Hello, summer. I was an official college graduate. Diploma in hand, ready for the next chapter to begin. But which story was I going to tell?
I didn’t know yet. All I knew then was that I had to make a decision. Each night, I’d silently weigh the pros and cons of both routes before bed. So, here it goes.
One path brought me down south —South Florida to be exact (Boca Raton). My family relocated there from New Jersey a few years prior and they just so happened to hate my drug-dealing boyfriend (except back then, they didn’t even know he sold). I say this because the other led me west with him, Brad. Was I ready to be the girlfriend of a future doctor? He did have plans to quit cold turkey but I wasn’t sure if I could keep up or if I wanted too.
If I were to go, I had to be certain Brad was the one. Why would I travel across the country for a guy I wasn’t sure I wanted to be with forever? We had become so co-dependent, I couldn’t imagine not being with him. A large part of me loved him but was I head-over-heels in love with him? I wasn’t sure. Our relationship was by no means healthy. It did start off that way but it hadn’t been like that in a while.
At the time, I had just walked at graduation —most likely high on pills.
Almost every school will allow a student to accompany their graduating class if they’re only a few credits short like I was. They let me attend under the presumption, I’d finish the rest over summer break, which is why I was still in town for another eight weeks.
The days go by as they always do. I was somehow functioning; going to class and doing my work as a normal student. Brad and I were still together, still getting high, still selling. Except, we weren’t making money anymore. Our addiction had gotten even worse so we profited just enough to support our habit. Things were good, well —when we were high they were. And when we weren’t? It seemed as if my affection toward him faded too.
If I can be honest with myself, I think I ultimately knew the narrative I was going to tell and he wasn’t in it.
With that, I Had My Answer.
I remember when we said goodbye. He was so mad at me. I was a little mad at me too —for letting things get so screwed up. I definitely led him on all summer just like he said.
“How can you do this to me? You made it seem like we were going to be together forever and you wait until the day before I leave to say goodbye?”
I start by explaining how absence makes the heart grow fonder. “I really am going to miss you so much, probably the most I’ll ever miss anyone, but I can’t come with you. I wish I could but I just can’t,” I maintain. I made sure to emphasize that my family had a lot to do with this decision. If you knew us, you’d know that we both traveled to Florida for my sister’s wedding a few months prior where he punched my cousin-in-law in the face.
He thought this kid was hitting on me.
But I think he forgot, I don’t date relatives —even by marriage. We were pretty fucked up on champagne and Xanax that we silently stole from my innocent mom’s medicine bag when we first arrived at the hotel. Remember, we were doing about 31 pills a day so when we had to take a commercial flight to these nuptials, we couldn’t bring our stash. We were pleasantly surprised when we found those benzos because they definitely cut the edge on our withdrawal symptoms.
To be honest, I have no fucking idea how we made it through without any opiates or suboxone. But we did. Except, I don’t think he acknowledged how bad we left things. My family did though (I’ll go over the specifics in another blog post). In short, they were going to cut me off if I joined him, which he didn’t understand. So I just kept saying how sorry I was for messing up his plans.
“I do not even know where to begin, but I’ll start with an apology.”
“I’m sorry for being a bitch. I’m sorry for misleading you. I’m sorry for everything. Who else would have put up with my bullshit over the last few years? You always put me before yourself. If we had one pill left, you’d let me have it and when I offered to split it with you, you insisted it was mine.”
He said he did that and everything, “Because I love you. I can’t believe after all we’ve been through, this is it —nothing. I wish I understood your reasoning but I guess I have no choice. I’m going to miss you.”
Regardless of the in-between, I knew how sad it would be going from spending every waking moment together to extinction.
I remember being heartbroken even though I made it this way. I recall telling him that I pray one day he would forgive me and maybe we’d find our way back. If we didn’t, I hoped he’d find someone to make him as happy as I couldn’t. And I almost believed it myself. But at that moment, when those words rolled off my tongue, he was pissed. I don’t blame him.
“So you want me to find another girl? This really is it. What the fuck, Macey.” —Truth was, I didn’t want to be single again. In fact, I dreaded the thought of not having someone to say good night too. I was a serial monogamous and the type of gal who thought she needed a guy to feel good about herself.
And for the past three years, Brad was that person.
It was a confusing time, to say the least. I mean, I was the reason we were having this conversation, to begin with. If I was going to miss him so much, why wouldn’t I just go with him? Then, I’d remember my family. They supported me financially and I knew I couldn’t get by without them. Plus, I’d miss them too much and it’s family you know? But then, my mind would go back to Brad. It was a constant back and forth.
Well, that was the predicament I found myself in —even after we said goodbye for good, I cried for weeks because when it’s all said and done, I loved him as a person, a friend —my best friend. I remember thinking we could still talk every day and see what could be. One part of me daydreamed about pleasing my family, staying in Florida for a month or two while saving just enough for a one-way plane ticket to where he was.
But that never happened.
When I did get to Florida, my family actually prohibited me from talking to him on the phone or even texting. Since they paid my bill, I knew I had to “listen.” At first, I snuck in some conversations but as the weeks went by, it just kind of faded out. I stopped trying and eventually, he stopped calling. I figured he was living it up, medical school style, and I was trying to live mine —without him (I’ll be writing a separate post covering the events after I moved a little later).
Still, in town though, I start arranging my plans to get down south.
My dad ends up getting a one-way ticket to me so that we could drive my car together. With that, summer was officially over. Little by little, Brad and I pack everything up. I finish those classes and eventually, I say bye to the rest of my friends. A few more days go by when I realize, holy shit, this was it. Today was the day Brad leaves and I was checking out tomorrow.
I go over to his parent’s house like we planned to say our farewells. I had gotten pretty close with his family so it was almost as hard to say bye to them as it was him. Except, we still had some business to handle before he officially moved and by that I mean, we had 50 pills that we needed to sell.
He asked if I could get rid of the rest and if it wasn’t too much trouble to meet up with our dealer before I left —to pay the guy what we owed. I, of course, said yes as we make our way outside. We were about to take separate cars and drive to his dad’s Exxon so he could get some gas before going west.
Oh, and we were about to do our last pill together.
Plus, we had to have our own private goodbye. It was such a weird feeling. I didn’t know what would happen next or come of any of this. But life goes on whether we’re ready or not. We walk inside like we always have but this was the last time. There were about to be a lot of lasts. So we take our time folding the dollar bill we’re about to use to snort our drugs in the gas station’s storage closet (like we always had).
When we finish, we walk outside directly to his car where we say goodbye. He kisses me one last time and officially drives away. I’m still outside in the parking lot watching him pull out. And you know what —just like that, he was gone. I couldn’t believe the time came and went. It didn’t really set in. Luckily, Brad knew me too well. I couldn’t believe who pulls up as I wipe the tears from my face.
Brad figured I’d be especially lonely so he has his best friend meet me at the Exxon to hang with me all day.
He was going to stay until my dad came the following morning or at least until we both passed out. We were the three amigos so this was an awesome surprise, which made me miss Brad even more. I still had my apartment for the next 24 hours so we head over there with some change of plans. Somehow we convince each other that we didn’t need to sell those 50 pills. So I light up a cigarette and say fuck it as we make our way in.
Remember, I was supposed to meet up with our dealer to give him the rest of the money from the pills I was supposed to sell. I think we owed him from last time and getting rid of those would have made us even. Well, instead, we get high. Selfishly, I knew I was covered as I already had my three-month supply of Xanax, Suboxone and a separate set of 50 pills packed away. I thought a few more couldn’t hurt.
And so, Brad’s best friend and I hang out platonically all day at my apartment —snorting pills, smoking cigarettes while watching Entourage. This was pretty much our every day so none of it was abnormal. Before I know it though, it’s midnight and way past my bedtime.
He ends up leaving and now I’m alone.
I was a little afraid. I hated being by myself, especially at night. I mean, I got held up at gunpoint on the exact couch I spent all day on. So yeah, it was scary in the evenings —who would blame me? So I snort another pill hoping to pass the fuck out. I did. I’m awoken the following morning to the sound of my alarm clock. I make some coffee, snort another two, and finish packing like the good little girl I wasn’t when I hear a knock at the door.
My dad was early.
Somehow, I was ready. He was pretty eager to get me to Florida. Oh, and he really didn’t like it here in town so he wanted us to get on the road rather quickly. I thought I was going to pick him up at the airport but he wanted to save me the trip. I was dreading the drive anyway, so I appreciated the gesture.
We hug and lug all of my crap into his car. We didn’t realize how much stuff I actually had until we were done. And we were ready to sit down. I hand my keys to the landlord, take one last look at the apartment and off we go. It was a long ride. It started off with some small talk followed by me singing along to some random songs on the radio. But every couple hours we had to get out and stretch.
My dad had no idea that every time we stopped for gas, food or to use the bathroom, I’d snort another pill. Ain’t ignorance bliss? Anyway, putting aside my drug use and this 18-hour bitch of a journey, we had a great time. We ate fast food and laughed the rest of the way—until things got a little heavier a.k.a. we had to talk about Brad. I had to be done with him for good per my dad. And I thought I was.
Heck, I thought a lot of things.
So I bargain with my dad. I tell him exactly how I’m feeling. I mean, if I was going to live in Florida permanently, I’d have to get over him eventually. No time like the present right? I suppose since my dad hasn’t been young for quite a while, he’s out of the loop on how break-ups work. I say this because he didn’t understand how my head and heart could be thinking such different things. We talk some more and somewhere in Georgia, I fall asleep.
I wake up a little bit later to hear we’re officially in Florida. About 90 minutes after that, we’re in Boca, my new home. What a strange day (make it a strange week). I think it was harder to grasp than I originally thought that my everyday for the past three years was gone. It felt like a part of me was missing. I try to make it seem like it’s a new adventure; I mean, it was. So, I roll down the window as we both light up a cigarette.
One part of me felt ready, but I’d later learn, I definitely wasn’t (the timeline of events leading to my intervention happened slowly and then all at once). If you remember, I end up faking it for quite a while. I get a big girl job but then I find myself addicted all over again. Long story short, the law of attraction is still true. I was trying to stay clean but I also wanted to get high —I just didn’t know how I could make it happen.
Well, until I figured it out. And the rest is history. From pharmacy hoping and pawn shop buying, I was a mess —worse than before because I was all alone. I didn’t have Brad to keep me in check. I’ll be getting into the specifics in a separate blog post. But I’ll leave you with this (which is an article that sums everything up, diving a little bit further into what happens next) and this.
At the end of the day, some steps need to be taken alone —it’s the only way to really figure out where you need to be. Until next time.
*names and some details have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals involved.