Told in third person because that’s how an editor wants a synopsis written.

Synopsis of what my memoir was originally going to be:

“People suffering the agony of traumatic memory are haunted by those memories that incessantly interrupt a present moment, insisting you give them your undivided attention.” With this, my story is told in two separate narratives, the past and the present, that interweave like a hair braid, switching back and forth every few chapters. Dates are provided before each chapter, as well as labels of past or present, to avoid confusion.

J drives home with a bag of heroin and finds Brianna, his best friend dead. She had passed on while sleeping, overdosed from the same drug that J is addicted to. After dragging her body to the shower, thinking cold water will revive her, he realizes it’s too late and there is nothing he can do to save Brianna. J is convinced that Bubba, his dealer and roommate had given it to her.

Few months after Brianna’s overdose, while at his Mom’s apartment, J’s memories trace back to the time when all of this began.

A year after he graduated from High School, J was admitted to his therapist who he has to drink before being able to see that he has a drinking problem. This was the route to his first stint in rehab, ultimately not by being forced but volunteering. While in rehab, here comes the first time he got drunk, the morning before his sophomore history class, and gains the confidence to be himself.

After treatment, he moves in to a sober house and meets Scarlett, a recovering heroin addict living in the women’s sober house next door. They shared a passionate love of music and one another. Scarlett relapsed and was thrown out of her halfway house. J’s caring and concerned parents opened their home in Austin to her. She became close with J’s mom, sharing secrets. She got clean, and moved back into the sober house to try again. J and Scarlett went back to Austin to stay with his parents. But they slipped into relapse, by drinking alcohol. And then Scarlett formulated a plan, and asked J if he wanted to drive down to her hometown of Houston to buy heroin. J, drunk on love and whiskey, was led by his codependent nature and agreed to go.This was the beginning of an appalling addiction.

Their addiction escalates, along with their fighting. Methadone was thought to be the answer, until they quickly found out the awful hidden truth of how horrible it is. J and Scarlett would then spit the Methadone back into the cup in secret and keep it while they continued with their heroin use.

Scarlett became pregnant, but their plans for marriage were shattered when she miscarried. Scarlett started hanging out with Nick, a friend of J’s, who like her, was 21 and could go to bars. J became depressed without her, but his jealousy began to drive her away. After a fabricated story that led to an argument, J landed himself in the hospital, only to come home to find Scarlett and his friend in bed together. Things got physical, which brought on a new “fear” of J. Although he’d like to, J cannot end things with Scarlett because if he did, he would become dope sick. She was his only way of buying it. He still loved her, as well, and couldn’t stop caring for her.

Scarlett returned to live with J only because she had become pregnant. But J knew it wasn’t his. Money had become tight, until J overheard his boss mention the code to the safe. After weeks of planning, he robbed the store he worked and came home with eight-hundred dollars. Even though the baby was not his, J ended up paying for the abortion—if Scarlett really had been pregnant.

After quickly becoming addicted to crack, J experienced his own overdose while driving, landing him in the hospital, then back to detox, and rehab. And in rehab, his counselor—Scarlett’s counselor from before—saved him and then helped him to break up with Scarlett. He also found a focus in another young woman in rehab, Maisie, who went to live in a women’s sober house in Austin after they met. Just as J began to care about his recovery, they kicked him out with a rap sheet of complaints and problems. At Maisie’s house, J met the beautiful Brianna.

Maisie dropped J off at a party at the house of a friend from rehab who swore that he would give him a ride back home, since J had work in the morning. J later found himself without a ride, roaming the streets looking for a bus stop that doesn’t exist. After the discovery of a full styrofoam ice chest full of beer, J spotted a red convertible with the keys still in the ignition. He made it to work at the nick of time.

When Maisie moved back to Oklahoma, and Brianna began dating someone, J started attending a new school, pursuing audio production, and moved into the same apartment complex where Brianna later moved after their breakup. They became best friends, partying together and getting wasted on booze and drugs every day. They end up in a fight after J came back from what was supposed to be a bonding trip with his father in Las Vegas. J was sick the entire time while he self-loathed for being a horrible son.

He came home and found all his syringes missing and the only other person with a key was Brianna. Though, he quickly forgot about it after his dealer moved in and sexual assaulted his other neighbor, Annie, who had been hanging out with J.

Brianna came over to a party in J’s apartment. Before J blacked out that night, Brianna told him she loves him. It is the last thing she ever said to him. The next day, he discovered her body, ice-cold from a combination of Xanax and heroin that killed her in her sleep.

After Brianna’s death, J returned to rehab with a new determination to stay sober. (J also learned something crucial that he has not posted yet, due to its horrible nature and revelation.)

Suicidal and depressed, J breaks down in front of his Mom who tells him of Spirit Ranch. Being in Washington, he would stay there for 6-months. While at this rehab ranch 2,000 miles from home, he strives for freedom from addiction and codependency through Reiki and other eastern spiritual practices. Living in a house full of competitive guys, he is lost, feeling as though he is an introvert in an ocean full of extroverts. He’s been thrown to the wolves, but ultimately, he returns leading the pack. He also learns various life skills and redevelops his high sensitivity while also making the spiritual leap into adulthood through a rite-of-passage ceremony. After, he is not ready to move back to Austin, so he moves to Portland where his new skills and sobriety are put to the test, and he succeeds.

But J still doesn’t feel complete. So, for his birthday, his mom takes him to see a woman she knows who claims to speak to angels. Keeping her eyes closed for the entire two-hour session, she confirms to J things he’s never shared with anybody. When J brings up Brianna, she asks the invisible entity she’s communicating with if they can speak to her. Through this woman, J is able to talk to Brianna, who gives him five blue cupcakes for his birthday (even though the lady didn’t know it J’s birthday) encourages him.

J gets on the right medications: naltrexone, blocking any possible heroin from coming into his body, and Antabuse, to keep him from drinking. As well as, antidepressants and an anti-anxiety medicine. He is invited to play bass guitar in a band, thus continues his passion for music. After work one day, he met Leia, a friend of a friend who reminded him of Brianna. They become very good friends. J found a new friend without his old Codependency behavior being an issue.


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