Giving Thanks for a New Chance at Life


 

First I should apologize for my absence. I became absent to everyone in my life for a while and am trying to change that with absolutely everything, my readers as well as friends and family.

Second, I should warn now that this post has mentions of violence and blood. It is all a little long but VERY worth it.

Recently my life got a little crazy and I got pretty messed up with it. I have been battling the addiction demon for many years, as of right now I have 43 days of winning against it straight.

I will start at the beginning.

As most addicts can tell you, the lifestyle and the dope and all the crap that goes with it gets really old after a while. I realized I was dog-tired of playing the dope game anymore and reached out for help. I fought for three months trying to get into an outpatient methadone treatment. I was not winning that fight. I’m glad that I didn’t…

I am linked to an agency locally that supports all around psychiatric care, such as psychiatry, medication, therapy, and case management. One day my case manager came to my tiny apartment and sat with my at my dining room table and was trying to help me figure out where to go from there. All the rehabs in the area, outpatient and inpatient had waiting lists of even more months and I felt my time was running low. I heard about a hospital locally has a detox/dual diagnosis unit called Access Hospital, located on the grounds where the State Psychiatric Hospital used to be. I finally picked up the phone to ask how I could get a bed at their facility, their answer was, “Hoe soon can you get here?”

I spent a short week there where I was detoxed and tried to get a bed to bed transfer to jump the waiting list line at an inpatient rehab. Something in my paperwork went very wrong and I found out that I was going home instead. I tried to call my live-in boyfriend to let him know that I was coming home instead of rehab, but the phone kept going straight to voicemail. I just packed up my stuff and headed home feeling completely hopeless. My boyfriend is a drug user and my neighbors are all addicts and my apartment was frequented by dope boys etc.

I unlocked my front door. As soon as I walked inside I noticed a huge mess on my hardwood floors. The television was on and so were the lights, I assumed he had to be in the somewhere so I joked, “I have perfect timing getting here after you make a mess but before you clean it up. What the hell did you spill?!”

I didn’t get an answer so I put down my purse and keys on the dining room table and tossed my suitcase on the couch and headed toward the spill that trailed from the living room to the bedroom. Realizing suddenly that the spill was dry, I followed it all the way into the bedroom. When I saw a puddle by the bed it all started to sink in. It was blood covered a large area of my apartment’s floors as well as on my couch and bed. I ran from room to room looking for someone, anyone, or even a body. I found nothing. My brain was spinning, my hands and legs were shaking so badly that I could hardly stand up on my own.  Somehow I was flying out the door and started pounding on my neighbor’s door. I was screaming, “WHAT THE F*** HAPPENED IN MY APARTMENT?!?!”

A different neighbor answered my cries. She waved me into her apartment and immediately sat me down and handed me tissues before I even realized I was crying. I can’t remember her exact words, it was a huge blur but basically she told me that the night before my live-in boyfriend (we’ll call him Alex for the rest of the blog post to make things simpler) had been shot five times through the living room window and was stable in a hospital in the city. She suggested that I get over there quickly but I was in no shape to do so. I went back into my apartment and made a few calls on my back up phone and then went and got high.

After I did that Alex contacted me. When he called the neighbor I had been talking to he found out how to call me. He demanded my presence at his bedside and I quickly obeyed. I spent the entire night at the hospital. The next morning I got up and went to get more dope and cleaning supplies. For some unknown reason I felt an urgent need to clean up the blood in the apartment off the floors and walls, the furniture was a lost cause.

I’m not exactly sure how things happened after that. I know I cleaned it up, but I also know that hours later that night I was calling my counselor from Access Hospital on the phone wandering in traffic. I was taken to Access Hospital by the police. My intake was exactly 36 hours after I had been discharged. In that time it felt like an entire week and I hadn’t slept or eaten.

This time at Access I got put on Suboxone. I stayed Sunday 3am until Friday again. This time I found out I was being transferred to Nova House inpatient dual diagnosis center. That turned out to be bad information. I found out I was actually going to Morningstar run by Nova House that is mainly psychiatric.

At first I wasn’t sure I would get anything out of it. I was still in a fog at first, either from the trauma or the dope or something. But it turned into a good experience almost right away.

But wait, there’s more!! After a week of being at Morningstar, my mom and I got into an argument over me wanting her to get help for the pain and weakness she was feeling. I ended up hang up on her. Two days later I tried calling, no answer. I called three times on the third day before calling the senior living apartment’s management office and asking them to check on her. When they called me back they said her apartment was empty and the maintenance man mentioned seeing an ambulance the day before. I called three of the four local large hospitals before finding her. She was sick but it looked good, just may take a while to get back on her feet. After a few more days in the hospital she got transferred to one of those rehab nursing homes. I had to track her down there too because no one tells me anything. Of course, a few days after THAT I was left a message from my brother saying the mom had been rushed to another hospital with a possible stroke and definitely pneumonia. It looked very grim for my mom. A member of the staff from the treatment center managed to get permission to take me to the hospital to see my mom and talk to the doctor. They wanted to send me in a cab and I didn’t know if I could hold it together if I went by myself. It’s a good thing I didn’t go alone because I really did fall apart after seeing my mom like that with a bypap machine forcing air into her, only barely keeping her from having to be intubated. She was in and out of consciousness for a few days.

Basically I felt like I was being put through the fires of hell. I lost my daughter to Tennessee, my home, my feelings of safety, Alex didn’t die but he did move far away after being discharge from the hospital, and I am still facing my mom being very sick and may lose her. My life fell apart.

However, my life does NOT feel over. Actually, I can smile right now because all this has given me a new perspective and a chance at a new life. I graduated two days ago from Morningstar after staying an extra week so I could absorb all that I could, because I don’t plan on ever having to do back. I am actually excited about life for the first time in as long as I can remember. I’m not in a rush to set up a new, busy, “fulfilled” life. I have all the time in the world and it feels GREAT. GREAT GREAT GREAT!

I wish I had a mountaintop to shout from right now, but I will have to settle for this blog.

Thank you God, for showing me the way even if it took a few bullets for me to get the hint. Thank you.

 

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