I Woke Up – By Emily

    Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash


    I woke up. Breathing tube in my nose, nurses and my mom and dad standing around me, my skin on fire. “Where am I?” I screamed. “Calm down, you overdosed,” said the nurses. “We gave you Narcan and we need you to calm down. Your pulse is too high.” I looked over at the monitor. My pulse was 152. The nurse gave me a shot of Ativan in my IV. I started to calm down even though it still felt like my skin was melting off my bones. “Breathe in and out,” the nurse said.

    If I hadn’t been taken to the hospital I would’ve died. My breathing had slowed down so much I need a breathing tube. I soon became very sleepy and passed out.

    I can’t remember much except walking into my dad’s backyard to my neighbors screaming, “Get the fuck out of here, Grace!” “We’re calling the cops!” “Get the fuck out of here!” I vaguely remember the cops showing up, then blackout. I have borderline personality disorder and I dissociated for a day and a half. No memory of my dad and his friend chasing me around. Poor man. I guess all of it was so traumatic my brain said Shut down! Abort! Abort!

    Of course, I stayed off the heroin for a little while and was doing other drugs, more hallucinogens. Before I went to detox this year, I snorted one last line of pure heroin my friend gave me and checked in. I didn’t want to go, of course. I lied about my eating disorder, my drug use, my self-harm, all of it. I had been 164 pounds in March and now in October was 115 pounds. I obviously had eating problems and a bad drug habit. So, I checked in voluntarily, thinking I was going to the eating disorder unit and found myself in detox. They did continue to give me my meds that I had come in with, but changed the dosages.

    I had a bad picked acne open wound and they thought it was MRSA. I told them every time I went to the hospital for an abscess, that they gave me the same antibiotics they give people with MRSA. After two days in confinement they found out I didn’t have it, which I knew. But those two days gave me a lot of time to think alone. I had a spiritual awakening at that hospital.

    Eventually detox cut me off. The hospital didn’t think I was ready to leave and insurance wouldn’t cover the eating disorder unit so they moved me to the psych unit. For the first time as an inpatient, I spoke to no one, flirted with no one and got no one’s number. I had an epiphany while on acid about getting clean….that to be positive, I had to surround myself with positive people. (By the way you don’t need acid to figure that out.) So, I decided to keep to myself this go around and focus on my sobriety.

    I don’t hang out with many people. I’m cautious now. I only want positive people in my circle, people aiming for the same goal. Since October 12th I’ve quit all of my behaviors, even smoking. I do believe it is a miracle. For someone who’s been to sixteen thirty-day inpatients. It’s my time. There was a mix of things that got me sober and I choose to keep those for now to myself. But it is possible even for a sex, eating, self-harm, heroin addict like me.

    Every day is a blessing. Last night I went with my mom to see that new movie Lady Bird. I loved it just because it was my mom and I seeing a movie together. Trust takes time. Though I now have keys to my dad’s house. He lends me money. I might be getting a job at my favorite restaurant. Anything is possible in sobriety. I truly believe that. I love my life today even though sometimes it’s really shitty. It’s not half as shitty as it was when I was out there.

    My higher power is God and I thank God for saving me. Today I was able to help an addict not use. It was a better feeling than getting high. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

    Today, I live by my values. Love, compassion, altruism, empathy, sympathy, open-mindedness, friends and family. I was adopted and I wouldn’t trade my family for all the money or anything in the world. They are everything to me. I avoid negativity and allow in positivity. People think I’m a bitch, or negative, or whatever, but I’m cautious because my sobriety is everything. I won’t let anyone or anything take that away from me today. With the protection of my higher power, my family and NA, I have a beautiful life. One I never would’ve imagined I’d have. And all I have to do for that life is stay clean, just for today.

    About Anonymous

    The Anonymous contributor represents a group of people who wish to withhold their full identity. Their work will be identified at the end of their articles using first name and an initial.
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    1. Aww I love this wihat a Beautiful strong Girl

    2. You are so brave — to fight for your life and to share your story. I have never met you, Grace, but I am so deeply impressed. I love Peggy and Doug and am happy you have such amazing people in your life. Keep fighting!

    3. Barbara Ruck Pavicic

      You are a precious gift to your family and the world. I’ll keep you in my prayers. Thank you for sharing your story of grit, love and hope.

    4. I am thankful for you and your story. It will help others. I know. Keep reminding yourself. It will continue to help you, as well. Peace.

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