Happy Sunday, everyone!
This is the final post of a five part series - Faces of Addiction. Last week, I left off in the summer of 2010, a summer that had me as bad as I had ever been. My physical and cognitive functions declined and left me unable to do everyday tasks a lot of days.
After another relationship ended due to my drinking and drug use, I suffered through a few days of withdrawal and decided I was done drinking and doing drugs. Well, mostly. I would only smoke marijuana, as that wasn't as problematic, and I still needed to stop the thoughts and feelings from hitting full force. I escaped to my cousin Scott's place in Owatonna and actually began to have some positive momentum in life. I began trying to right a few wrongs, was sleeping and eating, and was helping my cousin with some work to earn a few bucks. That said, I was still on the run with felony warrants and I knew at some point it would all end.
I found a job working for a group home. I covered the sleep overnight shift, which was quite convenient, since I was still technically homeless. I also covered first and second shifts, as I didn't typically have anywhere to go or any way to get there. As a result, I began to have money that I wasn't accustomed to having. That was problematic. Plus, I now had a reputation of being a hard worker to uphold. Lots of money and lots of hours to work equaled bad news.
I found myself again using hard drugs and alcohol by November of 2010. It didn't take long to take me down. On December 8, 2010, I picked up some methamphetamine and was off to the races. I felt like I had done too much. On my way to work around 2pm, I asked my cousin to stop at the liquor store so I could "pick up some alcohol for my coworkers" and bought a bottle of hard liquor. I showered at his place and began drinking to bring myself down from the excessive high I felt from the meth.
I made it to work, and that's where it would end. I continued drinking, and still didn't feel the normal relief I'd usually felt. I called another cousin and asked him to bring some prescription pain meds, as that would surely work. I took a few, but didn't get the result I needed. I took a few more, but still didn't feel right. Over the next few hours, I would take another handful of pills, drink more vodka, and finish the methamphetamine. Sadly, I was the sole provider for four developmentally disabled adults; humans that weren't able to see, walk, speak, or think normally. There sat the sad story that was Jason Lennox, in the basement, consuming far too many drugs and too much alcohol. Picture that. Really, stop and imagine that day and that scene in the basement. That, world, is addiction and what it can do. Sad. Dangerous. Inconsiderate. Deadly.
I don't remember much else about that day, other than what I've just written. I do, however, remember vividly, a strange feeling of relief. I was sooo incredibly tired and drained from all the years I'd been through. Something in me knew the fight was over. I don't know if it was the thought of death, or if something divine was at play that had me know I would somehow escape the demons of addiction. Regardless, the weight began to fall. I left that house in an ambulance and woke up the next day in the hospital.
Next to my bed was my coworker. She was bawling. She said very simply, "You might have lost your job, but at least you didn't lose your life." All I could say was, "You mean I might still have a job?" There was no thought of having nearly lost my life. It wasn't the first time, and the thought of death didn't scare me then. You see, I had no desire to wake up that day. And let me be clear, the events of the day before weren't part of a suicide attempt, at least not consciously. But, I knew I had to face the music. The cops, who were trying to pick me up for nearly a year, were also next to me. And, the shame and guilt of the group home overdose was far too much to bear. Now everyone would see the "real" Jason, AGAIN.
I left the hospital for jail on December 9, 2010. I don't remember much over the next few days, but when I did come to, I was overwhelmed with all that painful question again. How did someone like me, someone who could have done so many good things in life, end up here? I couldn't handle that question, or knowing I had no way to escape that lonely, cold 6 x 9 jail cell. I looked around, wondering what the easiest way to kill myself would be. I couldn't eat. I couldn't sleep. I was sick, convulsing, and on the verge of seizing from the drug and alcohol withdrawal. The next week was, by far, the worst week of my life. Nothing even comes close to it. The picture is a fraction of how I really felt. I was down 40 pounds and was out of any energy or desire to fight.
There were foggy moments that had me believe it was all a nightmare and that I would wake up soon. Other moments had me begging God to turn back time so I could do things differently in any one of soooo many moments. Reality always returned. My life was over, whether it ended physically or not.
And then the thought came - the intervention! I had to call those people that were part of an intervention my family had done a year and a half prior. I won't say I was ready to talk to them on my own will, but I was ready to feel anything other than the suffocation of that cold, silent jail cell. I made the call. She would be in to see me on Wednesday. This was an assessor I had lied to so many times previously. And now my fate was in her hands. All I could do was hope; hope for something less painful than where I was...
Stay tuned for the next post, one that will include a chain of events that might make a believer of spirituality and divinity out of anyone. Until then, make sure the people in your lives that need to hear this message do hear this message. And make sure they know you love and care for them, no matter how sick you think they are.