One of the heaviest weights on a persons heart and mind is Guilt. If you have a good conscience then you know what I’m talking about. Guilt can throw you in all sorts of mentally unhealthy directions. From the smallest things to the biggest things, like being part of a person losing their life.
Guilt beats us up inside every day of our lives and never seems to go away.
About 9 years or so ago I met a friend while I was in the military. At first I wasn’t really friends with him but we grew closer through mutual friends. He was a good guy, a little crooked, but a good guy to his friends. He would do just about anything for you if it was within reason. Even if it wasn’t withing reason he would try his best.
After he got out of the Army, he, his wife and daughter moved back to the Boston, Mass area somewhere within a year they started doing Heroine. I knew he was dabbling in it before he got out but I didn’t ever think things would get so bad. I lost touch with him and his family but a little over a year later I heard of his burial and that he had overdosed on Heroine. At the time I called his father and wife and expressed my sorrow and whatnot. At the time I got a little bit of the story and had thought that his wife had cleaned up, but unfortunately with the fact that she lost her husband and didn’t have custody of her daughter because of the drugs, she relapsed and things took a turn in a not-so-good direction for awhile.
I know this is quite long, but I’m getting to my point. Recently I talked to her again and she totally opened up, poured everything out and told me the full story. I’m not going to share the story here, but the guilt that she holds is a heavy burden because she might have been able to prevent her husbands death, which in turn would have prevented his fathers death, who took his own life 6 months after losing his only son. After that it was an enormous downward spiral for her for a few years.
She has to carry that kind of guilt with her for the rest of her life as other people carry similar guilt. I have guilt about some of the things I have done in the past and things I did when I was a child. I never let this guilt get to me until a few years ago and some sleepless nights with a wondering mind reminded me. My guilt is petty compared to hers, but I tried to explain to her that these things sometimes happen for a reason and it’s not her fault. She will always feel that it was her fault no matter what anyone tries to tell her. She has to carry that giant hole in her heart for the rest of her life. 6 years after his death she still doesn’t have custody of her daughter but has been clean for 2 years and has a little boy that is her life.
The point I am getting at is that guilt is a huge negative void in our lives that are harder for some to deal with than others. With the things that we hold inside from guilt in times passed will come things that we need to hold close to our hearts to try to embrace the positivity of. It’s never easy to live with guilt, especially when it’s from an event that effected others in big ways. Guilt is your brains was of reminding you that you are human and humans in general are remorseful creatures that feel the pain long after the wound somewhat heals. It’s not there to tell you that you’re a bad person and you don;t deserve to live happy. It’s there to remind us of mistakes made and to not make them again.
I think that by her talking to me about it was theraputic in a way because there aren’t many people that knew him like her and I did that she can talk to. Talking to a psychiatrist can help, but I think talking to others that can relate helps out a little more at times. Bottled guilt and grief can lead to depression, anxiety and sometimes even suicide. Sometimes just talking about it to friends and family can help, if not just a little bit.