I would like to share a personal story. Some details have been changed to protect identities.
When I was a teen, we used to hang out at my friend Jenny’s house, and sometimes, her parents would act kind of funny.
I grew up with alcoholics, so I had seen adults act “kind of funny” before, but this was a slightly different kind of funny. Feverish talk. Jittery. Jenny’s parents and their adult friends would go down to the basement and speed-play the drums, or guitars, or whatever music instrument was nearby. They would crank up the music.
I never thought much of it, and I enjoyed hanging out at Jenny’s house. She had three younger siblings that I loved to babysit, and she came from a wealthier family than most. Jenny’s father owned his own locksmith business and her mother had her own dance studio.
They had a big house, let us do sleepovers, and had a backyard pool!
So, they acted a bit funny. So what? That’s just what adults did, right? It wasn’t a big deal to anyone, especially us kids.
Until it was.
Jenny called me one evening, crying. Her mother had been found dead in her room by one of her younger siblings. There was no suicide note, because it wasn’t a suicide. She had simply and accidentally overdosed on the “no big deal” drug the adults did. That day I found out what it was. It was cocaine.
This woman, who had everything to live for, made a mistake. A small mistake in measuring a small amount. It cost her everything.
Jenny’s life was never the same after that, but life kept going. In my early twenties, I made a friend at work. Selena was fun, upbeat, and super spontaneous! She was like a living, breathing theme park, she was so much fun 🙂
The first time I went to her house, she tuned on the TV to music (she was so cool!) and then she turned to me and offered me “a bump.” I will admit, I was a bit naive, even in my twenties. So, I ask, “A bump? What’s that?”
She had asked the question as if it was no big deal. Like she was offering me a soda pop or a snack. Turns out, she was offering me cocaine ~ the same drug that killed Jenny’s mom.
It had been years since Jenny’s life was shattered by the drug, but it still came to mind quickly. The surprise, the shock, the sadness. The utter devastation. How could Selena act so flippant about something like that?
Selena waited for my reply with a pleasant face, a “no big deal” smile on her face. I knew I would lose a friend, but I said no anyway.
No amount of after-school specials, no amount of D.A.R.E. visits to my campus could have prepared me for what happened to Jenny. Her mother, an intelligent businesswoman that had everything to live for, had made a tiny mistake in measuring. And that was that.
It left a lasting impression on me.
Selena made new friends that liked the drug because it kept them skinny, and eventually her highs and lows became too extreme for me to deal with. Our friendship soon ended, and I transferred jobs.
I wanted to share that story with you because I don’t share any selfies, but maybe I can share the things that are more profound.
Also because people can do dangerous drugs and act like they’re not a big deal at all. You’re not going crazy, and you’re not exaggerating! They are dangerous, it’s just that most people haven’t had a negative experience, watching someone else’s life shatter like I did.
And, I’ve also been reading through Ellen Hopkin’s Crank trilogy, and wanted to share my own experience with drugs. Because they don’t just affect the person that does them. Even if it’s just one person doing drugs, it affects everyone around them, everyone that cares.
Stay safe and sweet by staying sober ❤️
안녕! Bye! Ciao!