“Get out of here” Eric said to our friend just two hours ago. I had been in the shower and was changing in the bedroom when the those words were spoken. It’s now about quarter past midnight. Eric had picked him up and placed him outside our apartment door saying “Leave in three seconds or I will call the police.”
I’m a little shook up about what has transpired. John (not his real name) called one week ago asking if he could come and crash here for a bit. He showed up at the door with a six pack of beer wearing the same clothes he had been wearing for five days he told us. He was high and drunk. He had been fired from his job. He was talking in riddles only he understood. He had no where to go having left his parents place five days earlier, travelling into the city where he partied for five days. The night went ok. He came down and fell asleep on the couch. Eric and I retired also.
Over the next few days John sobered up, drank lots of coffee, smoked lots of cigarettes and sat on our deck quite a bit. He and Eric made plans to begin working together. John had been fired from his job. John and I spoke of Dual Diagnosis and Daytox. He didn’t understand the sobriety riddle. Last Wednesday night Eric and I spoke together agreeing he could stay as long as he planned to work, stay off the hard drugs and contribute to the household until he found a place of his own.
The week was progressing nicely. Eric was working during the day. I worked during the day and late at night. John was getting better. He sat and chatted with me while I planted the deck garden and gave me a hand when a pot was too heavy to move. The springtime weather was beautiful. He helped with the dishes and contributed money for food and took the garbage out.
Last night he had a drink. Then he had two, three, four, five, six. And then he finished off Eric’s. He passed out on the couch. That night I dreamt of many beached whales.
Today, Eric left for work taking John with him. I slept for most of the day. I had not been sleeping well and it cought up to me. John sat in the car all day and did not work. He wanted to see what the construction site was like before he began working their. Fair enough. After work John asked Eric to go for a beer. Then they both came home around 6:30PM. John continued drinking. He began talking in riddles. John left to go buy some take out. I cried. Eric had said last Wednesday to say the word if it became too much and John would be asked to leave. I didn’t know how to say the word and neither did Eric. John had even said “I’ll leave when you ask.” John came back and ate his take out. He spoke in riddles and continued drinking. I asked him to stop talking. I got up from the futon and went to shower. Eric told me he had poured the last two of John’s beer down the sink while I was showering. John was not happy. Eric wanted him to sober up so he could begin working at the construction site tomorrow.
John is gone. He is alone tonight in Vancouver. He drank 15 beer in five hours. I hope there is an angel watching over him right now.
Early on in my recovery from being addicted to GHB John had called. I had been sober for perhaps three weeks. He said everything I wanted to hear. I cursed everything everyone else said. John made me want to live. He understood my riddle. As time went on John would call every now and then. He was always high when he phoned. He always wanted drugs and someone to listen to his riddles. Monthes passed and John’s riddles repeated themselves over and over. Eric and I began to have the same conversation with him every time he called. My riddle had evolved. I have been sober from GHB for 257 days. While John was here he couldn’t remember me telling him for the past eight monthes on the phone that I had sobered up and was still in treatment.
Not until tonight did I see my reflection in John. It scared me. As human beings we have a choice. Even in the midst of addiction we have a choice. After addiction we have a choice to become addicted, moderated (for lack of a better word) or sober. It is up to each individual to choose her own path. There is no right or wrong choice. If one does not choose, while addicted though, they end up in jail or they die unless they ask for help and learn a new way to live of their own choosing.
I am sad. Eric is sad. I hope John finds the answer to his riddle. John, if you read this, we are here for you when you choose to swim. We love you.