I have done my fair share of street drugs, prescription drugs, and alcohol during my teen years through my thirties. Quite frankly, I am very surprised I lived through it all to confess all this. I was very fortunate. Several times I came very close to killing myself from an accidental drug overdose. The negligent factor about all this is that I drank heavily while taking a variety of these drugs--a very potent lifestyle.
My eldest brother, Donald, introduced me to Valium when I was twenty-two. He was taking it for his nerves. He would demonstrate to me the benefit it gave him by relieving the sweat from his clammy hands. He also drank heavy during his use of prescribed drugs.
I ingested Valium many times as a recreational drug, but it was not prescribed to me until I was twenty-six. I bought it off the street years before. I was prescribed Valium and a variety of muscle relaxants after I had an industrial accident. My doctor prescribed these drugs for four years during my disability.
I had a friend who suffered from epilepsy. He was prescribed drugs heavily for his ailment. I would not think twice by taking my friend's prescribed drugs. Many times, I would wash down Phenobarbitals and Dilantin in a sea of alcohol. It would hit me like a load of bricks and I would pass out for hours. My friend died from epilepsy at age twenty-eight.
I continued my life in a purple haze. One night of heavy partying I was terrified of the feeling I got off on angel dust (PCP). I thought I was having a stroke. I was trying desperately to climb a terraced-lawn. It was not too steep, but it had an incline. My legs gave out under me. Then I got back on my feet. It felt like my legs turned to rubber. My legs and feet felt like I was walking into another life. It is hard to describe. I thought for sure I was dying or I would never come out of this in a normal state--physically or mentally.
I somehow recovered. It seemed it took hours, but in reality it probably was just a few minutes. I completely lost perspective of time. I was so grateful I felt normal again. I never ever returned to that drug again. That was it. I was finished. I swore off angel dust. It did not surprise me when I learned it was a horse tranquilizer.
It was only about three years prior to that that I was on angel dust when I found my eldest brother, Donald, dead from a gunshot wound to the head. It was the very first time I had taken the drug. After that horrific nightmare, any other normal human being with any degree of intelligence, would have never taken that drug again. I cannot describe that incident without getting sick. It was so unbelievable.
It was well past the midnight hour. I was on a hot date with a girl I was trying to get more acquainted with. Her name was Belinda. We partied and drank through the night. Later we tried some angel dust. It was both our first introduction to the drug. We stopped by my brother's place to introduce Belinda to him. I was close to Donald. I knew he was feeling down in the dumps and depressed. His divorce was final and he was ordered not to visit his son. He lost his parental rights in court. I thought I would stop by to lift his spirits. That would be a tall order.
I knocked on the door. It was about 9 or 10 p.m. Nobody answered the door so we left. We returned about three hours later. I knocked on the door and there was still no answer. On my final knock the door came loose ajar. Cautiously I stepped in and I saw the shadow of my brother's body. I could not find the light. A stray light found its way through the window from an outside light. I stumbled around for awhile. I tried to tickle him from the top of the bedding. Then I found his feet. They were cold and hard. I knew something was dreadfully wrong.
I asked Belinda to step outside. I finally found the light. There was my brother's head blown off and his blood and brain matter splattered all over his walls. It was gruesome. Why I grabbed the gun from his frozen hand and took it outside and shot it in the ground and then hid it below a hedge and covered it under some leaves is unusually hard to explain. Maybe it was the influence of the drugs compounded by a difficult process to sort out in my mind. I knew I did not kill him. I was clearly in shock. Then the paramedics and the police came and questioned me. Later an autopsy was performed. He was dead for at least 24 hours. I was cleared. But my mind was not clear. It took years to overcome this incredible and traumatic experience. I fell deep in depression and my drug and alcohol problems only increased to a point of desperation.
A voluntary commitment to a mental hospital followed after a suicide attempt. In the hospital they medicated me with Thorazine. After looking at all the patients in there, I figured it was time for me to leave right away. My self-assessment concluded I really did not need the help like my fellow patients did. I begged for my release after 72 hours of observation. And it was granted. And the Thorazine the doctor prescribed for my condition went straight down the toilet. It made me feel like the patients I just left. I felt like a zombie. I wanted to act normal again.
As time passed, I knew I was addicted to Valium and other prescription drugs. After hitting rock bottom and a few suicide attempts later, I knew I was overdue for professional help again. Fast forward six years later, I checked myself into an inpatient chronic pain management clinic at a local hospital. There I participated in bio-feedback, psychological counseling, and occupational therapy. I was primed for a new lease on life. The therapy lasted three weeks in the clinic. The program saved me. My addictions were gone. In the beginning, I was scared to death to face my world without Valium and other drugs. It was the best thing I ever did for myself.
When I reached age thirty, street drugs and prescribed drugs were gone from any dependency I craved, but alcohol was a continuing habit that would always haunt me. And when alcohol was still my choice of intoxication, drugs were a follow up.
Sure enough, all these addicted habits followed me down to California, where I desperately sought a new life. It did not happen. Your old life travels with you everywhere. I had heard that advice so many times but ignored it.
In California, I had streaks and streaks of bad luck from the start. My delivery truck was stolen. I was out of work. My truck was later found stripped of its wheels. I wrecked my prize possession--a 1967 Jaguar. I was busted on two separate DUI charges. I was strung out on cocaine and booze. I was attacked by a street gang on my way home from a bar. L.A. was not my kind of town.
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