I was happily strolling through Giant with my daughter and her fiance the evening of March 30, 2011, shopping and anticipating time with them as I knew they would cook up something creative. I loved spending time with them and my son, watching our shows, laughing, eating, debating. This night, even though I was in a dress and an ankle bracelet was clearly my most pronounced jewelry, I couldn’t care less what anyone may have thought. Peaceful… even if just for a moment… the phone rang and as I casually looked down at the caller ID , my stomach dropped to the floor, I felt like I had to use the bathroom – pronto. It was the dick detective from the local police department that had been hounding me to “cooperate”, aka “rat”, threatening to throw my ass in prison for any foreseeable future if I didn’t come up with names of “bad guys” and soon. He had become increasingly frustrated at what he perceived to be my rebellion and he had become my enemy number one. For some crazy reason, it was beyond fathomable for law enforcement that there was no “organized crime” here. There was no “kingpin”… well, not in the typical sense. It was just ME.
The first time I walked out with a computer generated prescription for pain pills that looked like it could’ve come from a thrown together template, my ex asked me if I could replicate. My quick and stern response was “HELL NO!!!” I mean, was he out of his mind??? But, in my desperation, it didn’t take long for me to decide to take a stab at it. I justified that if a fucking physician’s assistant who spent less than 5 minutes chatting me up could do it, and charge me $300 a visit at that, why couldn’t I? I was desperate for a solution and this seemed viable. Granted, I was creative in my approach to gaining my drugs… from grabbing rx pads from doctor’s offices to doctor shopping. But these things seemed very risky to me as there was a name and trail associated with them. So, I studied the formats carefully and simply duplicated every single detail, from the font to the format to the print out descriptions on the bottom. I used made up names, addresses and birthdates, in fact creating identities for the sole purpose of filling pain med prescriptions. I would write an antidepressant or antibiotic prescription with the pain med prescription, to seem authentic. I studied and practiced doctor’s signatures until I had a spot on match. What began as one or two on occasion to get me by in between appointments, became a daily habit due to my increasing consumption, to include paid ADULT gophers that I would coach into how to walk, talk and answer any questions posed to them. They were advised of warning signs that the pharmacists or techs had caught on , and to get the hell out. I was more concerned for their safety than my own, nothing new as I felt I could handle anything. Anything but losing my kids and going through opiate withdrawal. I would usually be sitting in a different parking lot, closely monitoring to watch for law enforcement, pick them AND to ensure they didn’t make off with my stuff. We got to the point that I had hit almost every place in the area, and actually had favorite pharmacies. The rush we all received from a successful score, despite the number of times we had already gotten away with it, was always the same. I mean for me, I knew I was going to be well again, even if only for a day. When they or myself would return to my car with my medicine, I would immediately give them their cut for the risky deed. Then, before even leaving the parking lot, I would pull out my trusty bag that included by valuable tools. These tools included a double sided hand mirror, a couple of used credit cards, pill crusher and a straw. I almost always was beginning the withdrawal process when I got my hands on the meds, as I had a tendency to wait to the last minute, dreading that once again I had to take such a serious chance that would rob me of my freedom, my children… my life. I had already tried so many times before to kick the habit. I suffered from profuse vomiting, shakes, sweats, diarrhea, chills, nightmares, painful calf pain and involuntary jerking and severe depression. I would literally feel like I was losing it, because I was. At the point I was arrested for the final time, I was up to approximately 20 to 30 roxicodone 30 mg tabs, a couple of xanax and 2 or more extended release opiates such as oxycontin, oxymorphone or morphine, ER …DAILY. Waking up every day would start with at least 5 pills crushed up and lined up so nicely… and one or two adderalls just so I could function. Yes… I see now I was obviously the walking dead but at that time I thought I was fully functioning, albeit not in an ideal way. You see, drugs change the chemical balance in your brain so much so that you begin to believe that you are healthier this way, better even.
I had already been caught once and was allowed out on bail with an ankle bracelet when the detective called me about the night before. You see, the night before, though on an ankle bracelet, I had gone to the local Walgreens, despite everything in my heart and mind advising against it, I caved and I went. Mind you, I had gone out many, many times and scored while on the bracelet and this night like every other, I successfully received my drugs. However; the pharmacist knew me from living across the street from us, a year or so before when I owned my home in a nice neighborhood for almost 10 years. Of course, that home went into foreclosure eventually. Instead of turning us down, questioning me, warning me, she decided to go to the police. The video clearly showed my car pulling through the drive through… there was no way I was talking myself out of this. When I heard his voice, I cringed. I could just imagine the smirk creeping across his face, the “gotcha” look. The sarcasm in which he spoke to me… I just played along but I detested this man. He reminded me of another man I’d known before, a bad one, my grandfather (but that’s a story for another day). As we were walking through the store as I hang up with him, I break the news to my daughter and her fiance… I was going to be arrested that night. My daughter tried talking me into running but I was at my end. I was tired of addiction. I was tired of life. We drove home in nervous silence and I told them to leave me there. After they left, I began to think. I didn’t cry, crying had stopped a while back. The drugs had altered my brain to the point that I would purposely think of the saddest thing I could fathom, such as losing my children, and though I could feel the ache, I couldn’t shed one tear. I could’ve never, never imagined that when doing that, I would actually face that saddest thing I could’ve imagined, losing my daughter some 7 months later. I proceeded to ingest every pill I had left. I decided it was time for me to go, my way. I took what I estimate to be 60 some opiates, 15 xanax and whatever else I could find. The rest is a blur really. I remember blue lights outside the door. I remember my chihuahua, Yoda going nuts until he almost sounded like he was crying. I remember pounding on the door. I remember not being able to walk, so I was dragged to the cop car. Of that night, I remember nothing else.
I woke up 2 days later. I was freezing cold and sitting in a little intake office in the jail. I was wearing an ugly green dress like uniform that opened in the back. Apparently, due to my ingestion of all of those pills, I was considered suicidal… as if jail isn’t unpleasant enough. As I was beginning to come to, the officer sitting across from me asked me to read and sign. As I attempted to see and read, I noticed the date… April 2, 2011. April 2nd was my son’s 18th birthday. My heart felt sooooo heavy. I just wanted to die, I really just wanted to die. I uttered to the Correctional officer… “today is my son’s 18th birthday… are you kidding me?” The rest has faded from memory as I was returned to my cell. I was still fairly sedated but within hours, I knew I wouldn’t be well. All I could think was, why the hell didn’t I prepare? Why didn’t I smuggle my meds in like I had before, neatly in my balloons, double and triple packaged then shoved in personal orifices, off limits to body search. When I would need a dose, I would simply remove one pill then rebag everything under my course, overused blanket, and shove it back where it was. I would hide behind a pillow, crushing my pill on the edge of my metal cot. Well, I didn’t come prepared this time and I began to panic as I knew… my horror would begin soon in the worst place it could, a cold and smelly jail cell. God, what have I done.