The Overdoses

I start crying as soon as I come to and see my Father’s face. My girlfriend is sitting next to me. I guess this is my first overdose at 17, although Narcan isn’t involved. Just a hard slap in the face from my Dad. He looks terrified, and I don’t feel much of anything.

I can’t remember the first Narcan.

I do remember the first coma.

I’m at the cult mansion after begrudgingly returning after two high profile arrests. I don’t tell the Cult Leader that I brought a Lacoste bag full of pills, and he takes my Suboxone. 12 hours later I’m in my room performing a spot-on routine of the Exorcist. The Cult Leader insists I’m just detoxing, but Misty makes him call an ambulance. They put me into a coma for four days. My mom’s there when I wake up, and she rubs my legs with lotion.

I’m in Baltimore the next time I go out, with the girl from NA who can’t stay clean and never stops talking about her survivor’s guilt. I turn blue in her shitty Cavalier and she calls an ambulance. Shaun drives two hours to pick me up high on crack and red bull. When the ambulance bill comes I throw it in the trash.

When I leave Shaun, I return to the family estate in Pittsburgh. I stay clean for a few months and then steal my sister’s car to buy Opanas. I overdose twice in one day, and my Mom tries to sue the hospital for sending me home too early. The doctor asks about the bruises on my head and I shrug.

A year later, living in Richmond, I convince Christian to take me to Virginia Beach so I can shoot up with a girl I met in rehab. I overdose in her Nissan and they carry me into the shower. I still won’t come to so they call an ambulance. Christian leaves because he has a bag full of meth. My roommates pick me up at the hospital, and I cry when I see them. My pants and shirt are still wet from the shower.

Back in Pittsburgh again, I start working for a physician and find a psychiatrist who prescribes me whatever I want. I’m at school in Oakland when I overdose on Suboxone and Xanax, in a tanning bed. My Dad can’t find me for 48 hours. I tell one of the nurses that I’m going to sue her if she touches me again. When my father locates me he’s with the doctor who asks, “did you get a good tan?”

Then there was the time I overdosed at my desk at the evil corporation, and the time I went out in my Jetta and the firemen smashed out the passenger window, and the time I overdosed after my grandma’s funeral and my ‘friend’ left me in a parking lot. There was also the time I stopped breathing in an Uber and they banned me for a week because the driver had to call an ambulance.

There are ten to twenty other such instances I could go into, but they aren’t worth writing about.

The last time is the worst time. Not because it is much different than the others, but because I am supposed to be getting better. I am better. I don’t know why I have an insatiable need to self-destruct

When I’m dropped at the hospital they have to put me under anesthesia for 24 hours. I don’t see God, or a light, or even pink goo like the last time I was legally dead. Just darkness. The breathing tube hurts, and I keep trying to pull it out.

I finally wake up and my girlfriend is sitting next to me, holding my hand, and playing songs from one of our playlists.

I start crying not because I’m alive, but because she looks so happy that I’m still here.

Maybe one day I’ll love myself as much as she does.