Beneath an Angel's Wings: My Story of Struggle and Longtime Survival, Part Two
August 19, 2011
After my daughter's death, I went into a deep depression. I didn't know how I was going to survive. I stayed high all the time, hoping it would ease the pain, but it didn't. The last few months had been very hard for me. I was still trying to grasp the fact that my mother and daughter were no longer with me. Carlton and I were having more problems than ever, because he still blamed me for my daughter's death. In a way I thought he was right; after all, I did sign the DNR order.
Then on the day before Easter I had gone to a friend's house to help her make Easter baskets for her children. It was my first Easter without my daughter, and I didn't want to be alone. After returning home I cooked a good dinner for my husband. I cooked all his favorite foods; hell, I even made chess pie totally from scratch.
He didn't come home until really late. I warmed up his food and made him a plate. He sat down to eat, but said everything was cold, then threw the plate across the room and started yelling at me, saying I could never do anything right. I ran into our bedroom and locked the door. I then proceeded to take a bottle of muscle relaxers and laid down to die.
He broke down the door and saw what I had done. Instead of calling 911, he ran and told our neighbor, and then he left. My neighbor came rushing over and rushed me to the hospital. By the time they got me there it was too late to pump my stomach, so they fed me some liquid charcoal. However, it was even too late for that. The muscle relaxers had started relaxing my entire body, including my heart.
My heart stopped beating for 2-3 minutes. Fortunately, the doctors were able to revive me. When I woke up, I was in the intensive care unit. I spent 72 hours in ICU; then they admitted me to a psychiatric/recovery center where I stayed for two weeks. I wanted to be dead, but the good Lord decided it wasn't my time to die, so I recovered.
When I was released from the hospital, I continued to get high. I was on a road of destruction. In May of 2000, about four months after my daughter's funeral, I received a settlement check for the remainder of her trust fund in the amount of $46,000. I put $10,000 in a bank account for my husband; $10,000 in a bank account for myself; took $6,500 to buy a new/used car; and about $6,500 to pay my rent up for one year. The remaining $13,000 I used to buy some new electronics and clothes for myself and my husband; then I spent the rest on crack.
I called a "friend" and we got a hotel room, and then we bought some more crack, and we partied. We partied for a whole week. I went through from $1,000 to $2,500 a day in crack. I didn't eat. I didn't sleep. I just smoked crack. I was really trying to kill myself.
After I put the money in the bank account for my husband, he left me for another woman. So here I was left all alone with nobody to care for me. I knew that we were having problems, but I never thought he would leave me for another woman. I soon came to realize that he was just staying around for my money. I didn't feel I had anything else left to live for. My mother was gone and so was my daughter and now so was my husband. I didn't have any other family in Nashville, so I was all alone. The only people that I thought I had were the people that smoked crack with me. However, I soon realized that they didn't care either. They only cared about what I was supplying them with: free crack and a place to get high.
It wasn't until my roommate Jess came and rescued me from certain death that I stopped smoking crack for a little while. He took my crack pipe away from me and put me in the shower. Then he made everyone leave. He took me home and fixed me something to eat.
About 30 minutes passed and my stomach starting cramping really bad. He rushed me to the hospital, checked me in then left me there all alone. After I arrived at the hospital, I passed out. When I came to, I was in the intensive care unit again, where I spent 24 hours. The doctors came in and told me that I had lethal levels of crack cocaine in my system, that I should be dead. However, I guess that God still wasn't ready for me yet. I still had an assignment to fulfill here on earth.
Needless to say I was admitted into a psychiatric/recovery center again. I spent another two weeks in there, and then I was released. Again I had failed to kill myself. I didn't understand why God wouldn't let me die. I had nothing.
After that I started boosting again until one day, one of my clients took me to the Wal-Mart in Gallatin and just left me there. I was caught with $540 worth of merchandise and spent 14 days in the Sumner County Jail. I was so afraid that I played suicide and had to sleep on the floor in the hallway in shackles and handcuffs.
They reduced my charge to theft under $500, and I was put on probation. It was there that I started writing my life story. When I was released, I had to walk from Gallatin to my home in South Nashville. I was cold, tired and hungry when this Fed Ex driver gave me a ride the rest of the way home. From then on I stopped boosting and had to find other means to support my habit.
So I started letting the dope man sell drugs out of our apartment in exchange for crack. I would rent my bedrooms out for private parties, and I stayed high all the time. This ran my apartment hot. The vice was watching us. Then one day in December of 2003 my apartment was busted by the vice and even though all they found was a very small pebble of crack and a lot of paraphernalia, everyone in the house went to jail.
I spent seven days in there. We were told by the apartment manager that we had to move, so I put my stuff in storage. When we were moving the last of our things to the storage, I got really sick and had to be rushed to the hospital. I thought I was dying. I had started having trouble with my kidneys; I was diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency, which means that my adrenal glands, right above the kidneys, were not producing enough adrenaline, causing me to experience chronic fatigue, slight fevers and significant weight loss. I only weighed about 88 pounds and could barely hold my head up on my own.
I was admitted to the hospital and spent two weeks recovering from that illness. I later found out the reason I had gotten so sick was that the crack I was smoking was being cut with methamphetamine. After I was released from the hospital I went to stay at the Fallen Angels recovery house where I eventually became the dorm mother. I stayed there until May of 2004. I had managed to stay clean for six months.
I'd been seeing a guy named Thomas for a while; when I moved out of Fallen Angels, I went to stay with his niece and I started smoking crack again. The demon was back in my life. I stayed with his niece for about a month; then I moved in with another smoker and got high every day. I stayed with her for about two months; then I decided to get clean again.
I went to stay at the Samaritan Recovery Community. On my second or third day there I had a bad reaction to one of my medications and started hemorrhaging severely. I had to be rushed to the hospital and spend a week there. Upon leaving the hospital, I went back to the recovery center and worked the program. I stayed inpatient for 28 days; then I was released and went to stay at a step-down housing complex. I had a room with its own separate bathroom, and I shared the kitchen with another recovering addict.