Monday, May 18, 2020

The Cure
I baked my sick friend some chocolate chip cookies 
and I'm glad to report he felt well enough to eat them. 

For the past couple days, I’ve been visiting a friend who is sick. 

No, it’s not Covid 19. Nor any other contagious ailment, so it’s safe enough to see him. 

A number of his other friends have been visiting too so there are often three or four of us gathered in his room at the same time. Interestingly, they have all had the same malady that my friend suffers now, so they have good insights and advice to offer him.

I'm new to this but I'm learning.

My friend is mostly awake and conversant, though certainly not himself. Yesterday, he was swallowed up with pain and desperate in his suffering. We talked to him, encouraged him, brainstormed ways to help him feel more comfortable. My friend has been sick like this before and we all reminded him that if he got through it before, he can get through it again.

Positive vibes.
Breathe deep.
Drink lots of water.
Try to sleep.

During the worst of it, we considered getting him some emergency medical help, but in the end everyone agreed that he's better off staying put in his own bed. Miserable as he is, we know for a fact that our friend will not die  - or be permanently harmed - by his illness.

In fact, this disease is not a disease at all.

This is the cure.

* * * * *

My friend is dope sick.

Heroin has ruled his life for the past decade and a half. Though he's made some major strides toward sobriety in the past couple years, he still struggles. And the past six weeks have been a nightmare of nonstop smoking.

So a few days ago, he decided to that the only way to put an end to this run was to detox.

Over the years, my friend has gone through many episodes of detox - the fancy kind at a pricey rehab center as well as the kind where you're in jail - and he knew exactly what he was up against. His friends, who are recovered addicts themselves and have all gone through this same hell, knew what they were getting into, and they know what they're doing.

Though my friend has told me many stories about his detox adventures, this is my first rodeo.

What I've gained from the experience so far is this:

Heroin is evil. Sure, when you're high, heroin takes away your pain and makes you feel, as my friend always says, perfect. But in the end, heroin all but destroys you. And that's if you're lucky to not overdose.

More than ever, I truly believe that anyone who uses heroin must be in so much physical, mental or spiritual pain that they are willing to take the black, soul-sucking, deep-pit-of-hell bad of heroin with the momentary flash of good. 

People who use heroin deserves our compassion and support. Not our judgment and disapproval. 

* * * * *

I saw my friend again today, and it looks like he's past the worst of it. He's still a ways from getting back on his feet, but he slept twelve hours last night and feels somewhat human again.

We are all greatly relieved.

I'd like to think that my chocolate chip cookies may have helped. 

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