The day I died was April 3rd, 2018. It was like any other day. I got up, went to work, got some pizza with my husband, ran some errands, and then went home. Except it wasn't like any other day. This was the day I died and the day I realized I wasn't as scared of death as I thought I was.
I've struggled on and off with opiate addiction since I was 16. I had a mean heroin addiction before I went to prison, but ended up staying off of it for 5 years. A month before my 6 year anniversary, I relapsed and its been a downward spiral since then. One rainy Thursday, I planned on doing my last shot. Friday I was going to start suboxone and hopefully maintain some semblance of sobriety. Thursday evening rolled around and I did my little ritual and got prepped to do my farewell shot to this drug I love so much. That I love basically more than myself at this point in my addiction. I did my shot and immediately felt that sense of euphoria, this time mixed with a little bit of sadness because I was doing everything in my power to quit the following day. The euphoric feeling that encased me soon turned into lethargy, so much so that I struggled to keep my eyes open. I put everything away and went to join my husband on our bed. The last thing I remember before being jolted out of death was leaning into my husband. The rest is a blur. He says that I was nodding so he gently pulled me to his chest. All of a sudden he heard a whoosh of air escape my lips. He says, “it was like all of the air in your body just released itself.” He says that he studied my face for a minute and leaned down to see if I was breathing… I wasn't. He started slapping me and shaking me and still, nothing. Frantic, he says he began CPR and chest compressions and I suddenly came to. He asked, “Should I call an ambulance?” I mumbled yes, and passed back out. Except I didn't pass out. I died. Screaming for my mother, who was in the other room, my mom ran in and yelled for him to call 911, while she drug me off the bed onto the floor. She proceeded to do CPR, while my husband called the paramedics. They say that I stopped breathing for four minutes. They say my lips were blue, skin pale, and turning ice cold. I was dead and the more time that went by, the more frantic my mother and husband became. Finally, after what seemed like a lifetime, I jolted back. I remember yelling at my mom to get off of me and that I was fine, while she screamed back at me that I had just died. I remember trying to stand, and staggering with my arms out, claiming that I was “Fine.” In those moments of death, I don't remember anything. It was at a standstill. Nothingness. A pause in reality, a pause that was completely blank. Truth of the matter is, this was the second time I had overdosed in a three week span and I shrugged it off like it was nothing. My husband was more emotional then me and I was the one who had lain dead on our floor. Sad truth is, events like this seem normal when you are using heroin. Overdoses seem normal. Distraught family members seem normal. Wanting to do a shot after you just died seems normal. But it isn't. It’s part of the twisted realm of OUR reality that only makes sense to us. Nothing about it is normal.
This drug…. steals your soul. It deadens you inside and turns you into a zombie. It causes you to play with death, repeatedly, if only because you are wanting that euphoric feeling one last time. Except one time turns into two which turns into a million and then before you know it, you’re addicted to something that only wants to destroy you. I wish I could say that the struggle gets easier as time goes on but I would be lying. The physical attributes go away rather quickly but the psychological part stays forever. I had almost 6 years and threw it away because I forgot about the evil parts of heroin, and only remembered the good parts. As it stands right now, I am clean from this killer of a drug. I hope to God that will always be the case. I remind myself of everything that I will lose if I end up using, including my own self. The time will come when I forget that I died on my bedroom floor and instead I’ll remember how perfect I felt right before. And that’s when I have to stay strong and remind myself that this isn't something to play with. This drug kills. Every single day. I don't want to die that way and leave my family broken, blaming themselves for my addiction. Now more than ever, I have to fight the demon on my shoulder. If I don't, I’ll end up another statistic.
Heroin was my everything. My lover, my friend, but most of all my enemy. It was my confidant, my protector from reality, my superhero against everyone who was telling me to quit. Heroin was there to lift me up when it felt like everyone else around me was kicking me further down. Little did I realize, and sometimes still don't, that heroin had me exactly where it wanted me and was planning on keeping me its slave forever. It knows that the chains that bind you to it are some of the hardest to break, and it thrives on that knowledge.
This drug, in my opinion, is the hardest one to get away from. If you know someone struggling, be supportive but don't enable. Let them know that they have support and that life after heroin can be as great as they want it to be. It’s all up to them.