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[ Personal Narratives ]

This Hopeless Addict Finally Saw The Light From A Hospital Bed

Back Pain Medications to Pill Popping

Injured American Football Player

It all started when I was roughly 15 years old as a freshman in high school. I injured my back playing football and went through physical therapy, during this time I was being prescribed pain killers. Throughout the years up until I was 20 I was using pain killers recreationally. I would steal them from people I knew, buy them on the streets, and I was stealing money from my mother to get them. I would go to the hospital and complain about pain in an attempt to get a prescription. I was selling other drugs to be able to pay for my addiction. This went on for awhile but it didn’t end there. I made bad choice after bad choice, I hung out with other addicts, I started buying Suboxone to get high and I rarely slept.

Fast forward to November of 2012 to one of the happiest days of my life, when my daughter was born. I kept using anyways, nothing phased me at this point because I enjoyed the drug so much. It controlled me and ruled over my life. But painkillers were getting expensive with my growing tolerance, so like most addicts I sought out a cheaper drug and a stronger high. A so-called friend of mine offered me heroin one day and I took him up on the offer. Then in February the second happiest day of my life took place when my son was born. I remember sitting in the hospital high out of my mind, I couldn’t control myself anymore. I was snorting it at first, but with my tolerance continuing to skyrocket that wasn’t enough so I picked up a needle and started shooting up. I had officially given into the dark side and I had no desire to stop. I remember the days when you don’t have any more dope and you’re sick to your stomach, violently throwing up, with violent chills and shakes. So to support my addiction, naturally I started selling dope.

Deep In The Dope Habit

Pusher and drug addict exchanging money and drug

I was officially the dope man. It got so big I had to have other people help me sell. I was out of control, but at least I wasn’t dope sick anymore. I was living with other addicts who used with me and bought from me. Until one day my supply was out, I was using so much of my own heroin that it was no longer profitable and I was broke. I remember it like it was yesterday, it was the day after Christmas in 2015 and my mom came to get the kids because I was so sick I couldn’t take care of them when she got there she thought I had overdosed so she called an ambulance and I was taken to the hospital. I was so sick I felt like I was dying, I wasn’t, but I wished I was. I remember being poked and asked a thousand questions, I could barely move I was so sick. The doctor recommended rehab, and my mom took me to Pennsylvania where I stayed at Roxbury Rehabilitation Center. I was only there for two weeks which I knew wasn’t enough time but I didn’t care. I wanted to get back to my friends and my children.

Losing Everything, Even Myself

I stayed clean for a little over a month til I started smoking marijuana regularly. I was again living with more addicts and I couldn’t control my addiction. Naturally that wasn’t enough, I didn’t like the high from marijuana so I started doing cocaine. I had the same problem with cocaine though, I wanted my drug of choice. Heroin was my only love at the time, so I went out to Baltimore and bought enough dope to kill myself. I wanted to die this time. I lost my kids, my girlfriend, my roommates hated me, I just didn’t care anymore. The last thing I remember is putting the needle in my arm and the high hit me and that was it. I woke up 3 weeks later in the hospital.

A White Light Experience

Bed in darkened empty hospital room

I was told that same friend that offered me heroin dropped me off at the hospital. 23 hours after I had overdosed and passed out. I went 23 hours with my brain being deprived of oxygen. I was on life support for 3 weeks barely holding on to life. I suffered a heart attack, kidney failure, liver failure and a stroke. My lung collapsed and I had an emergency lung surgery. I also had pneumonia and that became life threatening. I had sepsis in my blood twice. The doctors didn’t think I would ever be able to walk again and they thought I was going to be mentally challenged because of my severe brain damage.

When I was in a coma I saw the light, it was a very powerful and spiritual presence, and I feel like God was speaking to me. When I woke up, the first thing I did was thank God. I recall singing “How Great is Our God” in the hospital when it came on the radio. And boy, he sure is great. After 5 weeks of intensive physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy I learned how to walk, talk, and take care of myself. I still have tremors to this day, the top of my spine is numb and the toes on my left foot are numb. The doctors said the tremors should go away within a year, and the numbness is from the anoxic brain injury (lack of oxygen to the brain).

On My Feet, Against the Odds

Disabled man on crutches

In total, I was in five different hospitals, including rehab, and I’m lucky to be able to write this today. I have to walk with a cane because my balance is off and I get tired quickly. But I’m just happy to be walking! I attend church regularly and I get involved as much as possible. I’m in a connect group with people in my church I love going to church and my group. I truly hope nobody has to go through what me and my family went through. I hope this reaches as many people as possible, and if it saves one life then it is worth it.