Sometimes, when the going gets tough, all you need is a little help from a friend. A little push in the right direction can be what changes your life or the life of your loved one. Here is one account of such a story from one of our clients who has asked to remain anonymous.
It’s hard to see when you’re being rolled into the ER. I can only remember it in pieces. When you first wake up, all you know is that you’re on your back and moving through a hallway, fast. The lights glare at you as if they know. You can vaguely hear voices. It takes a moment before it clicks. Am I in the hospital?
That’s when all the dazed thoughts kick in. I remember thinking, What am I doing here?
I couldn’t breathe. My head was pounding. I was sick to my stomach. Did I… Did I do too much? I remember thinking that I had to be more careful. Then darkness.
The next thing I vaguely remember is several nurses around me. They were hooking me up to an IV, though I barely remember. There were sounds of monitors, but I only barely remember that too. Then again, darkness.
When I finally wake, all I remember is a guy standing by my bed. He didn’t seem to be a doctor or a nurse. On his nametag, I read “New Outlook Detox”.
He asked me if I would be interested in being admitted to Detox. My immediate response was “What for?”, though I think part of me knew already.
He smiled calmly as he said, “Well, you almost died from a heroin overdose.” Then he paused before saying, “I thought you may have a drug problem.”
The way he said that, in such an easygoing demeanor, struck me as odd. At first, I was thinking, This guy must work for a church or something. But then I looked closer. He seemed so familiar, but my eyes are still a little blurry and my head is still aching.
Maybe I was staring too closely, but he seemed to read my mind. He reminded me that we went to high school together. It all came back to me. “You were the one always in trouble and there were rumors you were a drug addict.”
He just kindly smiled as I said that. He sat down beside my bed, and the story he told thereafter was nearly unbelievable. He began to share how he had almost died, several times, from heroin overdoses. He had several auto accidents and was quickly in trouble with the law.
For once, I listened. Part of me wanted to tell him to shut the hell up and leave me alone. Another part of me wanted to keep listening to him. That part of me related to his story. It was like he was telling my story.
Something came over me. I began to cry and once it started, it flowed like rain. I didn’t know it at the time, but I know that in that moment, all the pain, the loneliness, the self-loathing, it all came out. And this guy, the one I barely knew in high school, he stayed with me for hours.
Later, he helped me to fill out the paperwork for admission to The New Outlook Detox. Six months later, I am still drug-free. After New Outlook Detox helped me get the heroin out of my system, I attended a 90-day rehab program. That guy I knew from high school, now my friend, still helps me with my recovery journey.
I thank him. It is because he has helped me along the way that I have been able to remain sober all this time. He introduced me to a whole new world. One where I am much happier than I have ever been. Sometimes, all you need is a friend.