By: Marc McMahon

I'm not sure I even want to go there is thought surrounding maybe spending the afternoon scuba diving. To take today and push the envelope on how far down I can go and still have enough energy to make it back to the surface. So I can spend the evening watching a good movie and eating dinner. So I can get back to where I am at the top of the food chain, not in darkness with the sharks that dwell in this deep!

To dive deep within my soul to try and locate the unknown location of a memory repressed that just last night surfaced with a 10-second trailer. A memory I had forgotten I ever had, conveniently padlocked away in an undisclosed location deep within my spirit. The content deemed too traumatic to allow a 12-year-old little boy to deal with on the daily. So in the best interest of all concerned an executive order was signed by my brain and for 26 years I forgot about these images in my mind. Until last night that is!


Last night as I began watching the Disney movie "Guardians of The Galaxy" in the opening scene it shows a little boy and his Father at the hospital. Little boy standing at his dying mother's bedside as she shares with him her last words. As soon as I saw the boy bedside to his frail and emaciated Mother my mind was immediately overwhelmed with the images of me at age 12.  Watching cancer slowly ravage my favorite Grandmothers body until the Chemo finally quit working and she was couch-ridden, left to spend her final days at my great Grandmothers home (her mom).

Dealing With The Past

All of this is almost too much for me to even try and swallow at once and here come the tears. I so miss her words could not even begin to express how much so I won't even try, but you know. She was my favorite, we did so much together, you don't even know how big the hole is in my heart where my love for her is, it's almost indescribable.

I cannot hardly bear to let the images, the memory's of what she looked like in her final weeks and days come to complete focus in my mind before they get blocked out again subconsciously. How I can remember feeling guilty when I hugged her because all I could feel was bones.


Do you know what it feels like to be a little person and one of the two people you cared about the most, looked forward to seeing as often as possible, now makes you cringe when you hug her because there's nothing to her left. Let me tell you, for a 12-year-old little boy it is so confusing it makes you start to think and believe there is something wrong with you for feeling that way. And you believe it because it is the only rational explanation your confused mind and a broken heart can come up with, that makes any sense.

Unresolved Trauma Is Poisonous

Surely none of this was grandmas fault, how could it be she is dying, and there has to be a reason I am feeling this way. I must have done something wrong and that's why I feel so bad every time I see and hug her now. As a matter of fact, I wonder if maybe her being sick is my fault too? Was I to much stress on Grammy over the years? If I would have listened better, and worked harder, and loved more would she not have gotten so sick? Is it somehow my fault that my favorite person on this earth just died?

Then on top of the feelings you're having that you don't understand, you feel guilty for having them. Do you know I can't even remember her funeral, at all, and I don't know why because I know I went? I remember the day prior but for some reason not that day at all. I think deep down inside of me I have been caring the guilt, confusion, and shame of that 12-year-old boy around with me without even knowing it for all these years!


I know I did, or guess still do until now because I can remember on so many occasions and I have never told anyone this. Being in the midst of my addiction, in a hotel room, high and on my knees in tears praying to heaven that my Grandma and my Grandpa would not hate me for the life I was leading and couldn't seem to stop. Sobbing I'm so sorry, over and over again. More guilt!! More shame!! More confusion!! This time as an adult, trying to cope with childhood emotions he was never allowed to feel growing up.

Taking Time To Heal

So where do I go from here? Who knows honestly, I just realized that all this was even in me so it's going to take a little time to process it all and come to terms with things. The teary-eyed part is over now I think as that lasted a minute before they stopped but,

It is my belief tears are a gift from God because tears cleanse the soul.

I think I am just gonna keep doing whats been working. Allowing my recovery and my Higher Power to bring to the surface these traumatic experiences from my past slowly and gently. Then I process it all in words here with you all and its while I'm writing that my truest emotions always come out and my purest voice is allowed to speak. It was God's gift to me so that hopefully my experiences can help make someone elses struggle just a little bit easier. For that I am blessed, thank you so much for being a part of my journey I could not do this without your support, I love you!


About the Author: Marc is a 48-year-old Author, Speaker, and Soldier in a war to loosen the grasp that Substance Abuse has on our society. He is a Father, Son, and friend to all those seeking refuge from this incorrigible disease. Marc resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where he enjoys, writing, hiking, and kicking the disease of addiction in the teeth, every chance he gets. As Marc always likes to say, “be blessed, my friends!”



10 responses to “Addictions Lost Boy”

  1. Zoe Avatar

    This is heart breaking yet beautiful at the same time. Wishing you love & peace.

    1. Recovery Unsensored Avatar

      Thank you very much Zoe I appreciate that and your support so much. Have a wonderful day my friend!

  2. Please Stop Hurting The World Avatar

    Thank you for writing about these deep emotions that get lost and not explained. Everyone has them, and not many people admit to how it made them cry.

    1. Recovery Unsensored Avatar

      TYSM for taking the time to read and comment I appreciate that immensely my friend!

  3. feelingmywaybackintolife Avatar

    Sorry to hear you have experienced a big loss at such a young age. That is a tough experience to live with.
    Through my youth I lost my grandmother, my grandfather and then my then father in law to be at my 18th birthday. All of them withered away and their burdened bodies were no different from what you describe. It is tough; seeing them in their final weeks, final months confused me tremendously. One the one side I was caring for them and also hurting for their passing and at the same time I was (initially) repulsed by the state of their body. Sorry for the word, but that was my emotional response and that is what I feel/felt guilty about. And on top of feeling guilty about that I felt guilty that this feeling overwhelmed me and I put their suffering second to mine. 🙁 It took me years and many other relatives dying of wasting diseases to be able to actually be able to 'sit with' that feeling of repulsion and guilt.
    This is what I learned: humans are both instinctual and also cultural. It is my idea that the cultural layer is there to put a stop to or regulate the most destructive instinctual tendencies. When looking at / judging (?) our own behaviour I think it is important to realise that indeed both parts exist and are equally important for living and surviving.
    It is our instinct which informs us that it is a good thing to draw away from unhealthy situations, draw away from people with possibly contageous diseases. It is only later in life that we, through knowledge, experience and possibly example learn to guide that instinct and develop ease and compassion too.
    I have, at some moments, found peace with my reactions. By acknowledging my instinctual fear I did not automatically transform it in repulsion. But still, it takes awareness and work. And I am sorry to say that when, 1 1/2 year ago I went to bury a friend who had died of cancer I had to go through the whole process again. However, it gets easier. 🙂
    Long story even longer: your (my?) reaction is natural, and it is of course a possibility to feel guilty about that, but in my not so humble opinion, I am not sure that is 'called for', certainly not at such a young age. With awareness we can help us become a more compassionate person. 🙂 Awareness requires not drinking.
    Hope my (too long!) reply is of help to you. Even though recurring memories are part of recovery and challenge both you and me, I am happy that I quit and equally happy that you quit. Maybe it is a thought to have a good cry over what you then could not accept and dared, forbid yourself to feel and has been caught in guilt. <3
    xx, Feeling

    1. Recovery Unsensored Avatar

      Beautiful tysm, I had a good cry right away when those memories came for awhile it lasted. I had to start the movie over cause I missed the start in tears. It was after I cried that I started almost right after identifying all the feelings that were attached to it. And then I knew if I sat down to write more would be revealed and it was. Love your reply makes total sense.

      1. feelingmywaybackintolife Avatar

        🙂 It is tough. But I am glad you put it out here because no 12 year old part of anybody should be trapped in a dark pit like this. Sending hugs.
        xx, Feeling

      2. Recovery Unsensored Avatar

        TYSM for your support and for taking the time to read and comment it means the world to me, have a wonderful day my friend.

  4. Untipsyteacher Avatar

    I just had a strong memory about a student of mine who was murdered.
    It popped up after I read Mark's post.
    It really upset me, and I was sad.
    So, I understand.
    Seeing your grandma slowly wasting away at a young age would be hard.

  5. Recovery Unsensored Avatar

    Reblogged this on Recovery Unsensored and commented:

    New content coming soon, until then enjoy this one, you can tell I wrote it when I was still really new here I never new then how to implement pics into posts or featured image had no idea so I would just put it all in the body of the story as this. How far I have come lol long wayyyyyssss to go love you.

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