One experience from our knees:
Around 1:00 p.m. today I was being cornered up by two semi-hot girls dressed as Santa's Elves explaining the do's and don't's of a post rehab life. I pointed out quickly that I've never been cornered up by two elves and it was super strange. They were having their Christmas Party at the facility I was about to exit. She ask if I wanted to wear her hat. I said no thank you. My Christmas Party at my job was on the 9th in Atlantic City at the Hard Rock. I booked the room, with less than good intentions of staying sober, but drank about two weeks prior so hell it didn't matter anyway...I brought Atlantic City to my apartment in Nashville two weeks priior. Hard Rock became hard core way before I got there. I called an AA friend to take me to detox. He dropped everything, including his LSU Tigers in the championship game, and was at my apartment in 45 minutes. I drank on the way to the facility in his car (which I've yet to apologize for but it's coming). The hot blonde at the front desk had a dip of Copenhagen in. I said ah shit. Whatever, I had been drinking since daylight the day before and she was a sweetheart to me.
So, once I met a gorgeous blonde with a dip, two elves giving me an unexpected pep talk, a wtf happened to get me to this point attitude, I called my AA friend to come get me.
Crazy and amazing.
I got into some deep shit in Metro Nashville.
My relapse from the sober living that brought me to Nashville took me to the bottom. No step off, no 2nd floor stop for a few, no saved by a girl for 6 months.......I sank like a cannonball. A civil war that I engaged fully into and battled nearly to the death. No one wins an endless fight, I would eventually learn. I drank and used myself all the way outdoors. Only a man with foolish pride would choose that life over a loving family that kept an open door policy to me my whole life. I wanted to be "free", so I thought. I got exactly what what I wanted. I was free from work, bills, family, society, her, AA, and most importantly I thought I was free from pain. You hurting me was repulsive....me hurting me was invited, dismissed and easily justified. Covert suicide mission, to be blunt.....that damn near was a success. Much like a man wandering in the dark, having seen the light yet it's so dim and about a foot too far from his fingertips to even make the effort to reach out for it.
I was homeless, officially. I had a BMW 325I, very sporty, sleek, clean and bought on my own in my earlier successful periods. I lived in it. It was July of 2017 at the time, and hot as a m&#/×r f#&*r outside. Just FYI, if you fail you put oil in a car, especially a BMW, the motor blows up. Mine did.
I checked myself into the lost and found.
Within two weeks, I was in jail under several very hefty charges. All possession charges, but 7 separate drugs plus they threw in a DUI. I can't remember what my bond was but it was well, well into the 6 digit range. Ok...so....this is bad and I feel like shit. This was my thought three days later when I woke up. I already knew my mother, stepdad and brother had been to Nashville looking for me in the past month which told me making bond on their tab wasn't happening. Enter Recovery Court and sober living option. I'll take it.
I immediately re-entered AA and re-obtained my previous sponsor who, oddly enough, said he'd been praying for me for the past 10 days prior to me calling him. He's unique in that way. I gave recovery court my efforts and gave AA my heart. I began my stepwork almost immediately. I got my old job back and attended an AA meeting on my lunch break and one every night.
I'm quiet by nature and always have been. I arrived at the magical, pivotal conclusion after multiple treatment centers, multiple runs at recovery and multiple tragic self-imposed dead ends; that I simply didn't know. Explain this shit to me like a 5 year old.
After my 2nd step and at about 3 months my sponsor suggested I get a sponsee. I bitched for a few minutes like I always did but I got one a few days later. This would bring God to the forefront of my life, though I didn't know it at the time. There was a guy at our sober living who had many things in common with me. Though he was still using, he spoke true and from the heart and knew how to get through to people. As a matter of fact he reminded me of me when I was his age, 28. We shared the same first name even. He would come in about 9:30 every night, find me, and tell me about his day. We became friends very quickly. I am nor have ever lived by the theory that one alcoholic holds any superiority over another and have even learned from experience that the illusion of patronizm is an extension of insanity in the form of ego. I simply talked to him as a friend, because that is exactly what he needed. He wasn't sold, at all on AA, the steps, sponsorship, meetings, etc.....so I tried to cleverly work Step 1 into his stories of having explosions at work and being high against his will. I kept it as unofficial as possible. I was a chilled out friend and he was a chilled out dude with an active problem, just like I had been for years. He is also an empath....just like me.
Where To Go From Here:
The paramedics arrived within about 15 minutes, which to me seemed like a lifetime. My heart was pounding and his had nearly stopped. About 3 p.m. that day I decided to move from my bedroom to a downstairs room. At the time I had no idea the shift in rooms would open up his bedroom. I came downstairs and Jonathan said "Please don't move in here. I'm still getting high, you're a good guy and I don't want to do that to you". I replied, "Yeah I know. Maybe we can turn it around the other way Jonathan".
I called my sponsor and my mother about 30 minutes later. I wasn't concerned with him getting high, I was concerned about a sinking feeling that I had and have always had prior to something big happening. Intuition is a part if my personality; the most valuable part. Both my sponsor and my mother, after the fact, have been curious about that phone call.
He and I went to a car lot where I had purchased a car earlier that day around 7 p.m. I was alone at the time so my truck was left at the lot. He took me to get it. I knew he was high but whatever he was high 99% of the time I saw him. I had no idea he was one away. My truck had sat at the car lot for 5 days and the battery was dead. After several alcoholic attempts to start it, with no jumper cables and electrical wire out of the back of his truck, I said let's go. We pulled back in the driveway and I casually asked his about his religious background. He mumbled some thing about Jesus then went in the house. I stayed on the patio to finish my cigarette. As I made my way indoors and down the stairs I noticed he wasn't there. I began to put up my white t-shirts and other clothes from my earlier attempt to move rooms. He came down and laid kinda diagonally across the bed and said a few scrambled words then appeared to go to sleep. I noticed his silence and figured he had simply passed out, which was expected. I began to make my way to our door, which was at the foot of the stairs of our 6 bedroom house, to go back upstairs to the dryer; something told me to look over my shoulder. His eyes were wide open, dead still; his mouth was wide open and his throat looked like a blue overhead fluorescent light. Ah shit I thought. I walked over and shook him a few times and knew immediately. I grabbed my cell phone, called 911 and put them on speaker. Following instructions, I pulled him to the floor and began CPR. God brought me to my knees in shock, awe, desperation and pure love for my friend in a matter of seconds. I performed CPR for maybe 15 minutes, possibly cracking several of my friends ribs. Somewhere between 15 and 20 compressions I stopped counting out loud and got in trouble with the 911 operator. I remember that. My heart broke with every compression.
The driveway was full of car lights, the street was lined with emergency vehicles and they were attempting to get him up the stairs from the basement apartment he and I shared. He had on a pair of my navy blue pants. Once loaded onto the ambulance and injected with Narcan; I left the house.
There's a fairly well known movie entitled "Crash" that details the random events and almost "by design" encounters that individuals go through in a lifetime. If I ever questioned myself being a part of a plan or destiny, I stopped that night and haven't questioned it since. Jonathan is his name, and so is mine. He has blue eyes, mine are blue-green. From a distance we were easily mistaken for one another. He has a highlighted history of blonde women and heartbreaks, as do I. He seemed like a long lost brother. He was lost in an eerily familiar way with the same outlook and perception of life that I had when I was his age. He is 27. I am 38. I wanted to help him in the ways I needed someone to help me in that phase. So I tried. As we state it in the industry; ..... it's by design. I called my sponsor as I was headed downtown to obliterate myself and he told me to come spend the night with him. I did.