Matt, It’s been six months and I’m still trying to breathe. I’ve been told that by now I should be angry at you. Enough time has passed that the anger should come. The well publicized stages of grief states that I am in the anger phase. Well, I’m angry. I’m damn angry. I’m angry at the broken system that let you down. I’m angry that the insurance industry places more value on saving money than saving lives. I’m angry that addiction is discriminated against by both the medical community and the Insurance Industry. I’m angry that addiction is not treated like the disease it is. I’m angry at the Lawmakers who turn a blind eye to this epidemic, allowing scumbags to run sober living houses only caring about collecting rent from their tenants and not giving a damn about helping the addict.
I’m angry that lawmakers sat back and allowed relapsing addicts to be thrown into the streets or taken half unconscious to motels where they later died. I’m angry that my handsome, funny, loving son died in a motel room because no one gave a damn. I’m angry that the health care system continues to allows overprescribing physicians to practice. Changing everyday people into addicts and destroying their lives. I’m angry that addiction carries a stigma.
I’m angry that everyday I live with the crippling pain knowing that I will never hear your voice or see your smiling face again. I’m heartbroken knowing I will never dance at your wedding or hold your child in my arms. I’m sick that you have been robbed of a beautiful life. I’m broken when I see the pain on your brothers face and hear his voice crack when he says your name. I’m angry that our lives have been demolished beyond repair. I’m distressed that most of my friends have disappeared. The ones that remain I can count on one hand. I’m heartbroken that I can no longer spent time with you walking our dogs by the sea we both loved. I’m so damn angry I want to scream..
There are days I get on my bike and ride like the wind. Pushing myself to release the pain. Crying, praying and screaming as I petal releasing this anger that everyone thinks should be directed at you. Matt, please know I could never be angry at you. I witnessed your struggle. I felt your pain as we battled your demons together. I know you fought your best fight. I was there by your side with every relapse, every rehab, every struggle. I know you did your best to fight your demons. I am not angry at you my son. I’m proud of the man you were. Of the battle you fought and the life you tried to live. You will always be my hero. No anger, just overwhelming grief that your life is over.
Now my battle begins as I learn to use my anger to fight for change. Your struggle gave me the education of a life time. Witnessing the roadblocks and living the discrimination that you faced everyday gave me knowledge I never wanted to know. It gave me a clear picture of the brokenness of the system in place that was not only responsible for your death, but the death of so many others. My list is long. I’ve got all the time in the world. You are gone and I must find a new purpose or I will never recover.
Funny, since you’ve been gone I’ve become absentminded. I call myself the dumb girl. I laugh and try to explain to strangers that once a long time ago I was a smart girl. Then my son died. I’m told it called grief brain and I’m a living example. I started writing lists of every barrier we encountered during your journey. I was cleaning out my desk and this is what fell to the floor. My thoughts scribbled on a piece of balled up paper. With this paper came a wave of grief. Seeing my scribble hit me again that this is my reality. This list of wrongs that needed to be made right. Memories of your struggles sucked the breath out of my lungs and punched me in my gut. A powerful grief punch whenever I relive our past. A single sheet of balled up paper brought me to my knees. I could feel my anger burning with each sentence I read. So many things that could have saved your life helped end it.
Pain clinics and the overprescribing pill pushers that run them must be regulated and have their prescribing practices monitored facing disciplinary action when their patients become addicted. Charged with murder when they die.
The medical community needs to be held accountable for their treatment and perception of the addict. Doctors must become expert in addiction and treat it as any other chronic, treatable disease. Addiction needs to become part of the curriculum in medical schools educating new physicians in this misunderstood disease.
Rehab facilities and detox centers must have beds readily available. The window of time is brief when the addict is ready to accept help. Precious time must not be wasted. The Insurance Industry must recognize addiction as a disease and extend the allowable time covered in rehab giving those suffering a fighting chance at recovery.
Matt, my anger will never be aimed at you. You had a disease that should have been treatable not terminal. Our current model of care allows a stigma to exist against a vulnerable population of people with a horrible disease. My anger has given me new purpose. My anger will help me go on without you. My anger will allow me to step out of my comfort zone and fight for you. I will say your name. I will tell our story. I will show other mothers that there is no shame in addiction. I will join the fight to stop this epidemic from killing the next generation of beautiful people.
My anger will fuel my purpose. You are gone but you will live on forever through me. As long as I have a breath it will be yours. Forever in my heart. Forever in my fight. RIP my beautiful boy your angry moms got this. ❤️💔