It has been a while since I posted an update, and I’m sorry for that. It’s funny the way life turns, sharply, sometimes. Things have not gone the way I thought they would, or the way I wanted them too, but destiny is strange, and is unapologetic for forcing itself on us with no remorse. I am happy to say that JoDee is doing amazing. Our beautiful baby, her daughter, my granddaughter, Brynnlee Melanie (last name omitted for her privacy) was born on July 31, 2019 after 3 days of labor. She came into the world weighing in at 6lbs 8oz, perfectly healthy, and a waiting room full of people who love her, such as her Uncle Jared, and Auntie Kat, her Auntie Steen, and her Grammy F, and someone who she will grow to call Sweet T, or Sweets for short. It was such an honor and a privilege to be able to watch her come into the world. Don’t worry, I will show pictures below!
I have discovered recently that traumatic events absolutely change the way a person sees life moving forward. I always thought that I would follow in the steps of the great Meredith Grey after her near-drowning incident and go back to taking life for granted after the trauma of active addiction seemed further in our past. But that is not what has happened. I am still very much grateful for the turn in circumstance for us. Let me explain.
- I believe I have forced the hand of fate. While JoDee was on the edge of life and the trail of death I made a lot of deals with higher powers. Examples: Take my life for hers. Take my pets life for hers. Take Diego’s life for hers. Take all my money if she can get better. Take anything that I hold dear and near if she can get better.
The reason this is interesting is because I have noticed the very things I have promised to trade in for her success and life, and ability to live, is my pets. Diego. Bud. Blu. Anyone who knows me knows that there is nothing I love more than my children, except my kitties and my dogs. In May of 2018, JoDee began her road to recover. By July, we lost Diego- something I didn’t think I would ever recover from (ironically, Brynnlee was born 1 year to the day we lost him). In January it was Bud’s turn to cross the rainbow bridge. Recently, Blu left us. Has the higher power started taking me up on my offer? Will all the bargains I made begin to come to fruition to keep her alive? Let us continue before we decide.
- In June of 2019, my relationship of nearly 10 years, my marriage of almost 4 years, suddenly and shockingly came to an end. Is this part of the “anything I hold dear” portion of my bargaining? Who knows? What I do know is that I will survive. While it is heart breaking and devastating for a multitude of reasons I won’t get into here (I won’t put anyone on blast, but I will say you just never know someone or what they are capable of) I realized that it wasn’t the worst thing that could happen to me. It is sad, and mind-blowing how the whole thing went down but the truth is it won’t keep from getting up in the morning. First of all, I was a single mother with three kids when they were a few months old, 4 and 7. THAT was horrendous. I am in my forties and well financed. I can absolutely maintain my life with out AC. As sad as it was, that didn’t keep me in bed like JoDee’s addiction did. When you have seen your child on the brink of death, very little is earth-shattering anymore.
- Divorce is hella expensive. And for a plethora of reasons this one was costly. Is this the part of my bargaining that involved “leave me broke if you must, but let her live”? Could be. Might be. I guess it depends on how one looks at these things.
I spent the first few weeks after the shocking uncoupling to have the obligatory drunk and reckless few weeks with the support of my amaze-balls kids, friends and Sweets, but it didn’t take me long to stand up and dust myself off. Not because I am strong, or because I had no choice, but because I wanted too. I know what the worst of life can bring, and this isn’t it. This is a painful inconvenience, but if I am going to honor my word to said high power, I cannot take for granted the blessings we have and continue to have. I look at it this way, while my, uh.. ahem ..number marriage has now failed, it didn’t bankrupt me, I have the most beautiful granddaughter EVER, my daughter is healthy and happy, and for the first time in many years, all of my children are living under the same roof with me. Even as I write this, I am sitting at my desk, taking time away from a small business I started to write this post, while Brynnlee pulls my arm. I love it! I am sad to see that a part of my life is over, that I spent a lot of time and energy and love and money into making the best I could, but as a whole, my life is close to perfect.
Over this past summer, Covidly safe with mask, I got in an Uber with a woman that had an advertisement for her own blog on the back of the drivers seat. She writes blogs about the things she hears while driving for Uber: super interesting and when I find her card, I will post the link. But we got to talking about blogs and my blog specifically, and I said my daughter is doing well, what is there to talk about? She reminded me that someone out there is in the place I was several years ago and wondering can girls recover? Do heroin addicts recover? Does the anger pass? Yes. Yes. Yes. I no longer sit in traffic thinking about ways to kill people (ok, maybe I do but merely because that is in my DNA!) or find that all things in the world, all people in the world, and all others happiness is a reason to throw a grenade into a crowd of happy people. The PTSD does not go away easily, however. The desire to question every good thing, or be skeptical that recovery will stick around, or anxiety that something will go wrong, does not go away overnight. I am still looking at the world through Ya, Right eyes, but I’m better. I want people, mothers and fathers, to know that some do recover. I still grieve for the loved ones lost to addiction, many mothers I know is son or daughterless as a result of a disease that does not get enough attention, or funding, or research, or support that it needs. And that brings me to the muse to start this blog again.
When I first started this blog, I met two women. All three of us had daughters in throws of addiction. All three of us are bad-ass, sassy, women that would have done anything to keep our daughters alive. All these years later, JoDee is the only one left. The first glorious soul was lost in Dec of 2016. It was horrific, and Jill is simply amazing in the way she stayed so strong. She is raising her grandson as a result. In Nov of 2019, the second beautiful soul was lost. That was tragic, and traumatic (due to other coupling circumstances, like losing your kid isn’t enough) and she is also raising her grandson as a result. She is brilliant, and strong, and is embracing this in a way, I don’t think I could. It saddens me that these mothers worked so hard and lost their daughters anyway. I think about them all the time. Daily. And I also can’t figure out how it works? Why their two and not mine? Why wasn’t one of their daughters the sole survivor? It something I will always wonder.
At any rate, here is what our last year and a half looked like, I will update about JoDee and the Oregon decriminalization, another time.
It’s good to be back!
7 thoughts on “Bargain’s Cashing In?”
So happy you’re back! Xoxo
I cannot express how delighted I am to hear this news. I have thought of Jo dee often. So good to hear you are all doing well. Chris ( Jake’s mum) in UK.xxxx
On Thu, 5 Nov 2020, 10:11 pm The Addict In My Basement, wrote:
> Melanie Brayden posted: “It has been a while since I posted an update, and > I’m sorry for that. It’s funny the way life turns, sharply, sometimes. > Things have not gone the way I thought they would, or the way I wanted them > too, but destiny is strange, and is unapologetic for forci” >
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Hi Chris, I was thinking of you recently. I hope you are doing well!
Beautiful grandchild. My Kevin committed suicide in June, I don’t think he could go back to prison knowing he would never get any help there.
My daughter is expecting, this happened right after Kevin died. I’m looking forward to next year and some happiness.
Give JoDee a big hug .
Oh I am so sorry Kevin is gone. That is horrible. I am happy foe you and the baby on the horizon, but I know this can’t be easy. I will be thinking of you and yours.
I was so happy to see a new post in my email from you Melanie. Your blog helped me so much and I am glad you are back. Happy JoDee is doing well and it helps to know some can recover. Look forward to reading your posts again!!
I was thinking about you and this blog recently and how much it stirred in me. I wondered where you went. I am so glad you are back, you juicy and fully expressed woman! Following…