I remember the nurse came in and turned on the television. A Christmas Story was playing, which, of course, runs continuously all day on Christmas. As I lay there, watching Ralphie shoot his eye out over and over, I sobbed quietly to myself, wishing the doctors would come in and put me out of my misery. But they never did. They released me only 24 hours later, after I convinced them I wasn’t suicidal, I just mistook the Advil for Trazodone.
I got a taxi ride back to my apartment, but not before having the driver make a quick pit stop at the liquor store. The rest of the day I spent on the phone trying to get into detox, only to be turned down because the facilities had reached maximum bed capacity. I eventually gave up after a few short hours and opened up my only Christmas present that year—a handle of Cutty Sark scotch whiskey. A week later, I was back in the same hospital, ready to do it all over again for New Year’s.
That was six years ago. I’m now four years sober, which it means I had to go through two more Christmases like that before finally hitting rock bottom. To tell you the truth, I nearly didn’t make it. I nearly died more times than I care to remember.
It always seemed to be worse around the holidays. I'm not sure why. Maybe it’s the time off from work, maybe it’s the loneliness, maybe it’s knowing that you’re friends and family are celebrating without you. Whatever it is, it tends to make us addicts all that more self-destructive. As if by numbing ourselves we can get it over with that much quicker. Its no wonder I had such a hard time getting into detox. This is the busiest time of year for rehabs. All the beds are filled up. It seems everyone is checking in somewhere.
Because of this sad fact, I wanted to do something really special for the holidays. I know what it's like to be alone and addicted on Christmas.
So, all this week, Monday through Friday, I’m giving away my book, Some Are Sicker Than Others, for FREE on Amazon.
I figure what the hell, this is why I wrote it—not to fill my pockets, but to help other people suffering like I suffered. If my story can help just one addict get sober, I’ll know I did my part in giving something back this Christmas.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, don't wait. Get into treatment. I know it's frustrating right now trying to find a rehab that's accepting patients. But keep at it. Don't give up so quick like I did. Let this be the last Christmas you or your loved one has to use or drink.