Front Row Seat to Hell and Back
If you had told me in high school, as I was juggling advanced placement classes and extra-curricular activities, that in a few years I’d be spending my days robbing people, getting high, and slowly killing myself, I would have told you to get your head checked. The truth is, I was in denial then. I had just been accepted to the college of my dreams and was set to graduate sixth in my high school class. But that didn’t stop me from partying.
I’m not sure if it was the older crowd I hung around with or the genetic inclination within my family toward addiction, or perhaps a combination of both, but I had become a functioning addict before I even realized I had a problem. Then, after my grandmother died during my first month in college, things got a million times worse. I was using drugs every day, mainly pills like Percocet and Vicodin, and began skipping classes regularly. I was doing anything I could get my hands on. Anything to take me away from the sadness that surrounded me.
Then somebody introduced me to OxyContin, and that changed everything. Nothing, and I mean nothing, was as important to me as getting my next fix. From the moment my eyes opened in morning, I was on the hunt for that substance. Most days, I’d get one of my many fixes by driving people around where they needed to go. They returned the favor in the form of heroin, and I loved that.
I even loved it after the time that guy overdosed in my car. Through the rear-view mirror, I watched his eyes glaze over and roll into the back of his head. I pulled over into an alley away from the main street and jumped out to try and bring him back to life. My hands were sweating and my heart was racing, as I sat him up by his shoulders and gave him a shake. Nothing. Frantic, I kept shaking him and, every once in a while, I gave him a good smack across the face as the foam dripped down from his mouth. After all, I had no CPR training, no preparation and no idea what to do.