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When Your Date Dies

by | Dec 4, 2023 | All, Life with an Alcoholic, The Adventures of Dating

I have learned the hard way that every year of your life is a new chapter. People come and go from our lives, sometimes because you had to remove them, or because they left on their own. However, I believe that every person we allow to be a part of our world, whether it’s for a significant amount of time, a short amount of time, or even for just a moment, everyone we encounter teaches us something and changes us in some way. And while some of my experiences with others have been negative, I have also had some amazing moments and experiences in the most unexpected ways with people that I will always remember and appreciate. So why is it that the negative experiences are so hard to get past? Why do we so clearly remember how these individuals made us feel?

My ex was an alcoholic, probably still is. This isn’t a secret to most. The decade that I spent with him cannot be adequately described in words, but I will give it a shot and try to explain it in a way that can be understood even by those who have never had to experience life with an alcoholic. Have you ever watched one of those horrible horror movies? The one where the characters do stupid shit that gets them killed, and everyone watching can see what the obvious outcome is going to be. Yet the person in the movie can’t seem to see it and they eventually end up the victim? Loving an alcoholic is very comparable to this. When you’re living with it, and it’s a part of your daily life, you’re too busy trying to survive the present to see what your audience sees. Your viewers know that it’s going to end bad, and they cannot understand why you’re staying in such a bad situation and haven’t yet run for safety. And no matter how obvious the danger and toxic environment appears to those watching, the main character can’t and won’t see it until they are ready. And the sad reality is that while some figure it out in time to survive, many don’t. Thankfully, I had the strength, courage and support that I needed to remove myself from the creepy, abandoned, chainsaw ridden warehouse, and seek refuge in a safe place.

But just when you think you have survived the horror movie that was your life for so long, it can easily creep into your life again. However, it shows up in different forms that are not immediately recognizable. I recently played a role in the sequel to my horror movie, and all new characters were introduced, including myself. I am no longer the woman I used to be, and when the villain showed up this time, I saw it. I recognized it. I trusted my gut and walked away. So, I should feel good right?

Except that I don’t because this character wasn’t a villain at all. He wasn’t scary, he didn’t treat me with disrespect, he didn’t hurt me, or cause me pain, until he drank himself to death. I recognized that he had a problem and I stepped away, and I didn’t answer his calls or texts when he was struggling and wanted to talk. For my own personal mental health, I couldn’t be that person for him. I cared for him, but I couldn’t sacrifice myself ever again to save the demons that lived within another. And while I am proud of myself for recognizing these things and setting healthy boundaries, I will not easily forget that he died alone in horrific fashion. He reached out to me when he was struggling, and I chose not to respond. I didn’t know or understand how extreme his situation was, all I knew was that I had to protect my well-being and at the end of the day, could I have really helped him? Maybe I could have made a temporary difference in his life, but the result in the end would have been the same. We cannot save or fix anyone that doesn’t want to be saved.

People who choose to end their lives, and not help themselves, are drowning for a variety of reasons. But drowning people reach out and pull under anything and everything. I was not the appropriate or suitable support that he needed to get help. The help I could have given would not have been what he needed, nor would I have been sufficient to offer the kind of benefit someone amid a mental health crisis needs. The very fact that he was reaching out to me, and not a mental health professional, a doctor, a relative, a police officer, or a nurse, meant he had made his mind up…. he was ready to give up. There was nothing I could do, and the unintentional (or intentional) cruelty of suicide is leaving those left behind with doubts as to what they could have done, which is futile…but decent people introspect.

We all get choices, and amid insufferable mental health issues, we all have a choice. Everyone has a responsibility to treat each other with compassion and respect and I respected myself and him enough to have compassion for him as a man, but not to lead him on in a relationship I didn’t want to pursue. I was not the lifeline he needed, and never could be. I pray for his children and the people who loved him.  And when his memories creeps into my mind, I ease my sadness knowing that in heaven he has found the peace he couldn’t while among us…..and he is no doubt rocking a Cubbies hat and showing off his sweet dance moves. RIP Friend.

XOXO,
Allison Rose

Allison Rose

Founder at Filter Free Bullsh!t Free

Entrepreneurship is my addiction, Sharing my story and empowering others is my passion. My girl gang, my family and tequila shots fuel my soul & calm my head. I’m here to inspire and to be inspired.

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