Junkie

“Junkie”

“Let’s just ban Narcan altogether,” I once heard someone say; “we should just let Darwin do his thing and let all the junkies die off.”

“Junkie.” What an ugly word that is. It brings to mind a dirty emaciated human being, maybe resembling Christian Bale from The Fighter a few years back. They might be wearing tattered Salvation Army clothes. Maybe they live in one of the countless tent cities that stud towns like Brockton and Lowell like pimples on a high school freshman. Worthless, disposable, leeching off our precious taxpayer dollars…a junkie.

This concept, above all others, pisses me off the most about the avalanche of cheap heroin flooding the Northeast. You cannot reduce a person to this level. Yes, actions have consequences. Yes, the only way for an addict to begin recovery is for themselves to be ready to tackle their habit.

And in my time working in a downtown ER in a city that has been in an opiate-induced chokehold for the last few years, I’ve met my fair share of unrepentant addicts. The ones who yell and scream because the Narcan ruined their high. The ones who try and hustle doctors into prescribing them a bottle of Percocet. I’ve even had one patient laugh in my face and tell me that he can OD as many times as he wants and we’ll just keep bringing him back for free.

And when I first started out, I was the most cynical jerk you’d ever meet. I’d rail on and on about how my time was being wasted “saving people from their own stupidity.” I’d grouse about how my less-equipped ER was “cleaning up after the riff-raff” as opposed the more state-of-the-art hospitals in the area. While they dealt with trauma patients and life or death situations, I was holding a basin under someone’s chin as the post-Narcan vomiting set in. They had all of the challenging cases while I was handling overdose after overdose, kowtowing to “those junkies.”

Then one night, a call came in from one of our paramedic trucks. They were bringing in a young man in his 20’s, a victim of a heroin overdose that a friend had found too late. When he passed through the ambulance bay doors he was unresponsive, had a breathing tube down his throat and surrounded swarm of EMTs and paramedics. His face was blue, his skin the color of your fingernails when you squeeze them. We set him up in our trauma bay and went to work transferring him onto a stretcher, hooking him up to our monitor and ventilator, and furiously pounding on this kid’s chest hoping against hope to see some blips on the heart monitor.

Then his father walked in.I’ve never seen more anguish and sadness in a person’s face before or since. I’ve been present for many deaths in the ER, and seeing the family is often the worst part. You do your best, cleaning the patient up, turning town the lights, bringing the family a box of tissues or offering them some water.

But none of that happened – we all were giving 110% trying to bring him back. I was performing CPR with my partner when he walked in, and I wish I’d never looked up. I watched him lay eyes on his son, with wires and tubes in every orifice and a faint trail of blood-tinged froth running up the ventilator hose. He ran over to the side of the bed, his face awash in tears, grabbing his little boy’s hand.

Amidst the clamor of ringing monitors, the puffing of the ventilator and the calls by the doctor to give doses of this or that drug, I heard the father quietly whispering to his son “Come on, ______. Just wake up please. You can do it.” I could tell he’d been preparing for this. I could see it in his eyes that what he had pictured this scenario a thousand times. And that’s what killed me the most.

This is what those would-be evolutionists are calling for. Having someone’s loved one die.

Even typing these words makes my eyes well up a little bit. I know that working in an environment so rife with sadness. I need to be able to detach and push through, and I certainly have. But I’ll be forever haunted by what I saw that night. Occasionally I dream about it, dropping right back into that trauma bay, every detail permanently scorched into my memory.

But there is an upside to all this – I will never call someone a “junkie. I’ll never write a person off because they made a bad choice in life.

“Junkie.” It’s this word that keeps people from seeking detox. “Junkie.” It’s this word that can make even the most compassionate and seasoned professional roll their eyes and mentally tune out. “Junkie.” It’s this word that keeps kids from confessing to their parents that they have a problem.

“Junkie.” This word kills people just as much as the needle itself.

So if you ever want to reduce someone’s kid, someone’s dad, someone’s boyfriend or girlfriend or best friend to “a worthless junkie,” you’d better say it out of earshot of me. Because if you don’t, you’re gonna have to deal with me. And I promise you I’ll go as easy on you as you go on them.

~ Anonymous ~

Relationships, boundaries and a day at the beach — Pieces of Bipolar

I’ve come to the end of a brief interlude with a man. He’s an addict – alcohol and pills. But I knew that going in. You’re probably wondering – Pieces, haven’t you learned your lesson from The Lover Incident? Yes, I considered that, but then I thought, it’s what I know and perhaps I’m meant […]

via Relationships, boundaries and a day at the beach — Pieces of Bipolar

25 to Life

Every time I hear the song 25 to life by Eminem, I don’t hear a song to Hip Hop from an International Entertainer.  I hear myself speaking to the drug/addiction that has done everything it could to destroy me.  I wrote the lyrics, out, but changed a few things.  At the end, I attached the real song.  Tell me what you think.  Can you see what I mean?

 

I don’t think you understand the sacrifices that I made

Maybe if you acted right I would have stayed

But I’ve already wasted over half of my of my life

I would’ve laid down and died for you,

I no longer cry for you

No more pain bitch, you took me for granted

took my heart and ran it straight into the planet

Into the dirt

I can no longer stand it

Imma take control of this relationship, command it.

Imma be the boss of YOU goddammit.

What I mean is that I will no longer let you control me

So you better hear me out, this much you owe me

I gave up my life for you, totally devoted to you, while I’ve stayed

while I’ve stayed faithful, all the way,

this is how I fucking get repaid

Look how I dress, fucking baggy sweats

Go to work a mess.

Always in a rush to get back to you I ain’t heard you yet

Not even once say you appreciate me, I deserve respect

I’ve done my best to give you nothing less than perfectness

It’s time I end this I have nothing left

but you keep treating me like a staircase,

it’s time you fucking step

I won’t be coming back, so don’t hold your fucking breath.you know what you have done no need to get in depth

so don’t hold your fucking breath.

you know what you have done, no need to get in depth

I told you, you’d be sorry if I fucking left

I’d laugh while you fuckin wept

Hows it feel now, yeah, funny ain’t it, you neglected me

Did me a favor although my spirit free

but a special place for you in my hear I have kept

Its unfortunate but it’s

too late

I feel like when I bend over backwards for you all you do is laugh

Cause that ain’t good enough you expect me to fold myself in half

Til I snap

YOU SAY I’M NOT loyal

All I do is useI have no life outside of that

I have no life outside of that

Don’t I give you enough of my time

You don’t think so, do you?

Jealous when I spend time with the girls

It feels like I am married to you. But tonight I’m serving you with papers

But tonight I’m serving you with papers

I’m divorcing you

Go marry someone else that can handle you,

your too dangerous

and take away their freedom like you did to me

Treat em like you don’t need them and

they ain’t worthy of you.

Feed em the same shit that you made me eat

I am moving on forget you.

OH NOW I’M SPECIAL

I DIDN’T FEEL SPECIAL WHEN I WAS WITH YOU

ALL I  EVER FELT WAS SICK and HELPLESSNESS

IMPRISONED BY A SELFISH BITCH

CHEWED ME UP AND SPIT ME OUT

I FELL FOR IT SO MANY TIMES

IT’S RIDICULOUS

AND STILL I STICK WITH THIS

I’M SICK OF THIS BUT IN MY SICKNESS AND ADDICTION

I miss you

YOU ARE AS ADDICTIVE AS THEY GET

EVIL AS THEY COME,

VINDICTIVE AS THEY MAKE THEM

MY FRIENDS KEEP ASKING ME WHY I CANT JUST WALK AWAY FROM YOU

I AM ADDICTED

TO THE PAIN, THE STRESS, THE DRAMA

I’M DRAWN IN SO I GUESS IMMA MESS

CURSED AND BLESSED

BUT THIS TIME

AINT CHANGING MY MIND

I’M CLIMBING OUT THIS ABYSS

YOU SCREAMING AS I WALK OUT THAT I WILL BE MISSED

YOUR GAMES WON’T WORK THIS TIME I WILL RESIST

 

FUCK YOU ADDICTION

I AM LEAVING YOU, MY LIFE SENTENCE IS SERVED BITCH

 

 

Is He Talking To Me?

Have you ever felt like a Ministers entire sermon was written perfectly for you?  It’s as though someone called him the night before to tell him everything he needed to know to make me sit up and listen.

Until today,  I only went to church if my mother really put the pressure on.  She attends a very large church and when I go I must admit it is entertaining.  They make it a production. Every service is recorded and then showed on tv.  They may even have their own channel. Around Louisville, KY the church is teasingly called Six Flags Over Jesus.  One Christmas they made it snow on the entire congregation.  It was pretty powerful.

Who knows why I struggle with religion.  The best guess I have is because I don’t feel worthy.  Why would God want to talk to me?  Really, why would he? The things that I have done in my life are anything but Godly…

I always wanted to believe.

Staying home the first two years with my youngest was important to me but also could be lonely.  One day two young ladies knocked on my door and wanted to pray for me. Normally I would have gently sent them away.  I didn’t this time.  They came in to pray for me and my family.  Sure, why not right, if it works great if it doesn’t no harm no foul.   Leaving, they gave me a few pamphlets and said they would be back in a few days.  When they returned I let them in, but this time, I had some questions.

I asked how they felt about homosexuals. It wasn’t an issue to them personally but the bible is clear about it.  I asked if my son would be welcomed in the church.  They said yes but would never be able to enter the Temple.  That was enough for me.  When they left I told them I wouldn’t be attending church with them.

 

Several people on this journey of mine have encouraged me to look for God.  Some did it without even knowing it.  They did it by allowing me into their lives.  These people were happy.  I thought they were weird. The happiness kept drawing me in, though.

Today, I went to church because I wanted to and I am pretty sure this is a first.  The church is beautiful.  They took an old Catholic Church and embraced the beauty of the old while gracefully adding some new.

When the minister came out and began to speak, he told us we were beginning a series on Judges in the bible.  I had never heard anything like this before.  Then as he began to give the sermon it was as though he knew all the questions that had been swirling around in my head for all of these years.

Why would God love me?

Surely, he is disappointed in me, everyone else is.

I haven’t ever confessed any sins or prayed for anything that wasn’t selfish of some nature. I am blessed by so many things yet I have taken them all for granted i

I am blessed by so many things yet I have taken them all for granted.

What would God want with a woman who basically sold her soul for drugs?

He said the God favorite people are the broken.  I wish I could use his words, they escape me, but the message was clear. God needs people like me.

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This is what they gave us to follow along.  The message was powerful.  I will add more later.  I needed to get as much down as I could.