
Febriuary 14th 2015 I was attacked and my best friend stepped in to protect me and these complete strangers, the attackers, stabbed him in the heart.
That was the most traumatizing, life altering moment. When I put my hands on the wound to try stop the bleeding, the image of my hands and the blood flowing over them latched itself in my memory. That image has kept me up at night, brought me to tears 1000 times, and randomly decides when it is going to spring forth from my subconscious. Not to mention, watching my best friend of 15 years, struggle to breath, and at the same time I swear he was trying to say “I love you.” One last time. It took the ambulance decades to get there, when they finally did it took the police over 20 minutes to get me something to wipe the blood off my hands.
A media photographer was setting up their tripod in the culdesac long before the police or ambulance arrived. They needed to get that great shot for their newspaper story.
There I am sitting on the ground. On that side of the police car because I couldn’t handle seeing James being worked on like that. I didn’t know what to do.
I suffered severely from survivors guilt. Survivors Guilt is exactly how it sounds. Feeling guilty for being the one that survived. I blamed myself, I hated that I lived and he died. I felt I didn’t deserve to live or feel happiness ever again. This became so intense I attempted to take my own life. It didn’t work so I started slowly killing myself and numbing the pain with drugs. I was doing fentanyl, crystal meth, and crack every day. All so I could make it through a day. I was such a mess.
I was plagued with frequent panic attacks, anxiety, depression. Using copius amounts of drugs numbed my agony for brief moments. I would start to hyperventilate getting my purse, my keys because I needed to go get groceries. I hated going out, even to the grocery store.
“The whole world can become the enemy when you lose what you love.”
It was explained to me that a person suffering from PTSD has a very small margin regarding emotional ability to handle situations. Causing something as simple as, someone taking too long to pay for their groceries, into this hellish ordeal. I hated them, how stupid could they be? Why is it taking them so long? I hated everyone, the grocery store, the guy behind me in line too. I developed this belief that the universe was out to get me because all these awful things kept happening to me over and over.
My other good friend died of cancer, I lost my job, was evicted, was frauded at 2 financial insitutions, crashed my car, the list continues. The one thing that happened literally every store I went to was, by the time I got up to the till the system would stop working. At Starbucks, Home Depot, Save-On, Shoppers Drug Mart etc. It happened everywhere. I almost got to a place of acceptance around it due to the fact it happened so often. I was convinced the universe had this vendetta.
In the months following James death my view on life after death changed. Prior to his passing I didn’t believe. But now James has proven to me that it does. There are too many incidents, too many to be coincidences. For example when people were over at my house, people who didn’t even know James, or knew what had happened unless I told them, would hear my name being whispered in their left ear, get goosebumps simultaneously and could feel his presense. I could feel him wrapping his arms around me holding me when I would weep uncontrollably.
I printed this picture of James and myself from when we were 18-19 years old. I put it in a frame and set up a little memorial shrine for James in my bedroom.
I lived there for 4 years and only after I put that picture of us up the ceiling light directly above it flickered and burnt out. This didn’ happen just once or twice but three times. The third time I said out “James I can’t afford to keep replacing these bulbs they are expensive. I know you are here with me. I love you.” And the bulb didn’t go out again after that.
With this opiate epidemic going on, there is no other explanation in my mind as to how I am still alive today. Countless times I woke from consecutive hours of “on the nod” knock outs, ice cold, confused, and thinking of him. I have hundreds more of these little sample
I started talking to him and meditating. I downloaded this App:
Chakra #meditation and Healing.
This is where my spiritual journey began, I am grateful I have James for the simple fact that I don’t doubt his existence. I have arrived at this place where I believe everything happens for a reason. I got into detox and recovery because I was meditating and praying to James every day.
An example, I prayed when I was at Westminster House. I didn’t think it was the right place for me. I meditated I asked him to take my will, tell me what’s best for me. The next day I had a straightforward message in my mind. I was leaving Westie House today.
I did believe I could stay clean. I was 60 days sober at the time, working recovery in my life. Sadly gossip, assumptions and statistics caused me to lose the place I was staying. The girl I was staying with was told by her sponsor to ask me to move out to protect her recovery. It was f***ing harsh to tell you the truth. I was going to meetings, working on my step work, exercising, and going to church. That really discouraged me, it really hurt. But in a way I get it I wasn’t able to cope with everything that was going on an I did relapse so. Who knows if I would or wouldn’t have had I not lost my place to live or support.
I didn’t have a place to live, I left treatment early so my core support, all the girls I built connections with weren’t allowed to talk to me, so basically I lost my support group. Some people were saying I relapsed. A guy I met in recovery pulled a slimey move on me. I felt isolated, all the addicts in the program weren’t working a program. I bought a bottle of wine and off to the dealers I sped after 2 or 3 sips.
Things imploded fast. I lost all the weight I gained, picked my face to shreds, ran out of money, I was assaulted and almost thrown down some stairs by a guy I thought was my friend. Dope sick miserable and alone. Stranded in the middle of no where I reached out to a friend who wants nothing but the best for me. He came put gas in my car and brought me to his house to detox. My other friend Mike V. Never gave up on me, he constantly called to see if i was still alive. He told me about Charlford House. There was something about it I couldn’ put my finger on all I knew was I need to go there. When the counsellor who I needed a referral from suggested other houses because the wait times weren’t as long. I declined.
Going to Charlford was the best thing I could have done for myself. If I hadn’t left Westie, if i didnt endure all those awful things that happened. I would have never gone to Charlford. I believe everything that happens is a lesson to learn from. Relapse is part of recovery for so many people. It isn’t something to feel so ashamed about that you keep using.
I learned it is so important to talk about what is really going on. Its tough getting vulnerable but so important to find those relationships in your life where you know you can tell them anything and they love and support you no matter what. I made those relationships at Charlford. I love those girls and their strength.
Taking the time to pray, showing appreciation for everything you do have. Not taking anything for granted. Pray for others be as selfless and altruistic as possible. Journaling and meditation are KEY. Taking that time in the day to reflect and also silencing your mind to simply listen. This takes practice but once you get it, you have all the answers to your problems. The other tricky part though is listening to that voice. It’s not always what we want, it’s never the easy way out.
I have done a lot of work around trying to forgive those that hurt me. Letting go. Hanging on only my hurts me. I came to realize harboring hatred and revenge was only keeping me sick. But it is so hard to let go. The guys that attacked me and killed James… How do I let go?
Iv’e started to try be more understanding, they have to live with what they’ve done for the rest of their lives. Unless you’re a sociopath, it would be hard knowing you were the one that caused the end of someone else’s life.
Its tragic. All the symptoms from my PTSD were non existent for so long. It is amazing how a simple thing like Taitusi sentencing not being no where near good enough to bring them all back. I’ve lost my patience, tolerance, I’ve been having anxiety, mini spouts of spiraling out of control. I’m jumpy on edge. Scared at noises and s**t…. its brutal.
That is why I needed to write this. To remind myself of all the work I’ve done and how I know what to do. I have the solutions. Now it’s up to me to put in the work again to move forward. I could sit here and wallow in self pity. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME AGAIN??? But where does that get anyone??? Trauma is a reoccurrng mental scar and it’s up to us to not let it run our lives.
Are we sheep?
Or are we wolves?
Other great ways to help heal.
Painting, gardening, writing or listening to music. Creating a playlist of songs you associate with happiness and empowerment. Exercise, yoga, dancing, pole dancing.
I will get more into detail about the helpful hobbies in my next post. Stay tuned!