.. all, she was too strung out. I just snatched her up (she was as light as a feather) and brought her to the car. She was like a rag doll in my arms, limp and unresponsive. During the car ride home she began to “sober up” I guess you can say. She said “mom” in a raspy voice I could hardly tell was hers, and I looked over at my child, not knowing what to expect, half-afraid she’d try to jump out of the moving car.
But she just grabbed my hand and held it tighter then I ever remembered, and with tears in her eyes, whispered ” I’m so sorry, thank you.” Thank you. She’s upstairs now, sleeping. We had a good talk before she fell asleep. She wants to get better, she agreed to treatment. We’re going to a rehabilitator tomorrow.
I know it’s not even half over yet. There’s a long road ahead. But I’m going to be there for her. I better go put on another pot of coffee. I have to stay up tonight.
I know she’ll want another hit before the night is over. I’m not letting her leave this house tonight. I think writing is the only thing that has kept me sane through all this, it’s the only thing keeping me going. I don’t know what’s kept her alive though. What she must have gone through out there. I think she was too embarrassed to reveal everything, but she did tell me she was reduced to selling her body for heroin. She had a pimp who basically used her for income.
She worked; he got the cash and supported both their habits (Beschner p.55). He evidently had a temper. She didn’t have to tell me, the bruises on her beautiful face tell all. I can only guess what other horrors she must have endured. Maybe it’s better I don’t know all of it.
She is only a shell of the girl I once knew, but I love her, and I’m going to get her through this. Dear Diary, As anticipated, she tried to leave last night, I found her getting dress, mumbling something about “need a fix”. She was shaking, her eyes looked wild, I had never seen her like this. I stood in front of her to block her from leaving, and as frail and sick as she is, she pushed me to the ground with what seemed like the strength of 20+ men! But I had been prepared, I had changed the locks. When she discovered her key didn’t work and she couldn’t get out she began banging at the door and flinging everything she could grab around the room (Levinthal p.106).
Then as suddenly as it had started, her energy left her and she feel to the floor in a sobbing heap. I crawled over to her and put my arms around her. It was a humid summer night, but she was shaking and cold to the touch (McAuliffe, p 74). I helped her up to her room and bundled her up. She was sweating under all the blankets, but still begged for more.
So far it was just like all the books had said. Everything I expected was happening, so I knew it was going to be a long night, and it was. She vomited repeatedly, complained of severe abdominal cramps and had diarrhea (McAuliffe, p.70) It was the most gut wrenching night of my life, watching my baby go through this, and not being able to help her. I had to keep telling myself it was temporary, and despite her many declarations to the contrary, she was not going to die (McAuliffe, p 70). It must have lasted 12 hours (it seemed like an eternity). The next morning, although she was still experiencing some cramps, diarrhea, chills and nausea, we made our way to the clinic.
Next to the night I had just endured, it was the hardest thing I ever had to do, leave her there alone. But I knew it was for the best, and after talking to her drug counselor, I felt even better. He explained that the withdrawal was just the beginning. Getting over the physical dependence was easy compared to treating the psychological addiction to the drug (McAuliffe, p73). He stressed the importance of keeping her away from her old “stomping grounds”; old places where she used to get high, because it may only spark memories which in turn may trigger craving and a relapse (Levinthal, p.111). He also took some time to talk about heroin and the connection to endorphins, naturally occurring opiates in our brains that kick in after the body has undergone a tremendous amount of pain or stress.
These endorphins are essentially natural painkillers, or analgesics, that help us to endure particularly painful situations. The problem is that heroin, also an analgesic, is chemically similar to the chemical that fits into the receptor sites that trigger the release of these endorphins. As a result, heroin produces the same euphoric effects, in the absence of the physical stress, which can become very reinforcing, so we crave more and more (McAuliffe, p. 66-67). The first heroin high is often the best, he explained, 10 times that of an orgasm. But that same high can never be produced again. The addicted spends the rest of his/her life trying to recapture that first high, without success, building up tolerance as higher doses of the drug are needed just to keep the addict from feeling sick.
Eventually, they are taking to the drug just to stay in a state of “normalcy” (Levinthal, p. 108). Needless-to-say, I left the counselor feeling more assured that my daughter was in capable hands, but I can’t tell you how hard it was to actually get in my car and drive away. I won’t be able to talk to her for weeks. Helplessness is a horrible feeling. Dear Diary, Her counselor tells me she’s doing great! I’ll be able to talk to her next week!! I’m so excited!! I miss her so! Dear Diary, Tomorrow!! She comes home tomorrow!! I haven’t seen her in 4 months! Oh God! Just talking to her on the phone she sounds like her old self!! I actually recognize her voice! I can’t wait to see what she looks like in person! I can’t wait to have her back!! I know she still has months to years of therapy ahead of her, but she says she’s ready!! (McAuliffe, p.116-117) I’m doing well too.
I’ve been going to a support group (Gustafson, p.163-165) for families of addicts. They’ve helped me through all the guilt I had been feeling. I learn that guilt helps no one. I need to look to the future, no matter what it may hold and strive for the best. I have to understand that life is unpredictable and in order to help my daughter I have to be strong and stop feeling sorry for anybody! Anyway, I better go, I have to get ready for her! I’m so excited! Dear Diary, She was only home a month. A month.
And what a month is was. Full of smiles and laughter and hope. For that small amount of time I had my little girl back. What went wrong? What triggered it? Who or what did she see? Who did she talk to? I need to know. I’ll never forget what it was like to find her lying on the floor of her bedroom, stiff, cold, a needle sticking out of her arm (she hadn’t even finished administering the whole dose) (Levinthal, p.110), her eyes wide open, staring out into nothingness.
I’ll never be able to erase that image from my mind. Not till the day I die. My baby is gone, she lost the battle. It was 2 days past her 16th birthday. She was so excited about getting her driver’s license. She wanted to live life; she wanted so desperately to be free. Bibliography Work Cited 1.
Beschner, Bovelle, Hanson and Walters Life With Heroin D.C Health and Company, 1985 2. Gustafson, Ginny and Katherine Ketcham Living on the Edge Bantam, 1989 3. Levinthal, Charles Drugs, Behavior and Modern Society Allyn & Bacon, 1999 4. McAuliffe and Zackson Heroin Chelsea House, 1986 5. Ruden, Ronald The Craving Brain HarpersCollins, 1997 Psychology Essays.