I don't even know how to start this honestly. I've debated writing about this a thousand times, and every time I decide against it, or I write the whole thing out and then just delete it. I don't want it to come across like I'm making it about me? Maybe I'll delete this. I try to keep my personal life separate from the black hole that is the Internet, but I also feel like it needs to be said.
Seven years ago today, I got a phone call from my mom that said, "Your dad just found [your brother] dead." I don't remember what happened after that. I remember calling my best friend in the parking lot, I don't remember what I said to her. I called the guy I was dating at the time, I don't remember what I said to him. I don't remember driving home. I do remember pulling up and seeing several emergency vehicles blocking the street. I think I even left my car running in the middle of the street. I don't think I parked it. I remember yelling at the neighbors for staring. Very on brand, but I just I think I was angry at the situation, not them, and didn't know how to process or handle it.
I had just assumed he killed himself. That's what I originally thought. It made the most sense -- he'd had a history of anxiety issues, and I'm not going to get into it all. I heard one of the first responders (or someone, I don't remember) say, "Be careful you don't get stuck with something." And then I went into the bathroom and threw up.
Drugs aren't something I was familiar with at all. The craziest thing I was around was weed, which the skater kids I hung out with in high school smoked. Maybe I was just oblivious? Not entirely sure. I'm someone who, I have to have the WORST headache of all time to even take an Advil. It's just how I am. I had weird reactions to medications when I was younger, and I just think I have a fear of that happening again? I don't really know, that's beside the point. The fact that my brother, who I had no idea did any of that stuff, died of an accidental drug overdose in my parents' house, was completely absurd to me.
No one had any idea.
He wasn't "addicted" to heroin. He had (probably) done it a few times, either socially or on his own, I have no idea. This one time he did it, the time that killed him, was because his body wasn't used to it and it was too much for his body to handle at the time. One. Time.
That's the whole point of this. It's more common than you think. It happens more often than you think, to people you would least expect. All it takes is one time.
My brother and I were never that close as kids, but as we started to get older we started to share some of the same friends -- when I moved out, he helped me move into college. I invited him to parties and over to watch football on Sundays. He never came -- but I feel like if he had the chance to get older, he would have, and our relationship would have evolved into an adult sibling relationship. And sadly I'll never know.
I question all the time if I could have done something, what if I just asked him if he was okay? Do you need any help? Would he have even told me? What would I have done if he did? I'm at peace with it now, but it's something that's on my mind all the time.
His birthday sucks, the anniversary sucks, holidays, especially Christmas sucks. Hearing NOFX sucks. Sometimes seeing Stone Cold Steve Austin on something sucks. It hits me at the weirdest times -- a loss of someone that you can't ever remember NOT being there, is just not there anymore. The last time I saw him was a time that was forgettable, but now I remember it down to what he was wearing. I remember telling myself that I had to be strong for my parents, all the while never really getting to grieve for myself. It never really gets easier, it just gets easier to deal with. You accept, you don't ever really heal.
He was so smart. Was really into literature, songwriting, writing in general. I remember a teacher in high school accused him of plagiarism on a paper he wrote because "a 14-year-old couldn't have possibly written this." He loved movies -- he watched really complex movies (and understood them) at a young age. He was able to carry a conversation that deeply made you think about the world and what happened in it and what could possibly happen next. He threw up in the front of the entire auditorium at one of my dance recitals. He set off the smoke alarm in our hotel on a family vacation once trying to cook eggs and didn't realize he should have put oil or butter in the pan first. He taught himself how to play guitar and bass.
I didn't know how to start this, and I don't really know how to end it, either. It's one of those things that I obviously wish had never happened, but it also gave me a whole new outlook on life. From now on, I always try to find something positive out of something negative. I don't want this post to be a downer, especially on a Friday night. I'm not sitting here crying while I type this (I did write this all in one sitting with a glass of wine and didn't stop), so please don't do that. This was therapeutic for me. Cheers.
And some people wanted to say this dude wasn't classy? I'll give you someone who wasn't classy about this.
New Miami Dolphins QB Josh Rosen said on Tuesday that he still hasn't heard from the guy who drafted him in 2018, only to draft his replacement the following year, Arizona Cardinals GM Steve Keim. “The only thing that really did kind of frustrate me through this whole process was like I still haven’t heard from my old G.M. I hadn’t talked to him for months before. Still haven’t talked to him after. That was kind of frustrating, but for the most part, I’m just ready to put that whole chapter behind me and keep pushing on and playing football.”
Fuuuuuuuck this dude. How are you gonna do your starting QB (who took a legit beating last season for your trash team) so dirty, after he was nothing but cool to y'all? Rosen showed up to work the day you knew you were drafting another quarterback and you still aren't gonna talk to him months later?
Rosen went on to say that new Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury was the one to call him and let him know beforehand what was happening and that they were drafting Kyler Murray, and they wished each other well, etc. Rosen even texted Murray to wish him luck -- I would have been like "yo good luck with THESE fucking idiots bro."
I don't think Keim owes Rosen an explanation per se (it is what it is), but I think he should at least wish him good luck? Right? Either way, this is more bulletin board material for Rosen.
I don't really know the ins and outs about how sports betting and oddsmakers work, and I'm not going to pretend to. But I do know that Vegas oddsmakers are having a tough go at deciding the odds for this year's Cleveland Browns. And they have a reason to.
For the first time in a very long time, the Browns are a legit threat -- not just in their division, but in the entire league. The AFC North has always been known as one of the toughest divisions in football, but things are even starting to take a turn on that front. The Pittsburgh Steelers, the offseason front-runner almost always, has a declining quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger (who, in a state of decline, is still better than over half of the quarterbacks in the NFL), and the Baltimore Ravens are basically in a wait-and-see mode, with a second-year QB in Lamar Jackson, who has a ton of work to do and a defense that just lost three gigantic playmakers in CJ Mosley, Eric Weddle, and Terrell Suggs. And the Cincinnati Bengals are the Bengals. No worries there.
Basically I'm saying that things aren't like they used to be. The Browns got a facelift last season, drafting star QB Baker Mayfield, having him shock the world and turn them into a potential threat pretty much on his own. Add the trade of all trades from this offseason (of course I'm talking about Odell Beckham Jr.), and this team looks great on paper. The haters are furious. Mayfield didn't even start the entire season (also didn't have OBJ) and still threw for 27 touchdowns.
Plenty of people are skeptical, and they have a reason to be. The Browns haven't won a playoff game in seventeen years, haven't had a legit QB since about then as well, and haven't been all-around a competitive threat for as long as I can remember. I've made so many "Omg we get three bye weeks since we play the Browns twice" jokes over the years, but good times come to an end, and that time is now. This is one of the teams that I'd like to see do well for once.
Dare I say it? Go Browns?
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