Funerals

I had never been around, or familiar with so much death, until I became a junkie. Yes, everyone dies. We all lose grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Family. It’s just the natural process of life. We, ourselves are going to die one day. But being in the lifestyle of addiction I got to see the truest nature of the disease. Using heroin, there are only four possible outcomes: you’ll get popped, and go to jail- where you will experience the deepest agony of withdrawl, if you’re lucky. You’ll continue on as best you can into certain dereliction- homelessness, loneliness, and isolation. You’ll realize it’s not working, get help and stay clean. Or, like I’ve seen far too many times, you’ll die. There seems to be this common theme with addicts: We get clean for a spell, get some material things back in our lives, maybe get a pretty girl or handsome man on our arms. We get our trucks back, maybe a good job and a new dog. Our children come back into our lives, and we feel as if we have arrived. Like we’re healed. We can once again handle life. Ego returns and we somehow forget the utter despair we had once crawled out of. This is a very dangerous place for the addict to find himself in, at least it has been, for me. Every single one of my relapses has taken place because I stopped doing what was working for me. I am one of the lucky ones.

Too many times, we see someone starting to really take shape in their journey towards recovery, and then, out of no where this thing snatches them like a thief in the night. And we’re at another funeral. I cannot count on all my fingers and toes the number of people that I personally knew that are gone. Let alone all of the acquaintances that have passed as a result of this disease. It’s heart breaking. I thank God every day that I am still here, because, despite all of my wreckage, despite all the inner turmoil I’ve suffered as a result of my dances with this Devil. Despite all the pain and suffering I’ve caused others, I am still here, and that means I still have a chance to get this thing right. Some never have that chance. And it’s such a shame. Too many good people are stripped from this planet from a disease that many of them don’t know they have, and out of the ones who do know, many of them don’t understand it. I don’t, but I’m trying to. What I do know, is that this thing is killing people at an alarming rate. Mother’s are burying their children, when, we all know it is supposed to be the other way around. My best friend is dead, and has been for 9 years. Last year alone, my county has lost somewhere around 15 people from heroin over doses. It’s really at epidemic proportions. I have over dosed twice. Once, as I explained before, I was saved by the miracle of Narcan. The other time, I was revived laying in the snow, next to a dumpster, with my pants around my ankles. We’ve lost 2 in the last 2 weeks that I know about. And in countless cities throughout our country, good hearted young people are dying an addict’s death. I hate it. If I never have to go to another funeral of a friend who died as a result of this thing I will thank God. My thoughts and prayers are with anyone who has lost someone to the horrors of addiction. I know that there may not be a way to find any good in a situation like that, but try. Don’t let their death, or your loss be in vain. Use your pain as fuel, use your experience to help someone else who may potentially be facing the same ends. The life of a using addict is a miserable existence, and if we can use our experience to save just one person, then our own pain, misery and suffering is lessened exponentially. No addict need ever die.

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