It’s a good thing we don’t know what’s headed our way. Knowing what the future holds could drive a person mad. If I had known during Christmas of 2004 what the following year would bring, there’s a good chance I wouldn’t be sitting here, writing this story. I have put off writing it for 12 years, finding every distraction possible, but like one of my favorite wise old owls, Maya Angelo said, “there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.” I have no choice but to write it.
Looking back at the period of my life, I understand how delusional I was. I had been for years. But that Christmas I was SO happy! Although I had been taking Xanax daily for 12 years for my anxiety, I was trying to cut down, and I had my drinking under control. I rarely drank anymore unless my girlfriend called and then we’d hit the bar, but that was a rare occurrence. I was immersed in my writing, working on a novel for kids, submitting my poetry and getting it published.
I thought I was happily married. My oldest son was headed to rehab the next day. He would get straightened out finally. My parents, who I hadn’t had a great relationship with ever, were actually coming to my house for dinner. My youngest son was there, home from college, all the people I loved together for Christmas. Everything was great, and just getting better. Or so I thought.
It’s amazing the stories we tell ourselves to survive. By April of 2005 my oldest son would be dead by his own hand and all the other pretty stories that had held me together would start to unravel and so would I.