Chapter 45

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Ryan•  •  •

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2 Months Later

I read a quote the second week into my rehab stay while I immersed myself in their huge library and it has really stuck with me. I'm not looking to escape my darkness, I'm learning to live with it. When someone close to you dies, no matter how many days or weeks or months pass by, you will still feel that loss like they took a piece of you with them, you can't escape it, there's no way around it.

I tried avoiding the loss I felt from my mom by numbing the pain and it was a battle every single day while I hurt my body and my friends and family.

Going through withdrawal symptoms from opioids was honestly the hardest thing I've ever had to do and doing it while still grieving the death of my Mother just made it that much more difficult. If I could've given in and taken something I would've, but thanks to the rehab facility I was forced to face my demons head on and learn to live with the pain of never seeing my Mother again. They taught me how to pick myself back up and embrace the way I feel.

My battle isn't over yet though and probably won't ever be as I fight addiction and try to heal the broken parts of my soul while living the average college students life. The temptation will be there just by being on the same campus as Nixon, knowing he's the university's personal pain clinic, not that anyone is aware of course.

The sun is beaming when I step outside. I have to shield my eyes just to see the sidewalk in front of me. My Dad is the first person I see, he looks much better than the day I checked into rehab but I guess that's not really a proud dad moment so it's expected. He gives me a small smile, I can still see the pain of losing my mom in his eyes but that will probably never go away.

Taylor is standing beside him, his flaming red hair like a beacon and I can't help but run straight to them, wrapping an arm around each as they squish me into a group hug. The maple scent my mom always filled our house with practically knocks me over as I breathe them in but it also brings a smile to my face as I know my father will never let that smell go now.

"I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry I let you guys down." I can't help but cry.

It was hard knowing I disappointed them. Me being on drugs was the last thing they should've had to worry about while grieving. I'll probably never forgive myself for it but all I can do is do better from now on. I never want to feel numb again. I don't hate Nixon for giving me the drugs, in his own fucked up way he was trying to help me cope with the loss of my Mom the only way he knew how.

"It's okay sweet pea, you didn't let us down. It was hard on all of us and we dealt with it in our own ways. I'm just glad you're doing better. I just want you to be happy." My father's deep timber is like a soothing balm to my soul.

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