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.


  1. I cried while reading this. I don’t think you understand how profoundly brave you are. And that you are important; that you matter. Just keep writing my friend. And keep fighting. I’m hoping one day (soon) you will see how much you mean to people and yes….love yourself as much as you are loved back.

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