I was in between houses yet again. The more often this happened the less bothered by it I had become. The worst part for me was finding a place to store what little stuff I had.

The search for a place for my things usually ended up finding a place for both my things and myself. People aren’t real fond (well back then they weren’t) of the idea of a young girl just out there on the streets even in the suburbs.

A girl about my age that I had known for a while had talked with her mom and dad as I was welcomed to stay for as long as I needed as long as I helped out around the house. Not with the bills but with the cleaning. This was perfect for me as I was a great housekeeper and the work itself didn’t bother me one bit.

It didn’t take long for us all to become comfortable with one another and start acting kind of like a family. The man of the house was an EMT so he worked long and crazy hours for the addict me this was a bit unsettling as I was never sure when he would come home.

I decided I just wouldn’t do my drugs in the house. There was a back yard I could sit in without questions and a park right up the road I could wander around I also still had a friend or two that I could hide away with when needed.

I remember the second overdose unlike the first. I remember taking that shot and suddenly as that warm rush of the first push washed over me everything slowed down. Like super slow-mo. I felt it happening, I felt my breathing get real slow and everything inside me felt like it was standing still. In a very quick moment, it hit me and I knew I messed up.

I remember looking at my friends’ father as I went down. It felt like it took forever for me to hit the ground and then everything went black.

I woke up much like the first time in a hospital with little idea of how I got there but I knew why I was there. I sat straight up and looked around I quickly found my friends’ father sleeping in a chair across the room from me. I wasn’t sure what to do at this point. All I could think about at the moment was where my dope stuff was and where all my stuff would be at the end of this.

When he woke up and saw me looking at him he just smiled. He asked me if I knew where I was and why and I shook my head yes. All he wanted to know in that moment was how long I had been using and if his daughter was using. I quickly explained this had been an ongoing thing for me and to the best of my knowledge his daughter had never used “hard drugs”.

We talked for a long time about everything that had been going on. I was ready to give the famous “I’m gonna get clean this time” speech I had given so many times before to save my own ass yet again; he didn’t want to hear it. I wasn’t his first interaction with an addict, he knew this speech as well as I did.

I was expecting the worst at this point, the worst is having no place to live again. However, that was not what I received.

He agreed to keep my secret from his wife (his daughter knew I was an addict) and agreed to let me stay as long as I agreed to not keep my drugs or Paraphernalia in his home or on his property. He informed me about NA and told me if I really wanted to get clean he’d help but he didn’t want the bs.

When we returned to his house he fed his wife a story that I had fallen and hit my head and he just wanted me to get looked at so he took me into the hospital. For a while things were calm.

“Addiction is just a way of trying to get at something else. Something bigger. Call it transcendence if you want, but it’s like a rat in a maze. We all want the same thing. We all have this hole. The thing you want offers relief, but it’s a trap. ” -Tess Callahan