This is a decidedly unfunny post, but I have something I need to say. I’m leaving names out, because in the end of the day, it’s not about whom it happened to but that it happen.

A ex-coworker of mine died this weekend. She was in her 30s. I didn’t know her very well. It wasn’t like we were friends. She used to drive me up the wall because she was one of those sweet people who APOLOGIZED. FOR. EVERYTHING. It’s a habit I’m trying to break myself, and it puts my teeth on edge whenever I come across someone even more apologetic than I. She also gained my utter respect, however, by being the only person to hand in a one-day notice and then explain why this was a terrible work environment, saying everything pretty much everyone else thinking, but SHE—this quiet, sweet, hardworking woman--was the only one with the balls to say it out loud to the CEO’s face. She was a woman who worked long, thankless hours, and who would light up at the mere mention of her husband or 3 year old son. In the end she quit because she wanted to have a life with them, and not with some organization that worked her from 9am to 9pm.

I am angry. She died a quiet, stupid death; a combination of Ambien, alcohol and a midnight dip in a pool while everyone else slept. Suicide was ruled out.

A few people have already wondered about that. ‘Why would she mix the two, and then go for a swim?’ ‘What was she thinking?’ ‘Why would she DO that?’ It comes with a sad shake of the head, but what’s really being asked is ‘how could she be so STUPID?’

If you’re asking that, then you’ve been lucky enough to never do something “so stupid”. Or, maybe you have, and you got away with it without harm so you didn’t THINK it was stupid. Maybe you laughed it off and joked about what a rock star you were. Maybe you thought nothing of it and got over it, because nothing happened.

She was probably just trying to relax. She was probably just trying to get One Good Night’s Sleep, that ever elusive taunting foe. She was probably looking for a quiet moment by herself.

I write this as someone who drinks too damn much (though, not as much as I once did; PROGRESS!). Just…be careful. Just because it’s sold in a store, just because a doctor hands it out, just because people say it’s safe, just because it’s never caused you any issue before, just because you can kick them back and hardly feel a thing doesn’t make it any less a drug.

Take care of yourself. You’re only human. You’re only mortal. And there are always people left behind wondering: “Why?”
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