By Nick Mcglashan
October 13 2016 12:30 pm
My eyes squint in protest when the sun’s rays creep around clouds thick enough to hide Dutch Harbor from the gods. It's cold out, but I don't notice. Watching my crew prep crab pots for the brutal season that lies ahead, I sit perched, eight pots high swaying back and forth two stories above the ground. A water bottle in my left hand, a cigarette in my mouth, backwards, bent, and broken. Disgusted with myself, I take another drink. The vodka burns my throat as it travels downward toward my stomach. A burn that I'm really starting to enjoy. The clear liquid flowing through my body irritates the enlarged liver on my right side and finally comes to rest. In a couple of minutes, I'll have enough strength to climb down and acquire the energy needed to begin working. I am the deck boss of a multi-million dollar business that begins in less than 48 hours, and we are behind schedule.
I've been drinking half a gallon of vodka everyday for two months. Even in this foggy haze I’m lost in, I realize my heroin habit is slowly robbing me of everything. In about two hours, I’ll need more booze to keep my body and mind working.
I have to feed this demon inside me. There is no way I could work without alcohol, but I have to stop drinking. I know the answer. The answer only an addict would know.
On my own I create a destructive hell. Meth to stay up, heroin to make it all better. The need for drink disseminates like the ripples from a rock breaking the surface of water.
My time spent getting and hiding my drinks has been exhausting. I replace alcohol with drugs. There is no balance in my life. I'm staying as loaded as I can.
We manage to complete all tasks and set sail at 12:00pm, October 14th, departing on our journey 220 miles northwest of Dutch harbor. With no drugs, and no alcohol, the reality and pain of being sober begins to set in. The brutal Bering sea slowly rocks the 113 foot Summer Bay side to side. Sweating in my bunk like I just robbed a bank, aching like I was hit by a bus, I question my life. Why am I living right now? Why do I keep putting myself through this? This is not the first time I've come down from alcohol or drugs on the way to the fishing grounds. This is what we fisherman call 'sea-hab'.
October 17, 2016
The paranoia, isolation, and depression begin to set in while filming season 13 of Deadliest Catch for Discovery Channel. I am a full blown drug addict and alcoholic. I wonder when I became okay with being strung out on methamphetamine while filming an extremely popular reality show. How did I justify this behavior that has now taken hold of my life? Rolling around in my bunk sweating in pain and agony,. I feel like I am going to die. To top off the misery of withdrawals, we begin fishing the most violent waters on the planet.
October 21st, 2016
The seas are brutal, the pain is excruciating, I want it all to end. How the hell did I do this again? I notice each time I come down, the pain and misery becomes more unbearable. Like a good woman, the withdrawal symptoms never leave my side. As we return to Dutch harbor 7 days later with one million dollars of red king crab on the boat, the pain has subsided. But mental confusion, shame, and guilt are still raging. Within twenty minutes of hitting the dock I have dope in hand and I am relieved of all pain and have slipped back into my euphoria.
October 23rd, 2016
My life is crumbling around me like buildings in a war zone, and I feel at peace. I begin drinking as everyone else sleeps, waiting for the sun to rise so we can leave town on the second, and last, trip of the season. I am over half a gallon of vodka in and high as a kite on meth. Bill finds me in a belligerent state. A humiliating moment in my life caught on camera and played for millions. He immediately fires me. After I leave, Bill goes through my things and finds my stash of drugs.
October 25th, 2016
I step off of the plane in Anchorage, Alaska, and cab it to a hotel. Within ten minutes, I have enough heroin to kill an elephant and enough meth to keep a few addicts up for a couple weeks delivered to my room. I am chasing that next high. I need to get higher.
October 28th, 2016
I've gotten good at making the wrong decisions in life.
"Come on just do it"
Being in a drunken stupor, it wasn't a difficult choice to make.
"You'll save so much dope and get so much higher homie"
Losing an internal battle and breaking a promise to myself, I reluctantly extended my right arm, palm up.
"It's just stupid you're not slamming this shit"
Moving like a skilled doctor he slid the needle under my skin, finding the vein, I immediately drifted into euphoria. The downward spiral in life stopped.
I began to free fall.
To be continued...
For more content from Nick, please see his previous entry here: http://www.chosenmag.com/the-deadliest-disease/2017/5/2/the-deadliest-disease