Saturday, July 27, 2013

Suicide Attempt

Last night, the friend I described in this post and this post put up a picture on her Instagram account that was meant as a suicide note to her followers. It was a picture of a syringe full of heroin and a caption that said this:

She and I recently started using the messenger Kik to communicate, so when I saw the picture I immediately tried to see if she was online. I looked at the time stamp on her picture... 47 minutes ago. Was I too late? Please answer, please respond. 

I sent a frenzy of messages. I saw the "D" pop up next to the check mark, indicating that the message was delivered to her phone. Please turn into an "R"! If it turned into an R I would know she read it, she was alive, and that I had a way to talk to her.

After what seemed like hours of staring at the messages, willing them to change to "R"s, they finally did. I responded excitedly that I knew she was there, she was still alive, and that she read what I sent her. She told me that she was alive, for the moment, but to please not try to talk her out of her decision. That nothing I could say would change her mind. She had enough pills and heroin to make sure that she wouldn't make it and could die in a painless and blissful way. So I didn't try to talk her out of it. Instead, I just listened.

She went on to explain to me that after 15 years of using heroin, she didn't want it to come to this, but she had accepted that at this point the only thing keeping her alive was sick and disgusting. She needed heroin to live. Her life consisted of using every day or trying to stop using, getting so sick that her life was hell, and being reminded over again that heroin controlled her, that she couldn't escape her body's toxic and unyielding need for it.

She asked for my email address so she could send me the final goodbye letter she wrote for me (which was going to be the last entry of the blog I encouraged her to start writing). She never got a chance to finish it because she wasn't able to stay sober long enough to get her thoughts out correctly. 

Here it is:
"I've learned quite a bit in fifteen years of living older than my age. The most important, which I carry close at hand always? Never judge a person by their appearance, by first impressions, or by a singular piece of information about them without giving them a chance to let their true selves be known. 

Had I not learned that lesson, this blog would not exist. I never would've started writing again after years of silence. But because I didn't shy away from a person on Instagram who initially inspired nothing but the desire to backpedal and run and hide for fear of adding more pain to her already heavy load, I write now. I let it out. I don't duck into shadows or bottle this up anymore. I still keep it away from the light of my now defunct professional life, which I discussed in vague terms in my last post, but I don't hide away anymore. And I do it because someone of the most unlikely to speak to a junkie background did just that. 

Briana spoke to me. She asked questions, seeking understanding and self education about heroin addiction. She encouraged me. Other than the other addicts and recovering addicts on Instagram, she has been my only true follower. And also one of the people that through commenting back and forth, plus reading her blog, I feel I've grown closest to. She also gave me a gentle and needed push to start writing. She also writes a blog, found at Incredibly powerful and so raw and eloquently written, I don't think there's a person on earth who wouldn't grow at least a smidgen after reading X Amount of Time. 

But that singular, solitary piece of information about Briana that made me want to backpedal and hide again at first? Before I forced myself to stand and follow what I've learned about judging? That is the basis of her blog. Her boyfriend, Blake, overdosed and left this realm less than three months ago. Her blog is one of her healing tools. Same as this blog is my outlet for what I kept hidden so long. 

Briana chose to educate herself and perhaps answer some of her own questions one day and on Instagram, typed in the hash tag "heroin." It must've been the second or third day my Instagram was in existence because it wasn't private and was graphic. I don't sugarcoat. I don't lie. Don't minimize. I'm honest to a fault (what now lost me my professional capacity) and don't hide if I don't have to. I just simply cant stand to keep it all inside anymore, where it is eating me alive. So I let it all hang out on Instagram (now private for various reasons.) 

Briana, rather than do what I'd found many Instagram users like to do to junkies- poke fun, call names, try to beat a soul already injured- asked me questions. She wanted to learn. Wanted to know more about the drug that took her soulmate. I'd never in my life encountered someone like her before. Someone who was a "normie" having never been addicted who not only didn't judge me, but treated me like and absolute equal. Briana never once talked down to me. She respected me and where I was at in a long battle and didn't try to reason or rationalize me out of my disease. She"

I was at the Orange County Fair when I read this message and immediately fell into those silent tears I talked about. Why were they silent tears and not angry or confused tears? How could I keep this quiet to a point where the people I was with had no idea part of my heart just got ripped out of me?

I have no idea why, but I felt Blake's presence as I finished reading and went back to my conversation with Detroit Hyena. For whatever reason, as ridiculous as it seemed at the time, I knew in the back of my mind that she wasn't going to be successful at her suicide attempt. I knew she wasn't going to be able to die. She had unfinished business- with me, her family, her best friend Lepurd, and the rest of her followers who have grown to find a twisted sense of hope through learning about her life and struggle.

I told her she wasn't going to be able to die tonight, no matter how much heroin or pills she took. I told her she needed to finish my note, and write notes to her mom and sister. I don't know why I knew this, but I just knew it with all of my heart in a way that I've never felt before.

My messages to her stopped showing "R"s and returned back to those infuriating and confusing "D"s. Did she die? Did she get a chance to really hear what I was saying before she started nodding off? I was a mess, but there was nothing more I could do. 

This morning I woke up and sent her a hopeful "Good morning! Today is a new day."

Check mark "D"

10 minutes later...

Check mark "D"

10 minutes later...


"A new day, but not a good one though"

As I fumbled to reiterate to her all of the things I said the night before, she told me she couldn't talk because she needed to find somewhere where she could charge her phone.

She's alive. Today is a new day. 

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