Negligent Lifestyle, Deadly goal

Negligent Lifestyle, Deadly goal

I have done my fair proportion of street drugs, prescription drugs, and alcohol during my teen years by my thirties. Quite frankly, I am very surprised I lived by it all to confess all this. I was very fortunate. Several times I came very close to killing myself from an accidental drug overdose. The negligent factor about all this is that I drank heavily while taking a variety of these drugs–a very potent lifestyle.

My eldest brother, Donald, introduced me to Valium when I was twenty-two. He was taking it for his nerves. He would demonstrate to me the assistance it gave him by relieving the sweat from his clammy hands. He also drank heavy during his use of prescribed drugs.

I ingested Valium many times as a as a hobby drug, but it was not prescribed to me until I was twenty-six. I bought it off the street years before. I was prescribed Valium and a variety of muscle relaxants after I had an industrial accident. My doctor prescribed these drugs for four years during my disability.

I had a friend who suffered from epilepsy. He was prescribed drugs heavily for his ailment. I would not think twice by taking my friend’s prescribed drugs. Many times, I would wash down Phenobarbitals and Dilantin in a sea of alcohol. It would hit me like a load of bricks and I would pass out for hours. My friend died from epilepsy at age twenty-eight.

I continued my life in a purple haze. One night of heavy partying I was terrified of the feeling I got off on angel dust (PCP). I thought I was having a stroke. I was trying desperately to climb a terraced-lawn. It was not too steep, but it had an incline. My legs gave out under me. Then I got back on my feet. It felt like my legs turned to rubber. My legs and feet felt like I was walking into another life. It is hard to describe. I thought for sure I was dying or I would never come out of this in a normal state–physically or mentally.

I somehow recovered. It seemed it took hours, but in reality it probably was just a few minutes. I completely lost perspective of time. I was so grateful I felt normal again. I never ever returned to that drug again. That was it. I was finished. I swore off angel dust. It did not surprise me when I learned it was a horse tranquilizer.

It was only about three years prior to that that I was on angel dust when I found my eldest brother, Donald, dead from a gunshot wound to the head. It was the very first time I had taken the drug. After that horrific nightmare, any other normal human being with any degree of intelligence, would have never taken that drug again. I cannot describe that incident without getting sick. It was so unbelievable.

It was well past the midnight hour. I was on a hot date with a girl I was trying to get more acquainted with. Her name was Belinda. We partied and drank by the night. Later we tried some angel dust. It was both our first introduction to the drug. We stopped by my brother’s place to introduce Belinda to him. I was close to Donald. I knew he was feeling down in the dumps and depressed. His divorce was final and he was ordered not to visit his son. He lost his parental rights in court. I thought I would stop by to lift his spirits. That would be a tall order.

I knocked on the door. It was about 9 or 10 p.m. Nobody answered the door so we left. We returned about three hours later. I knocked on the door and there was nevertheless no answer. On my final knock the door came loose ajar. Cautiously I stepped in and I saw the shadow of my brother’s body. I could not find the light. A stray light found its way by the window from an outside light. I stumbled around for awhile. I tried to tickle him from the top of the bedding. Then I found his feet. They were cold and hard. I knew something was dreadfully wrong.

I asked Belinda to step outside. I finally found the light. There was my brother’s head blown off and his blood and brain matter splattered all over his walls. It was gruesome. Why I grabbed the gun from his frozen hand and took it outside and shot it in the ground and then hid it below a hedge and covered it under some leaves is unusually hard to explain. Maybe it was the influence of the drugs compounded by a difficult course of action to sort out in my mind. I knew I did not kill him. I was clearly in shock. Then the paramedics and the police came and questioned me. Later an autopsy was performed. He was dead for at the minimum 24 hours. I was cleared. But my mind was not clear. It took years to conquer this incredible and traumatic experience. I fell thorough in depression and my drug and alcohol problems only increased to a point of desperation.

A voluntary commitment to a mental hospital followed after a suicide attempt. In the hospital they medicated me with Thorazine. After looking at all the patients in there, I figured it was time for me to leave right away. My self-assessment concluded I really did not need the help like my fellow patients did. I begged for my release after 72 hours of observation. And it was granted. And the Thorazine the doctor prescribed for my condition went straight down the toilet. It made me feel like the patients I just left. I felt like a zombie. I wanted to act normal again.

As time passed, I knew I was addicted to Valium and other prescription drugs. After hitting rock bottom and a few suicide attempts later, I knew I was overdue for specialized help again. Fast forward six years later, I checked myself into an inpatient chronic pain management clinic at a local hospital. There I participated in bio-feedback, psychological counseling, and occupational therapy. I was primed for a new lease on life. The therapy lasted three weeks in the clinic. The program saved me. My addictions were gone. In the beginning, I was scared to death to confront my world without Valium and other drugs. It was the best thing I ever did for myself.

When I reached age thirty, street drugs and prescribed drugs were gone from any dependency I craved, but alcohol was a continuing habit that would always haunt me. And when alcohol was nevertheless my choice of intoxication, drugs were a follow up.

Sure enough, all these addicted habits followed me down to California, where I desperately sought a new life. It did not happen. Your old life travels with you everywhere. I had heard that advice so many times but ignored it.

In California, I had streaks and streaks of bad luck from the start. My delivery truck was stolen. I was out of work. My truck was later found stripped of its wheels. I wrecked my prize possession–a 1967 Jaguar. I was busted on two separate DUI charges. I was strung out on cocaine and booze. I was attacked by a street gang on my way home from a bar. L.A. was not my kind of town.

A few months later I moved down south 30 miles to Long Beach and settled down. I was hired at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard. Things looked up for a associate months.

Then one morning as I was preparing to leave for my job, I was surprised to see that my truck was wiped out on the driver’s side–a hit and run. I arranged a ride to work. When I started my shift, the supervisor came down with a bunch of pink slip layoff orders. My permanent assignment had expired. I was hindered. The conditions of my employment had stated that my job could be deleted within one year. Hundreds of people were laid off.

I could not bare any more bad news. I decided to make it back home a broken man. All my dreams were shattered. And I was a fugitive from the law escaping from two DUI charges. I wanted so much to write back home saying things were wonderful, but they were not. It was a nightmare I never wanted to revisit any time in my life. I wanted to go home to family and friends.

Fast forward a dozen years and a few more DUI arrests. I was married now for the first time. My new bride was Bobbie. She was about seventeen years my senior. She was the lady I needed in my life. I felt a sense of belonging I needed desperately. She made me feel I could be myself. I knew it was real love. She had wisdom I wanted so badly. And she was smart and talented. We were so much in love.

The first two years were a struggle. Money was an issue. She was content, but I was not. I wanted to be the bread winner and provide her a good life. I failed several times.

My drinking resurfaced and I was busted again for a DUI. It would be twelve years until I got my final one. I kept my drinking in-check the complete time I was married. Sometimes I would quit and then go right back to it again. Bobbie did not drink. She was disgusted in people who drove under the influence.

At age forty-three, I had an accident at home while I was roofing my carport. A ladder I was on broke loose from under me and I twisted my back as I fell to the ground. It would be the beginning of another life of prescription drugs.

I hit my head pretty hard, in addition as my back. I needed to have my doctor check me out. He recommended a thorough exam. It was years since I had a physical. It revealed I had high blood pressure and my bad cholesterol was too high and my good cholesterol was too low. My blood pressure was observed regularly during the following months. I was prescribed a number of drugs to relieve these symptoms for these ailments.

As years passed, I was diagnosed with SAD (seasonal affected disorder). I noticed I was feeling so depressed during the winter months and not bothered by it when spring and summer arrived. I went by a number of prescribed drugs for my depression. Many gave me side effects. Some were tolerable. And some worked very well.

I also noticed how my sinuses would feel stuffed, causing headaches and other symptoms. Another group of prescribed drugs were recommended for this ailment. My symptoms found relief and I was not bothered by them as years passed.

In 1999, Bobbie was diagnosed with cancer. I was in thorough denial. I could not bring this unprotected to the surface. How could this happen? The first time in my life I felt true happiness. Our world was shattered. I dared not want to talk about it, but I needed to be strong for her–and for myself.

Bobbie passed away sixteen months later. I felt like I died and gone to heaven with her. I was a lost soul. The worst thing I did was go back to drinking. And I drank hard. I would drink so heavy and I would not eat. I was sick for four days after each binder. I hit the bottom of the pit and there were no steps to climb out of it. I nearly drowned myself in the nightlife of the bar scene.

This negligent behavior lasted two-and-half years after Bobbie passed away. Then I was busted again for another DUI–my eleventh one in my 35 year drinking career. Today I have not had a drink in almost four years. I am grateful for that. I have never achieved anything so powerful as when I stopped drinking.

I am now fifty-four years of age, and many other ailments followed me by the years. Presently, I am ingesting nine different prescriptions. Mirtazapine and Wellbutrine XL for depression, Lisonopril and Verapamil for high blood pressure, Crestor and Omacor to lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol, Nexium for acid reflux, Zyrtec for allergies, and Hydrocodon (generic for Vicodin) for chronic back pain.

Taking all these prescription medications at a moderately young age bothers me, but the different would bother me more. There is not much I can do about the side effects. Sad but true, all these prescriptions are probably keeping me alive. And I feel fortunate I have a good job with good medical and prescription coverage.

I realize that Vicodin is a controlled substance and an addictive narcotic. I also realize that without it my back pain is more than bothersome–it is weakening. I would not be able to make it by the day or night without it. I have tried.

I began taking one tablet of Vicodin per day for several years. Then I began taking it twice per day. I have not increased it to three and it has been years. I must let in, once in a while, I probably have taken it three times when I forgot I had taken it.

My back problems are chronic. I have degenerate discs. I might be addicted to Vicodin. I would not doubt that. What these prescriptions will do to me in the end is hard to say. Every ninety days I take blood tests to determine if I have liver damage. So far I have had no problems,

Anti-depressant drugs have been a comfort in my life. My world does not appear like I am in a dark hole and afraid to come out. They may have saved me from suicide. I cannot say that for sure. Maybe if these miracle drugs were obtainable when Donald committed suicide in 1975, it just may have saved him.

Drinking alcohol and taking prescription drugs are a deadly combination. Nothing other than the Lord saved me. I am grateful for that. I let in being sober for that long, play a positive role in the way prescription drugs work without alcohol. And they do what they are suppose to do. It is much safer. That is a fact.

There are people that swear they will never take prescribed drugs for one reason or another. I wish I did not have to. But is it so wrong if they preserve lives? Is it so wrong if they relieve pain and help other symptoms? Whether it is wrong or right, a big part of the population in America are finding relief and living longer. In my case, I cannot help but surprise if drugs are being prescribed forever. But maybe they are just another addiction to deal with.

My message is if a person must take prescribed drugs, please consider not drinking alcohol with them. And that goes for street drugs, too. It is only advantageous advice. Taking both is a negligent lifestyle and a deadly goal.

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