I spent five hours this afternoon and early evening watching the results of a friend relapsing on prescription drugs – it wasn’t pretty. I was called to his house by his partner and got there as soon as I could. The friend having the relapse looked very little like the person I have known for years, he was pale, shaking, slurring his words, eyes hooded – it was frightening to see him this way. Typical of someone stoned or drunk he wasn’t every helpful when we asked him questions about what he had taken or where he had hidden stash and the more we asked the more the story seemed to change. At one point he got up walked into the kitchen put three pills in his hand and would have taken them if we hadn’t stopped him in time.
His partner, his friends were all worried about him and worried about his partner too. Addiction is a serious disease that can fuck you up pretty quickly if you don’t have a solution. At the end of the evening we had checked him into the hospital for the night with plans for him entering an evaluation center the next morning. It’s a step in the right direction – maybe.
I say maybe because it really has to be something he wants to have happen – he has to want to get better, he has to want it more than anything else or at least be able to fake that want until it becomes an honest desire in his own heart. I don’t know of an easy way to get to that place – for me and countless others it was a painful journey to a dark place where we had no hope left at all, no hope of a future a change or a friend. “a self-imposed crisis he couldn’t postpone nor evade” That’s the key really – the way out is hitting the bottom so hard that your soul has the breath knocked out of it. A place so desperate you’ll try anything, anything to get out of it – but the scary part is when you’re down in that hole you sometimes think the way to get out of it is the way you got down there to begin with and you have another drink or another drug or another whatever you happen to be addicted to and you find yourself sinking deeper and deeper into the self pity that feeds on itself.
I asked him a few times “what are you going to do different this time?” “why will this time matter?” he didn’t have an answer, I don’t have an answer – but I know that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is insanity – so it’s time to go to any lengths now, it’s time to get out of your comfort zone and find someone with a solution that might be able to help you IF you’re willing to listen and IF you’re willing to ACT.
When I was at meetings in WI we’d ask each week if there was anyone “counting days” or “under thirty days” and the same guy kept raising his hand each week and I just knew he was a lost cause, I knew that he’d never “get it” and get better. But less than a year later that guy quit raising his hand, and he started putting together days of sobriety and soon he had a few weeks and before I knew it he had a few months and today he has a few years. It’s never too late to find the solution, it’s never to late IF you’re willing to go to any lengths to find what many of us have discovered to be a common solution.
Tonight as I hit the sack I’ll think about all I have to be grateful for, including being there for this friend tonight – it reminded me of who I used to be and how far I’ve come and that if I want to continue on my journey, I need to continue to help other people still struggling to find the path.