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This is a story about a once lost, drug-addicted 22-year-old. That former addict happens to be me. I worked in construction as an electrician apprentice. I had 2 years of experience and a wife who was pregnant with my child. I couldn’t afford to support her and her 8-year-old son on my salary of $9.50 an hour. So, I sold pills that I had ordered from Argentina for real cheap.
One day, I called into work because I had been fighting with my wife all night about the baby in her belly. She told me it wasn’t mine. It was my stepson, Landon, her first baby’s daddy. Obviously, I was crushed so I took some of the Xanax that I had. The amount I took was small for me at the time – 2 or 3 bars or 4 to 6mg.
I got a call that someone wanted a large quantity of Xanax, over $300 to be exact which was a large amount to me. I went to meet the guy who was also my weed guy, so I was calm. I showed him the pills and he pulled out a gun. I had a BB gun on my waist that looked real so I pointed the gun at his girl in the car thinking it would back him down.
Read more: My Addiction Journey
He grabbed the pills, hopped into the car and began shooting at me. I ducked as I was trying to hold myself together. He took off. I hopped in my car and went home. I was so overwhelmed with emotions. That was the first time someone had a gun pointed at me, trying to end my life.
I got home and said I’m getting fucked up tonight. I probably took 5-7 Xanax bars when I got home. I called to try to find some Norcos, Percocet or Oxycontin. I wanted something to numb the pain I was feeling. Thank God I wasn’t hit with the 38 he was shooting at me. I decided to go to the bar with a friend and wait for a call saying someone found a painkiller to kill my everlasting pain and shock.
I started off with a double shot of whiskey and a beer. I drank a little, maybe 5 drinks total before my friend found something. It was an 8 mg Suboxone. I had never heard of it before but said screw it. The guy said to only take half as they are strong. I chuckled to myself and said “I’m a big boy. I got this.”
I put the whole thing under my tongue before blacking out at some point. I don’t know how my car got home. My wife was mad at me for leaving so she didn’t check on me until 11 am. I was on the couch, fully clothed in my jacket because it was December 31, 2010. She said I would breathe shallowly then I’d stop completely and pick up again. She called my mom and my mom called 911 from Florida to Oklahoma. The EMTs rushed in. They said I wasn’t getting any oxygen to my brain so I was intubated.
Read more: Recovery is the Best Full-Time Job You Will Ever Have
They rushed me to the hospital but I was already in a coma by the time I got there. I had suffered an anoxic brain injury. I was told I had severe frontal lobe damage. The doctors said I had a 30 percent chance of survival if I even came out of the coma. I wasn’t expected to and was told that I’d have the mentality of a 3-year-old…
Eight weeks later, I opened my eyes.
I still wasn’t me though. They gave me Ritalin, a stimulant to speed up my brain and the recovery. I had an intense physical therapy regime and was told I might never walk again. I had bad nerve damage on my right side. Therefore, my right foot suffered severe nerve damage.
Today, I am sober from all the bad stuff that I was ingesting. I will start college in the fall to finish my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and I hope that one day I will be a therapist. Now, I have a new girlfriend that I will be marrying down the road and am just blessed to have survived. I had to learn the hard way to leave drugs alone, but I learned and I am a better person because of everything I have been through.