It’s been a week of oddball dreams in which my departed other half has shown up frequently. These particular types of dreams are powered by my subconscious mind, not by supernatural forces.
From the surrealistic to the mundane, they take me on a well-trodden path. It’s almost as if my subconscious is experiencing its own version of Groundhog Day, repeating things over and over and each time trying to change one thing to break the cycle.
The well-trodden path is Mario’s addiction. In life, no matter what I (or anyone else, for that matter) tried to do to get him help, he stayed the course. It was a path he refused to step off of until 6 months before the end of his life, when one day, he happened to be sober enough to get really scared by the dire symptoms of end-stage liver disease.
If you haven’t walked the path of addiction with someone, you will never know the kind of pain it causes and the strength you have to have to walk by their side and not abandon them (and I truly hope if you haven’t, you never have to experience that). The lessons that you learn will stay with you for the rest of your life. Those lessons range from learning to control your own anger to realizing that you can not force someone to stop committing slow suicide.
And so, these dreams are not replaying actual events of the past, but are a hypothetical continuation where the location may be my unconscious mind, but I am still trying, even in that dreamy reality, to help Mario overcome his addiction. It’s rather on-brand for me–never truly giving up.
But this week, I can’t shake the feeling that Mario would be rather bummed that I’m troubled by this. That would be very on-brand for him. He always said I was, “the only good thing in this world”, after all. In his eyes, I never failed him, he failed himself. Probably the last thing he’d want is for me to have regrets about the past.
What he did, what he was, and the destruction he inflicted on his own body that led to his demise were all things he owned in the end, but let go of the moment of death, for the moment of death was when he was finally free of a lifetime of untreated depression and addiction.