I am a writer, the antithesis of Stephen King, as it took me 9+ years to finish a single book, versus 9 hours. He must use Dragon, and I can see him in a tattered robe, fire going in his log cabin,walking around with his “If belching like an enormous hog is an art, then I am mother ‘ef’fin DaVinci” coffee mug.
“Open Word, New document. Chapter 1: Ted’s left nostril felt weird, a painful, throbbing pressure like a clogged pore from his teenaged years. Now at 56, Ted had long since had his hormones readjust plus, he had discovered the wonderful world of Tom’s of Maine’s men’s skin care line. 3 apostrophes? Is that right Dragon? Is it? Answer me…quit putting everything I say on the screen. Dammit.”
The next day the Bangor News ran the tragic story about Mr. King electrocuting himself and slicing a main artery in his hand as he began fighting with his computer. King’s maid, Lois McGillicuddy, commented: “I have never seen him like that before. Normally he’d sit at his old typewriter, write 3 novels in a week, and then cry away his weekends. Yesterday though, the rage and passion boiled over, and he kept calling the screen ‘Christine’ before he finally punched it. There was smoke, his arm hair caught on fire, and he just bled everywhere screaming, ‘Elvis, Elvis, it isn’t right to be wrong.'”
Most readers will recall that his accident knocked all of his creativity out of his right ear, which has long since decomposed under the colorful Maine foliage after being consumed and shat out by earthworms. I too was in a hit and run wreck, but I was fortunate enough to be housed in a car. Still, my accident jarred reality awake to begin penning the ending of my memoir.
Looking back on life, the whole series of events that brought me to be driving home on SW18th St in Boca Raton, FL, are staggeringly mesmerizing. Just 10 seconds wasted at any point prior to getting back into my car after getting gas, would have spared me. I knew I should have just sucked it up, been a man, and bought the cheese stuffed bun-length hot dog.
Instead, I t-boned a driver who had decided to stop in the middle of making a left turn, smack dab in the middle of the road. Thanks to 3 herniated discs from that accident (along with 3 from the first accident a year earlier), my right arm felt like it was on fire and my left leg also was ready at any point to once and for all shed the light on spontaneous human combustion.
In all seriousness, a recovering heroin addict should not go back on opiate pain pills, particularily in a state that dispenses 85% of the ENTIRE country’s supply of little blue pills called oxycodone 30mg. That a ninth grader can probably tell you the markings on the various generics, from A215’s to M30’s, should really raise the alarm flag.
I spent the late 90’s putting my education to use. See, I earned my BS in Pharmacy, Duquesne U, Class of 1996. What was lacking from my book studies and tests though was any real information on addiction. Sure, I saw it shuffle into the pharmacy, knowing that they were going to ask me for a refill on their Xanax, and could they please call the doctor for more Vicodin ES.
The addict in the mirror went unnoticed for years. Not even losing a pharmacy license, giving away a year of freedom, or having Narcan being shoved into my vein to save my life numerous times was enough.
I did stop though. It cost me huge, yet gave me direction and peace in a large enough dose that it could temper the extreme pain and heartbreak.
My goal now is to tell my story so that someone can open their eyes and see the junky or alcoholic in the mirror, before it is too late. It is to educate parents, so they know if their child could be the 1 in 7 under the age of 15 getting high on prescription medication. Long Sleeved Summers is my story, and ultimately a vehicle to realize my purpose in life. I have lost many friends to overdoses or under the influence accidents, who never got a second chance at life, let alone multiples. I owe so much to society, to friends and family that have loved and supported me, yet said enough is enough when it was clear that I did not want to help myself.
To keep everyone up to date on the progress my team and I make, I will be actively blogging, at least 3 times a week if not much more. The disease of addiction is a brain disorder according to science and is classed as such. It is in the same category as type-II diabetes and heart disease. You didn’t ask for it, but a few too many hamburgers got you to a similar place that a few bags of heroin gets the addict.
We are going to help people, from health professionals to anyone that loves an addict. It is about erasing stigmas, and understanding why a son or husband can rob his mother or wife. How lies become truths, and drugs more important than food. It’s very complex, but it can be very simple as well. I urge everyone to read my story, and help me promote the book, and more importantly the message of hope in such dark times.
Please share the blog, share the book and we can all have a part in helping change lives.