That Girl’s Blog: Dear Addict

This weekend I was part of a terrifying event that I never imagined I would witness, much less be part of. I witnessed an overdose. I was not in a bar or a hotel or a parking lot where people “down on their luck” gather. I was in a local restaurant full of families in the middle of the day, and had just finished a light-hearted lunch with my boyfriend. I’m having trouble processing the events and I find myself starting over and over to write to the person whose face I cannot forget.

Dear Addict: You will never remember how we met. You weren’t conscious when I was yelling your name and telling you to wake up.

Dear Addict: You will never know that I was enjoying a quiet day with my boyfriend when we decided to stop for fried clams at a local family restaurant.

Dear Addict: It’s funny that my boyfriend recalls seeing you in the restaurant, but I do not.

Dear Addict: Neither of us will know why I ran into the ladies’ room when I heard a man banging and pleading from inside.

Dear Addict: You will never know the look of despair on your boyfriend’s face when I threw the door open and he looked up at me. He was kneeling on the ladies room floor banging on the locked bathroom stall trying to wake you up. I can only imagine the look of terror on my own face when I saw your leg sticking out from beneath the stall.

Dear Addict: You will never know the panic on the restaurant manager’s face when I yelled at her to call 9-1-1.

Dear Addict: You will never know that I jumped on a toilet in the next stall to reach the top of the metal divider so I could climb over to get into the stall with you, while you were slumped in an unnatural position, twisted and sideways around a toilet, face down with your backside blocking the stall door.

Dear Addict: There were traces of blood in the toilet and I was sure my feet would slip when I landed on the toilet seat to unlock your stall door.

Dear Addict: Your face was blue.

Dear Addict: I have never seen a dead body that wasn’t embalmed and in a casket. I have never seen someone who had overdosed before.

Dear Addict: It took all my strength to lift your head and body off the floor and out of the way of the swinging door so we could pull you away from the toilet, and lay you down flat in the middle of the bathroom.

Dear Addict: Your boyfriend said he had seen you like this before.

Dear Addict: Your 4-year-old son was in the car waiting for you. A waitress from the restaurant – A STRANGER TO YOUR SON – got him out of the car and brought him inside to a booth around the corner to sit and color with crayons while your boyfriend and I tried to get you to breathe.

Dear Addict: Your needle was still on the bathroom floor.

Dear Addict: I helped roll you on your side and held you by your hip and shoulder so you wouldn’t choke if you began to vomit.

Dear Addict: I called to my boyfriend to help entertain your son while we waited for help to try to save your life.

Dear Addict: The manager of the restaurant stayed on the phone giving us instructions until Police and EMTs arrived.

Dear Addict: You barely had a pulse and your breaths were so shallow, the only way I know you were breathing was because occasionally you gave a short, weak moan.

Dear Addict: Your track marks on your forearm and elbow tell more of a story than the one I am telling you.

Dear Addict: Police and EMTs arrived and shot NARCAN into your nose.

Dear Addict: You woke up.

Dear Addict: Your 4-year-old son watched you as you rolled by strapped to a gurney, and were loaded into the back of an ambulance.

Dear Addict: I sat with your son, trying to distract him, while your boyfriend talked to the police.

Dear Addict: I am having nightmares. I see your crumpled body on a restroom floor, your skin the same pale-blue as bathroom tile. I am looking down on you from the top of the stall as I climb over. I see you the way people describe looking down on yourself when you die and leave your body. Did you see yourself from above as if you had left your body, or did I block your escape long enough for the first responders to force you back to life?

Dear Addict: You will never remember me but, sadly, I am pretty sure I will never forget you.

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If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please know that help is available. You’re affecting more people than you know.

About Cat Wilson

Cat Wilson is "That Girl" on Cape Country 104 – a Cape Cod native and longtime Cape radio personality. She is a passionate supporter of Military and Veteran causes on the Cape and also hosts local music spotlight program, “The Cheap Seats” on Ocean 104.7.



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