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[ Personal Narratives ]

Once Upon A Time – A Story of an Overdose

My memory of this period is sketchy. My parents, furious and clueless as how to make their daughter stop injecting the addictive poison into her frail body, decided that luring her to believe she was mad, was the solution. They were wrong, it was clear to see, but stopping would also mean admittance they were the ones undertaking these cruel, cold, heartless tasks. It was not purely a figment of my over stimulated, distorted, psychotic, fragile mind.

I was addicted to the legal high ethylphenidate, and I chose to inject this poisonous substance. Ethylphenidate is the only drug which has had imprisoned me. Once I started using it, stopping seemed an impossible task. I suffered from ADHD, so whilst I still exhibited stimulant type effects, larger pupils, raised heart rate, hyper, trembling and speed up actions, the complete opposite happened in my head. It became a calm, tranquil, peaceful field of relaxation. It was like my and my body was oxymoronic. One slow and calm. One fast and hyper.

The more I used the more my parents created chaos, I already had chaos in my head thanks to my ADHD. So upon discovering ethylphenidate, also known as legal Ritalin an addiction was easily cemented. I can ensure calmness in some of my life. I can patch up some of the cracks in my life. At least I believed I could.

My drug use grew and naturally their erratic version of psychosis did. Therefore, so neglecting a night’s sleep was common place. This in turn made me manic. The constant pushing had shoved me to the cliffs edge.

My parents had also sold a story to The Sun, unbeknown to me naturally. They encouraged people to stalk me. I was constantly followed, cars shinning their full beams, as they crawled past me at a breathtakingly slow pace of 15 miles per hour.

This encroachment of my personal privacy finally hit a stage where it bothered me. If I trekked through wooded areas, I even would hear the sound of helicopters tracking me when people couldn’t. They frequently sat positioned outside my bedroom window, constantly monitoring me.

I truly like my own company. I love nothing more than walking through a wooded nature area, just me and the squirrels, birds, mice and ducks. Watching bees dip in and out of flowers, the butterfly’s cautiously landing on a plant’s leaf.

So upon becoming more aware I was being mass stalked was initially distressing. I had reached a level of notoriety, this is staggeringly clear. It had no positive repercussions, my stature for fame by taking drugs. It only encouraged me to find a hidden corner and inject myself in public.

Ethylphenidate’s, has a short half life. This is the time it takes to remove itself from your blood. So taking 0.5mg at 1pm, would reduce to 0.25mg at 2pm, 0.125 at 3pm and so on.

This, combined with my high tolerance meant a hit lasted only one maybe two hours. I decided if I was to endure the negative effects of psychosis, regardless to if they were fake, I was also indulging in the pleasure of using drugs.

Finally, I reached my tipping point. It was a fresh, spring day. The dark pastel blue hue of the sky was contrasted by the cotton candy white fluffy clouds, scattered in the sky. Due to the area in which I live having a lot of grassed area, the dewy smell of fresh cut grass wafted through the breeze, and the cold sharpness of winter had finally gone from it, as it swiped past my face.

This day I had decided enough was enough. I had a simple solution to the misery enforced upon me. Suicide. Not that I thought such a dramatic outcome would be necessary. If so, they were all murderers. If I died my blood was on all their hands. Angry, at the removal of my basic human rights I had calmed myself with the simple solution. I would simply pop a pill each time I saw a stalker.

I had Etizolam, similar to 10mgs of diazepam. This was a sedative and would cause unconsciousness. I also had risperidone. This was an antipsychotic causing tachycardia, or a heart attack.

Upon leaving my house, my street sprung into action. Like the film and TV sets I had frequented in the past. The people with little or no acting skills gingerly walked past me, eyeing me cautiously.

I noticed a couple follow me, who I instantly recognised. It was a ginger male who looked quiet handsome, and a very plain Jane accompany him. He was too good looking for the plain Jane, which is why I remembered the couple. Their oddness was imprinted upon my ADHD brain. Frequently seen faces are instantly recognised by its hyper requirement to keep ludicrously busy.

This couple had been spotted to frequently for strangers. At least fpur times in two days.

When final assurance has reached, I waited for them to turn again.

‘That’s two’ I said to myself while simultaneously popping two Risperidone, which my mouth. Aware of the taccacardia and possible heart attack I also popped half an Etizolam, a legal benzo similar to 10mgs Diazepam. I smiled at them upon swallowing them with the Evian I had packed in my bag to bang up with.

I was sure they’d contact my dad and inform him of my behaviour and my recognition by strangers would stop. I was wrong, the more strangers I recognised the more miserable and depressed I sunk.

Now, I’m aware I over react with regards to people paying attention towards me due to my fame. I am the UK’s most famous crack head after Amy Winehouse (RIP), so in 20 minutes, not even reaching Tooting Broadway, I had consumed 9 Risperidone and 3 Etizolam.

I felt a wave of dizziness and decided to jump off the bus at Amen Corner and a wave of head rush faintness soared through my head. I stumbled towards a door way which lead towards some private flats wanting a quiet area to pass out. I stumbled through the gate, crashing onto the floor.

My stumble only alerted a tenant who promptly kicked me out. The site of a skinny junkie, clearly intoxicated, wasn’t one to check whether they needed assistance. The joys of looking like a junkie no doubt influenced his decision. There was no attempt to help me, although it was clear I was very intoxicated upon my departure.

Only 3-4 minutes had passed from departing the bus, but I was now staggering, zig-zagging from left to right on the pavement. This is when I had my ‘oh shit’ moment. An ‘oh shit’ moment is the moment you realise you’ve taken too much and are in danger of dying.

A black mist encroached upon my peripheral vision. Surely this cruel behaviour would stop now I’ve overdosed? My mind wandered as I slowly lost more and more of my coordination. Surely I can get back to normal with only some damage limitation to rectify?

I was very intoxicated and fell into Dominos Pizza where I gave the young guy left to manage the shop a heart attack asking for an ambulance. Clearly he had not called the emergency services before. I managed to manoeuvre to a red metal bench and promptly slumped on to it.

The emergency crew appeared in what appeared to be a few seconds, but realistically around 10.

I was practically unconscious and only remember the sharp pinches to my chest in order to get information from me. This caused so much pain I was dragged from my cosy slumber enabling them a few seconds to force information out of me.

Being psychic I do remember feelings and I felt anger. I had wasted their time. They could be helping someone who didn’t chose to be in their need. Panic was the feeling that radiated from the shop assistant.

‘What have you taken?!’

‘Rissssppp, rissp, ree’

‘What have you taken?!!!!’

PINCH

‘Risperidone’

‘How many?!’

‘Ner’

‘How many?!!’

PINCH

‘Nine’

‘Right were going to need the blues for this one’

Yay, ‘the Blues’ meant the blue sirens, I disappointedly didn’t get them with my accidental overdose.

This is when I completely passed out, giving into the black mist and sleepy hug luring me to St. Peter’s Gate.

I came around in resus. Having previously been in A&E, Critical Care and Urgent Care. This meant the Heart Attack ward is the only one I haven’t been on.

I have little memory of resus bar seeing one of the nurses who treated me previously on both times I had cellulitis. She also came to see me during my first accidental OD.

‘I saw your name come up, I thought I’d come to see you’

‘Hi’ I managed.

Pity radiated from her eyes. Seeing me physically well but having to tell the nurses which vein would be ok for a cannula, when I had cellulitis; and then fading when I had OD by accident, she had a unique view of my downfall.

‘Take care, seriously’ she stroked my hand. I was still very much out of it and passed out.

Apart from the kindness that radiated from her, I only felt anger, frustration and disapproval from the other nurses I have a hazy memory of visiting my cubical. I was a time wasting druggie, I did this to myself. Sympathy was in short supply.

By 10pm at night I was coming around and noticed I had been given a guardian who was gently trying to wake me. I was told I needed to move bed, and duly put my trainers on and collected my belongings. She was West Indian and spoke with a soft voice. She seemed genuinely kind and the feeling radiated from her as she spoke.

She accompanied me to a bed in the A&E ward, the only one sectioned off with walls and a door not curtain. It was in the middle of the ward and the other beds lined both walls in front of me. In the middle was the nurse’s station and was a constant bustle of busy activity, blinking computers and important looking doctors.

I crashed back to sleep and didn’t arise until 10am next day. When I did wake I was still groggy, but this was now due to me withdrawing from my buprenorphine. I had taken my last tablet at Sunday, 7pm; missed Monday as I was unconscious, and now it was Tuesday. I felt the ache start in my legs, my calves specifically. My eyes watered and I constantly yawned. I turned to my guardian.

‘I take buprenorphine, 6mgs. You need to ask a doctor as A&E doesn’t stock it’

‘I’m sure they do, when the nurse does her round I’ll ask her’

‘No they don’t, they’ve refused me it before’

‘Let’s wait for the nurse’

‘I can’t wait, I didn’t take it yesterday, they don’t have it in case people just blag it in A&E for it. It’s a high dose, near 1000mgs morphine. The nurses are scared to deal with such high doses of opiates’

‘Ok I’ll ask’ she replied a little hasty and sharp.

10 minutes later she returned with the news the pharmacist would be providing me the meds on his round. When in with my finger and cellulitis they had given me 100mgs of Tramadol which is about 80mgs of morphine, and they were shocked when I demanded the buprenorphine as I was still withdrawing. Their refusal was met with

‘I’m used to taking diamorphine intravenously so 2 Tramadol won’t do shit really will it?’

My guardian explained I was to see a doctor and a social worker and a little stay in hospital would benefit me. I knew this meant Sectioning me. I didn’t really process the information, my head still woozy, spinning me into a daze. I smiled, finding this rather funny. Me, I had a social worker. A psychiatric nurse, a psychiatrist and a counsellor.

Soon the feeling of sacredness crept into my thoughts. I was still drowsy as I was still without my meds. I easily fell back to sleep until midday when the doctor and social worker hurried into the room and began the Sectioning process.

Clearly I was still intoxicated from the overdose a wicked smile spread across my face as they entered. I like being the best. I always score super high on ADHD tests, so like having ADHD. I was now scoring super high on the crazy meter. This only encouraged me to wind them up. I had to be the best crazy person.

It’s like a uncontrollable urge I cannot control. Don’t touch wet paint. I touch. Now the prize was a golden ticket to Springfield.

‘Why did you take an overdose J****’

‘Coz, my parents’ are sick fucks’ I slurred. A concerning look ricocheted from the social worker to the doctor and finally to the guardian.

A form began to be completed in a scribbled hurry. I could sense a feeling of worry and it was emitted from both the Doctor, social worker and guardian. The Doctor scowled, deep lines erupting across his forehead.

‘What do you mean your parents, do you still think they’re filming you?’

‘Yes but they’re having me mass stalked’

More worried looks

‘So each time I saw a stalker I popped a pill’

‘What pills?’

‘Risperidone and Etizolam’

‘Are you prescribed the Risperidone?’

‘No’

‘Where did you get the tablets?’

‘A friend, I’ve got loads’

‘What’s Etizolam?’

‘A legal benzo. Initially similar to diazepam but your tolerance builds more quicker’

‘So you think people are following you?’

‘No, I think hundreds of people are stalking me, taking my photo and texting my location’

The more concerned they got the more I was enjoying this. A smile spread across my face like I was the Cheshire Cat from hell.

The social worker scratched her worried brow, as if I was causing her to suffer from a headache.

‘So what others are filming you, do you still believe this?’

‘Yes and they’re creating psychosis, they’re sick, I hate them’

‘I think a little stay in hospital will benefit you’. The doctor replied

‘They move my floor boards, flap my letter box, unless there’s a dirty tissue in there, ye..’

‘Right we’ll arrange transport, Queen Mary’s has a bed’

The social worker cut me off and spoke to my guardian. As if I was invisible, a child or someone lacking mental capacity.

‘How long will it take?’ she replied

‘Oh a couple of hours, we’re really stretched’

‘Ok thanks’

‘J**** an ambulance will take you to Queen Mary’s just for a few days, ok?’

I didn’t replied, just carried on with my evil composure.

‘Did you want to die?’

‘I don’t know. Obviously not as I’m here. It was a cry for help’

This sentence alone clearly shows my mental stability but the fuse had already blown. Acting mature meant shit now. Both the doctor and social worker matched away as quickly as they arrived. Only when they left did scared J**** appear. I was officially imprissoned. I turned to the guardian now a little scared.

‘Will I be locked up?’

‘No you’ll be free on a ward’

‘Can I leave the ward?’

‘No deary’

‘How long for?’

‘Not long deary’

‘What like a week?’

‘Maybe two’

Panic was beginning to stir

‘What’s the maximum?’

’28 days’

‘Shortest?’

‘3-5 days’

A flash of inspiration over came me pushing the quickly growing panic. ‘What would happen if I walked out of here now?’

‘The security guards would come. They’d stop you. I certainly can’t’. The guardian was elderly, certainly lacked the ability to move with any speed.

The thought of making a run for it began to consume me. My OCD voice was up for it. I’d be crazy and on the run. But I needed my buprenorphine as I was seriously withdrawing. No longer was sleep possible and the sweats were beginning. Wanting to relieve myself I put my trainers on to use the bathroom.

‘Run, run, run’ my head repeated but I duly returned to my bay.

2pm came and I still had no medication. Boots was so close and would remove all this anxiety, sweats and cramps. The want to leave was getting greater. Each minute of suffering that passed, was a minute of the desire to walk out growing. My requests for my medication were getting repetitively ignored. Opiate withdrawal will make suffers do anything to rid themselves of the pain.

Do it, go on. Within 30 minutes I’d be feeling ok.

‘I need my meds’

I couldn’t wait anymore, I was boiling

With the desire to leave.

‘You have to wait’

‘I’m fed up with waiting. My chemist is down the road’

Fireworks’ exploded in my head. Suddenly my legs began to move. I got up and put my trainers. Then my arms which was followed by me quickly putting my jacket on.

Snatched my bag and quickly darted for the automatic door. Only doctors and staff could open the door, by a swipe card but the Gods were with me. It just so happened to being in the open position for the newest patients to enter on an ambulance bed. This gave me a good 10 second gap to dart through.

I shoved pass them, head down and quickly sailed through the next sliding doors. I was free. My chest pounded as my fight or flight adrenalin surged throughout my body. I was clearly flighting. Walking with what the police described as intent I reached the bus stop and within minutes I was on a bus.

I headed to the chemist and then home. You could only be removed from your home if you were out of control or neglecting yourself.

I was free.