On this night I had more chemicals in me than any human should.
I had just mistakenly snorted heroin, which I thought was cocaine, and I was, as usual, thoroughly intoxicated to boot.
I was at the end of a fifteen year drunk and I was only 32.
This gig, at “The Club” in Cambridge was a disaster because I couldn’t remember the lyrics to songs i had sung hundreds of times before.
I don’t have any recollection of what was said by my disappointed band mates, or remember leaving the building.
I never found out who slipped me the smack.
I woke up in a seedy motel on Route One in Saugus with someone I don’t remember being introduced to.
On the nightstand was the empty film case I used to keep my speed in, and a drained Southern Comfort bottle.
I could only open one eye at a time, so I couldn’t tell who I was in bed with.
When I stood up to use the bathroom, the girl whose name I still don’t know, gasped and told me I was turning blue.
She dropped me off at my mother’s house because I didn’t remember where I left my car.
She kept telling me I had to go to the hospital.
When my poor mother saw me, she broke down in the kitchen.
I didn’t go to the hospital, my sister called AA and they said for me to wait up on the corner.
This was Sunday, May 20, 1979. The first day of the rest of my life.
That night I ended up at an AA Meeting in Medford with Arthur Keenen, the guy who took the call from AA to come and get me.
God Bless you, Arthur, wherever you are in Heaven.
I was given a choice of Mount Pleasant rehab where I would be in a Librium induced haze for a week until the physical effects of the drugs and alcohol wore off or “sweat it out like a man” as Arthur suggested.
Against my better wishes, I went home to sweat it out. Ugh!
I thought I was having a heart attack from all the drugs in my body.
I spent that night on the floor next to my mother’s bed, trying to stop shaking.
I hallucinated and vomited all through the night.
Then, after weeks of sleepless, sweaty nights and recurring nightmares, the sun started to peek out from behind the clouds.
Life became interesting again as I regained my health and my enthusiasm.
I got incredible opportunities and took full advantage of them. I did incredible things with my new lease on life
I always remember and respect this date because it was the day I started living. Again.
I am one grateful guy these days. 🙂