I received a phone call from a dear, long time friend yesterday. I hadn’t seen her for ~6 – 8 months and hadn’t the opportunity or initiative to share the tragic news about Hayley with her. Her busy schedule, mine . . . our paths just hadn’t crossed. She was sobbing when she called. She had just received my ex-husband’s Xmas card/letter with the family update which, of course, included the phrase “ . . . we have lost our daughter to drug addiction . . . “ I felt terrible that I hadn’t informed her personally about Hayley. She felt horrible that she hadn’t checked in with me sooner. And so, I filled her in on the whole sad story. It took almost 30 minutes and, I left out a lot. She was distraught – and broke down many times during our conversation. The strange thing was, I did not. I felt almost clinical in my narrative, but was privately aware of my lack of emotion. It does concern me. I seem to have shut down emotionally in regards to Hayley. I don’t cry about her any more. I can go for a few hours now without thinking about her. What has happened to me? Have I become so calloused and immune to Hayley’s pain and circumstances that all compassion seems to have completely evaporated? It’s all so surreal. I do obsess about the visual image of Hayley preparing the heroin and injecting herself, but feel mostly disgust and even a perverse fascination with the whole idea.
I’ve always been a “half-empty” kind of person. It’s self- protection against disappointment and preparation for tragedy, in a sense. If I expect the worst, then I’m never surprised, or caught unaware or off guard. I learned to catastrophize from my parents, who were raised during the Great Depression with both World Wars as bookends in their formative years. It was a life based on fear and “what ifs”. Being careful and skeptical, especially in new or uncertain situations, was the prudent approach.
In some ways, the ‘½ empty’ perspective could also be considered hopeful, I guess, since if I always expect the worst, then anything different is usually better – and, I’m grateful.
And so, it is inevitable that I have very little hope for Hayley’s recovery. And the statistics back up my pessimism. Recovery from heroin addiction lasting over a year, is only at about 13 – 18%.
I’ve imagined my life without Hayley in it. She has felt so far away, for so very long, it’s not hard.
Can any one send me a link to non-biased, commercial-free statistics on heroin addiction and recovery rates that are based on objective research, and not just reported by some treatment center, trying to get your business?