It’s been difficult for me to write anything since my cocaine overdose relapse. I guess it’s because it’s hard to look back at the things that I did.
I felt like I had accomplished so much in the 10 months that I was clean and I was embarrassed to have to start back at day 1.
Another reason it’s so hard to write about what happened is because I truly don’t remember a lot of it. I got high for about 5 days straight, without eating much or sleeping much. I will do my best to write about my experience.
About a week or two before my cocaine overdose relapse, I bought a few grams of cocaine. Before doing it, I told someone about it and she helped me get rid of it, and I didn't use it.
However, about a week later, I bought more and ended up using it, starting a 5-day binge which ultimately led me to a cocaine overdose relapse and ending up in treatment for drug addiction.
I remember buying it. The next morning I was sitting in my car about to head to the gym, and I just decided I was going to do it.
I had been having really bad cravings for about a month, and nothing I did was helping them go away. I was talking to people, sharing about it, and going to meetings, but the cravings were still there.
The cravings were so bad that I would be at the point of tears because I wanted to use so badly. I believe now that if I had just given it some more time, the cravings would have passed.
But I didn’t - I gave up and gave into my addiction. From the first line I did, there was nothing short of a cocaine overdose relapse and being sent to rehab that I believe could have stopped me from using at this point.
I began my cocaine overdose relapse on Thursday. Sam was working all weekend so I didn’t have a hard time hiding it. But very quickly it became pretty obvious to him that I was using.
From the moment I started using, it was just one big balancing act. Trying to maintain a steady supply of coke and also enough Klonopin or painkillers or anything to bring me down, while trying to hide the symptoms of cocaine use from Sam and my family, was the definition of insanity. I think at this point, it was pretty much inevitable that I was going to have a cocaine overdose. Relapse is hard to deal with, and I wanted to use enough so that it was "worth it."
Monday night Sam asked me if there was anything I wanted to tell him. I knew he knew that I was using, so I told him what I was doing. I don’t remember exactly what happened afterward, but I do know that I spent the entire night doing cocaine and telling Sam that I wasn’t going to stop - I would stop when I was ready.
At one point he asked me to give him what I had left, and I said no. He said if I didn’t, he was leaving. I remember watching him walk away, feeling like I truly didn’t care because the drugs were more important to me at that moment.
Tuesday morning, my parents, Sam, and one of my friends drove me to rehab. I went through the intake process, and at the end of it, they told us my insurance would not cover me.
I guess I wasn’t ‘bad’ enough yet and hadn’t been using for long enough. In my mind, this just gave me an excuse to continue using. If I wasn’t bad enough to get into rehab, then obviously it would be okay for me to continue using.
I don’t remember what I said during the intake process, whether I lied to them or told them the truth. I imagine, though, that if I had told them the truth, they would have admitted me.
In the 5 days that I was out using, I met up with random strangers in dangerous places to obtain drugs. I spent about fifteen hundred dollars, was mixing drugs, and injecting cocaine. Had I told them all of this, I believe they would not have turned me away. They would have known how serious my cocaine overdose relapse really was.
When I got back home on Tuesday after not being able to get into rehab, I slept for a while. I hadn’t really slept or eaten since Thursday, and had taken enough Advil PM and Klonopin to counteract the cocaine side effects and knock me out for a little while.
I woke up in the morning and did most of coke that I had left, and then frantically tried to reach someone who could sell me more. Sam came home from work as I was going to leave to meet someone. He says I called him and told him to come home, but I have no recollection of that.
Sam took the keys out of my hands and refused to let me take the car, so I began walking to meet the person that was selling the coke to me. Sam followed me, saying there was no way he was going to let me do this. I walked maybe a mile, then Sam took my phone. I remember chasing him around trying to get my phone back, and finally just falling on the ground and giving up. I started punching concrete walls and crying.
My mom has told me that I was supposed to meet her for lunch to discuss what we would do about treatment, though I don't remember that at all. She called me just to see if I was running on time, and when she couldn't reach me she got really worried. My mom, dad and little brother showed up and my mom told me she had called the police. She said I had to get in the car and go back to try to get into rehab.
I told her I would go to rehab, but the only way I was going to go is if I could do more of the drugs that I had left. I took the Klonopin I had left, and I don't remember much more. I do remember needing to stop on the way to throw up, and was throwing up blood.
I remember using the coke I had left in the bathroom before I was admitted to rehab. I was so desperate for any kind of drug to put into my body that I took some Advil PM that I had with me. The next thing I remember is being in the ambulance. I had suffered a cocaine overdose relapse, stopped breathing, and needed to be rushed to the emergency room. I was in and out of consciousness during the ambulance ride and throughout my time in the hospital. I vaguely remember my mom and little brother showing up.
Apparently I stopped breathing, and my blood pressure was at fatal levels. They gave me oxygen and fluids, and ran a lot of tests. Looking back on it, it is really scary. At the time, however, I was so out of it that I really wasn’t scared at all. I was barely conscious so I don’t remember a lot of it. I had no idea that I had a cocaine overdose. The next thing I remember is waking up back at rehab, really angry that I was there.
I spent the first 4 or 5 days in Rehab sleeping and just letting my body recover. I had lost about 11 pounds in 5 days, and hadn’t slept at all really. I also spent those first days calling Sam and my parents begging them to come pick me up and crying and cursing at them when they refused. They knew I needed to be there because of my cocaine overdose relapse and I guess so did I, but I was scared and home sick.
On the 6th day, I finally got out of bed and started going to my groups and meetings and lectures. Around this time I accepted that no one was picking me up, and I tried to make the best of my time there. I didn't really understand the seriousness of my cocaine overdose relapse and how important treatment was until around this time.
I had never actually stayed at an inpatient rehab before, so it was really scary at first. I was always surrounded by people, but being in rehab was one of the loneliest experiences of my life.
I learned a lot of things and had to face a lot of things that I wanted to hide from. I had support in the community and in the counselors who worked here, and I got a chance to really reflect on what had happened during my cocaine overdose relapse.
It was really hard to be away from Sam for so long. In total I was away from him for 2 months (1 month in rehab and then 1 month in a transition house). We had never been apart for more than 4 or 5 days before. We talked on the phone every day and he wrote me a letter for every day that I was in rehab. He was really great and really supportive, and so were my parents and my little brother.
Being there was hard though because I felt like I had so much I needed to fix at home. I needed to figure out I was going to do about school, and I felt like I needed to talk to Sam and see him to try to see if we could stay together. People were also telling me that I shouldn't be with him, and everything was really overwhelming at the time.
I did go home to Sam after my month in the transition house was over. I went to outpatient and started going to a lot of meetings. Things were even harder at home, though. I was happy to be home and back with my husband, but I felt like a prisoner in my own house. He didn't believe a word I said, and I felt like he never would. My cocaine overdose relapse affected him just as much as it affected me, and this was not something I was prepared to deal with.
I know now that nothing is ever a lost cause. I thought many times about not being with Sam anymore because I just couldn't handle the guilt of what I put him through. I also couldn't stand the way I felt about myself when I was around him. I thought if I wasn't with him anymore, these feelings would go away.
It took a really long time and a lot of effort on both of our parts, but we were able to start having a healthy relationship and actually be happy. He probably didn't believe anything I said until at least a year into my sobriety, but I can't blame him for that.
Life is pretty good today. I still have my problems, as does everyone. Nothing is perfect, but it certainly beats where I was. I graduated college with a 3.97 GPA, and I'm about to start law school. My relationship with my parents is better than it has ever been, and my relationship with Sam is better than it has ever been. I don't have to hide anything anymore, and I don't have to feel ashamed for the way I treat people, including the way I treat myself.
This didn't happen overnight, though. I don't want it to sound like one day things were horrible and the next day everything was perfect, because this is not how it was at all. It took a lot of time before anyone trusted me.
It took a lot of time before I was able to at least start forgiving myself for what I had put my family through. Even today, more than 2 years later, I am still dealing with the consequences of my cocaine overdose relapse. I have rehab and ambulance bills to pay, I have a lot of work to do on myself and my recovery, and I am still rebuilding a lot of the relationships in my life.
I still have moments where I'm incredibly insecure and feel ashamed of all of the things I put my family through. I have days where I'm so full of anxiety, sadness, and anger that I just don't want to get out of bed. What I'd like to do is get high so I don't have to feel that way anymore. The difference now, though, is that I don't. I don't stay in bed all day and I don't get high. I do what I can to get through the day, and eventually these feelings pass. They come back again, but I know that I won't feel like that forever.
I also get to have moments in my life where I am truly happy. I never could have said I was happy before and actually meant it. I truly believed that the solution to all my problems was to drink or get high. It worked for a while, but then it stopped working and my life got progressively worse.
Looking back on the severity of the cocaine overdose relapse keeps it fresh for me that I don’t ever want to go back there. The last thing I want to do is end up back in rehab. I actually have things in my life that I'm proud of and I have goals. I have people who love me and really care about me. The way my life is today can be destroyed instantly if I decide to drink or get high. I also know that I could have died, easily, and I am grateful to have made it back and grateful to live my life clean and sober.
My sobriety date is August 12th, 2010, and I do whatever I have to so that date doesn't change.
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