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I am watching my ex boyfriend die. We met in January of 2016, and shortly after we met he had convinced me to move in with him. He was charming, handsome, and humorous. He played the part well-- a total and complete gentleman. Upon moving into his house I had noticed that it was extremely messy, and there was a lot more garbage than I wasn't used to seeing in someone's home. I wrote that off as a result of his divorce which had happened a year and a half prior. He was my best friend. We did everything together, told each other everything (or so I thought), and got along great. Around April he had informed me that he was a recovering addict. I, having just turned 19 and not even knowing that people ACTUALLY did heroin, let alone that I'd be spending my life with someone who battled addiction, did not understand the severity of what was happening around me. He wouldn't answer his phone (which I had bought him) more than I would have liked to let slide, money started going missing, things of value would disappear... At night, he'd lay in bed and "fall asleep" with lit cigarettes searing the sheets. By August there was no denying that he had relapsed, that I was living with a junkie and I just didn't know it yet. In October I left him to go live on the other side of the country with his distant family. I gave him an ultimatum-- either stay there and die, or come here and get a second chance at life. He flew out a month later and told me everything was great, he'd been doing well, and he was ready to start our life together. A week after he got there, a week worth of withdrawals, and he admitted to trying to commit suicide the night before he left. He drove my grandmother to the airport in her own vehicle with copious amounts of illicit substances on his person (that was where I drew the imaginary line). As the truth was unfolding about what had actually been going on right out of my line of sight for the past 10 months, he started to have health complications. He ended up spending the past two months in and out of the hospital for massive kidney stones. He was here with his family who were trying to nurse him back to health, but the state in which he arrived was already half dead. I stuck by his side for as long as I could, until I was sure he was in good hands and I had already done everything I could for him, and then left him and his family to start fresh and pursue an education by myself. Things were going well up until this past weekend whenever his family found his stash of needles. It turns out he's been using this whole time. He still needs several surgeries until his health is stable and he is getting ready to travel back to our home state alone (where he owes many people a lot of money) and if he doesn't take care of himself severe infection and kidney failure is inevitable. So no matter what way I look at it, I can't imagine anything other than his death sentence as he continues down this path. Fortunately I have never mourned the loss of someone for I am relatively young but I am horrified and watching all of these events transpire in front of me as he deteriorates. I know I am no longer with him, so it shouldn't "matter", but no one can help someone who does not want help, and he's made it very clear he does not want help. So we are all forced to sit here and watch as he slowly kills himself. By nature, I am very curious about life, the things around me, and getting to know myself. Death is the only subject I fall quiet on when its brought up. I always have said "I have no idea how I'd react to that, I hope I don't have to any time soon" but here it is. Happening in slow motion right in front of my face. and there is nothing left I can do about it.
I'll never forget the call I received on June 24th 2016, about my half brother's unexpected death. His mother called me with the dreaded news and it ran me over like a train, making my knees weak. The police had found him in his van, stiff. The cause of death was a heroin overdose. He was only 26. His mother thinks the OD was intentional, but I'll never know the answer. The depths of turmoil are unmeasurable, and vast. I feel as though I'm free falling and that there is no end in my emotional grief. So much confusion, chaos and uncesing despair. I had heard he was doing well, he had supposably cleaned up and was doing well. Everyone thought that. But for some reason I can't explain why, but I was pretty concerned for months. My sister and my mom thought I was being crazy by how often I brought up how worried I was about him. The last time I had talked on the phone with him was in April, a month before his passing. I had not spoken to him on the phone or have seen him in years. (We had stayed in subtle contact by commenting occasionally on each other's social media posts.) He called saying he wanted to come down and visit, saying he'd meet up with me around noon the next day. I was extremely thrilled. When the next day arrived, I had not heard from him. I called a couple times, texted, even Facebook messaged him, he never replied. He flaked on me with no explanation. So I was hurt and irritated. I didn't make any efforts to contact him again and he didn't make any either. And just like that he's gone. I have many many regrets. I am eaten alive with so much guilt and remorse, I wish I had reached out more to him, and had a bigger connection to him. His disease isolated him from his loved ones. It has plagued him for years, and he fought it daily. The idea of him dying alone thinking no one cared about him sends me into a weeping spiral. I can't sleep without sobbing, I'm overwhelmed with daily tasks, one moment I'm fine but all of a sudden my emotions rapidly change and I don't know where they're going to land: either I'm weeping or going into a colossal rage. I feel like I'm going insane, and all I want is my big brother to be here. My birthday was 2 days ago, first birthday with him absent. So strange and painful it was. I don't know how to feel anymore. I'm so emotional drained by life in general
Where do I even begin..... Well, the beginning. I am Amie, when I was born I had a friend that was already selected by nature to be my best friend, teach me unforgettable lessons, and help every step of my way. His name is Jeremy, and he is my big brother. We have always been very close. I am now 23, and confused with life. He was 25 when he died, just weeks before his birthday. Well, the history of his life, my life, and our family is quite deep and painful. Jeremy joined the army when he was 18, and served two years, even went to Iraq, before returning home with his honorable discharge. Upon his arrival home, he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. I hate the stigma, and assumptions that go through others' mind when they hear of this disease. He had such a hard time. He spent the following six+ years taking anti-psychosis medications and relapsing his pills, going through an inner hell on a daily basis. He had been in and out of psychiatric wards a few handfull of times. He eventually started drinking heavily, and majority of the time did not take his medication. For the past two+ years he would drink roughly 18 beers a day. He would walk around the city, sometimes pass out in bushes, and wake up in the hospital hours later or even the next day absolutely confused why he is there. People have called the police on him because he would be wandering while drunk. One time he was walking barefoot, went into a 7-11, and told the clerk to call the police on him because he was losing his mind. This was after a several day drug binge. You see, though, Jeremy is (was) the most innocent, intelligent, wise, witty, goofy guy I have ever known. Schizophrenia or not, the disease did not take him away. It just became a part of him. It tormented him, and he was desperate to not feel the way he did, therefore began binging with drugs. For years he would find cocaine from someone, and binge for about a week straight, and then not touch it again for 6+ months. One of his most recent cocaine binges resulted in him desperately wanting to live in a sober living home to help himself get cleaned up. Unfortunately, while there, he met a man named Erik. Or should I say boy. Erik was there for heroin. Eventually they began getting motel rooms in DTLA, and Jeremy was smoking heroin while Erik shot it up. This was about a year and a half before Jeremy would chase the dragon for the final time. Well, my details are feeling scatterbrained as I think I am still in total shock. All I know is Jeremy got really sick. It was a Thursday and his illness just began. My dad called me to tell me about his symptoms. That Saturday I drove over there (we live 45 min away from eachother) and visited. Jeremy was so sick that he could not walk, could hardly talk, and was crying with frustration and didn't understand what was happening to him. He hated hospitals so refused to let anyone take him, until I convinced him something is seriously wrong. There were buckets in his room that he had been vomiting in and peeing in, as he could NOT walk. He was perfectly healthy before. On Sunday at 9 AM my dad took him to the emergency room. I stayed home and cleaned his whole room, his bedding, vomit, everything.. so when he got back home it would be comfortable for him. While cleaning his room I found roughly 20 balloons of heroin- black tar- 9 of them had been used and 11 of them were untouched. I flushed all of it down the toilet. I also left a note on his desk saying I loved him, and I am sorry if he feel I invaded his privacy by cleaning his room, I just wanted him to feel comfortable. I left the house before he came back with my dad, because I thought he was going to be mad about the heroin. Two days later, it is now Tuesday morning, I am at work eating a subway sandwich on my lunch break. I just so happened to already be on the phone with my mom, and my dad called her on the other line. We both immediately knew something was wrong with Jeremy, as my dad never calls her. Especially that early. She called me back, wouldn't tell me what was happening, and just said we need to get to the hospital. My dad found Jeremy dead early Tuesday morning, in his room, sitting in the same position and place where he had seen him the night before. He touched his skin and it still felt warm, so he called the ambulance. They told my dad to perform CPR until they arrived-- somehow, by some freak of nature, they were able to bring him back to life. When I arrived to the hospital Jeremy had only been there for an hour, and the doctors said he already coded 4 times but they finally have him stable. Eventually we discovered both of his kidneys had failed, and that he will need a dialysis of his blood will just poison his body to death. At this point I was standing beside him, in shock, watching all of the tubes. He was on 100% life support. I went home that night, after the doctors did the dialysis, and told me his potassium levels were back to normal. I felt like everything might be okay. Well the next day, I woke up and went back to the hospital, and immediately there was a whole team in the serenity room wanting to speak about his condition, and our options as his family. My mom, dad, and I sat there as we were told Jeremy is 100% brain dead, and there is absolutely no chance of him ever coming back. For some reason they were not able to take him off life support until the next day, so we scheduled the time to be at 4 PM. We all got to have a personal last moment with him, I got to tell him all of the non-thoughts I was having. I literally had no thoughts. I was in shock. I just layed on him in silence, kissed his eyelids, smelled him for the last time, and told him how much I loved him and how I'm not sure how to be an Amie without a Jeremy. And that part still holds true, I do not know what to do. I've lost pretty much all my friends, as a result of pushing them away, as none of them understand whatsoever the immense pain that is now my world. Anyway, heroin took my brothers life. On Wednesday, the day before he became very sick, he got some heroin from a friend of Erik's. He binged with that heroin, smoking all 9 balloons that night. Thursday he immediately got extremely sick from whatever the adulterant was that the heroin was cut with. It took 11 days in total to kill my brother. And I......... I ..........am lost. I know this is happening, but somehow still have a hard time accepting that it has happened. -- it has been three months, now.--