I Became That Hope Shot

How in the HELL did I get here?? It’s not like I woke up one day, a raging heroin addict. It was a gradual process. One that cost me almost everything including my life.

My childhood, for the most part, wasn’t like those of other addicts I have met. My parents weren’t addicts, I wasn’t beaten or neglected, sure we were poor, but we were happy, healthy and safe. Our Mother had moved away and left everything she had ever known to make a better home for us three children. Mom had divorced Dad that year, packed us in her compact four door Chrysler and bought her first home in Shelbyville, Kentucky versus her home South Lebanon, Ohio. I was the middle child, the only daughter. Mom, I truly believe, constantly worried about the future in Small town, KY. Were her babies gonna be bullied because they had a single mother? Would the town gossip about her mothering skills, or berate her for leaving her ex-husband instead of being a member of that old, “Stand By Your Man” southern philosophy.

Mom never truly understood, and probably still doesn’t, that through the eyes of us three children, things like her occupation, the size of her new home, or the amount of money in her purse were totally irrelevant. She was our official keeper of the stars. We saw her without fault. When someone would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my eyes always shifted to her. Even when I had the slightest idea where she was employed, to me, she was the best Mom and even if I was half the Mother she was, I’d still be pretty close to perfect.

Mom remarried and we gained two step siblings. I finally had a sister, who was even my age. Life was good. We were a lot like Roseanne’s sitcom family, instead of the Brady’s.

When 1992 rolled up on us, our lives changed. I was 12 that summer, that weird “in between” phase of puberty. I was severely depressed, hiding a huge secret from my blended family. I can’t specifically say why I never told, I was so worried about ruining our happy home, or hurting my Mom, that I stuffed it down. I bit the bullet, cried myself to sleep, worrying my life was forever different…and that was an understatement.

My childhood was now permanently stained, innocence gone, my heart was shattered into a million little pieces. Trust…that word was a lie to me now. I yearned for everyone around me to be happy, to love me, FOR me. The life of our parties, the loud girl laughing at everything, who strives to be every one’s friend. (Strike 2)

I married the, so called, love of my life June 1997, while I was still a Junior in High School. Over 7 years we had 2 children, he had 3 mistresses, and the death of our daughter caused us to go separate ways. I could feel the wheels underneath me falling off. My baby girl’s passing took a huge hole out of my heart and soul. You aren’t supposed to bury your babies. I was anguished, to say the least. Life had not only knocked me to my knees, it followed through with a one-two upper cut.

Mind you, I couldn’t just stay in bed crying all day feeling like my world was crumbling. My son needed me, so every morning I forced myself to face the day, miserable and angry. I was that bitter, cynical, twenty something secretly hoping that each night the Lord would let me sleep forever verses waking up divorced, missing my daughter. My son kept me alive, he was so resilient, so sweet, and caring even at the tender age of 3. I built my life back after divorce, new truck, new office management position, nice things, nice clothes, but now I had a real nice prescription pill habit to go with the new lifestyle. Before I could even see what I was doing, it was entirely too late. I was a good 3 years in.

From there, I became a monster. I was working full time office duties Mon-Fri, then bar tending every weekend until nothing in the morning. FDA and DEA were now looking at changing things in health care and prescription uses. The normal amount of pain medicines prescribed daily decreased significantly. Patients were drug tested and cut on the spot for abusing or selling their meds.

Here’s the kicker…most people who had legitimate prescriptions were unaware what was happening. With drawls set in, people fell ill, those earlier patients with “chronic pain” were now forced to attend pain clinics to obtain their medicine. The “black prescription market” was officially out of business, pain medicine became the tumbleweed drug in the streets. Since becoming scarce, the price was now triple the old amount to purchase, had you even been lucky enough to find those fossils.

Now allow me to introduce, heroin. All throughout school they beat “D.A.R.E.” programs, and promoted healthy lifestyle choices. Fail. Epic Fail.

It only took that first hit. Euphoria. I fell in love, this drug was now my sun, moon and stars. All the pain I had pushed down, was completely numb. I felt I was happy again. Until, my dope stash ran dry. I went from having everything, independence, my child, my life to almost dying in ICU with no one or nothing to show for my life. It. Was. Time. Rock bottom only stops, after you retire the shovel.