Essay on a sobering experience

Submitted By spckeene
Words: 1205
Pages: 5

Aaron Keene
English 101
Essay 1
9/18/2013

“A Sobering Experience”

Laying in triage with a cold sweat and my teeth clenched I thought to myself, “Something has to change.” I was screaming, punching the walls and kicking with restless legs I couldn’t control. The triage nurse; on her hourly patient checks; came around to me, avoiding eye contact, and said with a sense of careless content, “I heard you were having trouble. Are you doing okay?” I found this question amusing considering the obvious reason for which I was laying in that hospital bed. Holding back vomit, I croaked, “No! I need some medicine!” She then informed me I could not receive medication until admitted into the detox facility. A one day wait in the triage for observation was mandatory before being admitted. Twenty-four hours in a room of twenty-five beds. Each occupied by a person experiencing the same thing as I. Painful withdrawals; cold sweats, restlessness, pain, insomnia, vomiting. After what felt like days of agony, twenty-four hours came and went. The nurse finally made her way back around to me with news I didn’t want to hear. “Mr. Keene, unfortunately you’re not sick enough, we’re going to have to ask you to leave.” She said this with that same attitude of indifference. At that moment my heart sank and my mind raced. I struggled for words, anything to say before she walked away. I thought to myself, this might be my only chance to turn my life around. I came up with two options. I could stay and protest my point, my reasons why I deserve a second chance. Or I could gather my things and leave. I could continue down that same dark and lonely path I came here so desperately to escape from. My tongue was tied. The only response I was able to spit out was, “That’s bull shit!” My heroin abuse started six months prior to that trip to detox. Despite my accomplishments in life heroin was the only thing I cared about. I had my reasons, my “excuses” to use. My (now ex) fiancé kicked me out. I was half way across the country from my family. I was homeless and alone. I decided to throw myself a pity party instead of handling life head on like a man. I decided on escaping reality, with heroin. I spent every last dollar I had on heroin. The job I had was interfeiring with my using, so I quit. I no longer felt a sense of pride for being in the National Guard Army, so I quit going to my monthly training. I slept in the laundry room of an apartment complex for a while. That is, until one morning someone walked in while I was sleeping. Apparantly I startled them because they started screaming and ran out. I never returned there in fear of being arrested for trespassing. I found a bush that concealed me from the street right off of Indian School Road and Thirty-Second Street. This is where I slept for the remainder of the time I was homeless. I spent my days standing just off of a highway exit holding a sign that read, “homeless veteran. Anything helps. God bless.” This was kind of ironic because at that point in my life I didn’t believe in a god. That is, until a series of unexplainable events occurred. Certain situations took place that made me believe in the possibility of a higher power. It was seven in the morning and I was at my usual spot off of the highway flying a sign. I had to start early in order to avoid going through withdrawals. The street light turned yellow, then red. A man slowed to a stop in a blue four door sedan and proceeded to roll down his window. He had a genuine look of concern on his face. I walked slowly up to his car, hoping for a hand out. What he gave me was much more than I could have ever imagined. He gave me a smile and his business card. The card said he was a social worker that worked at the Phoenix VA. He spoke with sincerity, “You know, you don’t need to be doing this. Come see me today at my office.” Reluctantly I agreed. That night, lying behind my bush, I had a feeling of regret. I didn’t show…