By Nick Mcglashan
Bobbie Sue was an amazing woman who was as close to God as one could be. My father and Bobbie Sue used to date when they were teenagers, and 30 years later they finally tied the knot. Bobbie Sue also saved my life after I overdosed the second time.
May 10th, 2014
I pour another tall glass of vodka over ice and add a splash of Diet Coke to give my drink some color in hopes my sister doesn't realize that I prefer my vodka straight. I reach into my pocket to make sure my bag of OxyContin is still there. I should have eight left, but my math is not great at the moment. Events of the night are being forgotten and coming back at random times. The bag in my pocket isn't going to be a secret much longer.
My sister notices when I stop breathing, my drunken body having stopped gasping for air.. She turns me over and screams at the sight of brownish green slime oozing from my blue lips. She runs from the guest house to wake our sleeping parents with a nightmare.
My father calls 911 while Bobbie Sue performs CPR on my dying body. She forces precious oxygen into my lungs and crushes my sternum to depress my heart to supply my brain with fresh blood. She is keeping me alive.
I feel slightly buzzed from the alcohol as I open my eyes in the hospital. My flight to Missoula, Montana from Orlando, Florida boards in 4 hours. I cannot miss this plane. I have to appear in court or spend more time in jail.
November 7th, 2016- Two Days Sober
My father has always been my hero. Seeing the pain in his eyes when he picked me up from the airport yesterday was devastating. I've unknowingly used drugs and alcohol as a shield to protect myself from emotions for so long that I have no idea how to deal with this glimpse of guilt. My mind is consumed with thoughts of how I let myself travel this far down the wrong path. I once had a six figure job, a house, cars, people and friends that loved me All of it gone.
The bed I lay in must be anchored. It's the only thing keeping me from being washed away like a leaf on a river gone mad. I am drenched.
From the river?
I can hear him cheering the crowd on. Making fun of my shortcomings and failures in life. The crowd laughs and applauds.
Who is he? Where is his voice coming from?
Remorseless insults coming from the walls.
I cover my ears. His voice only gets louder.
Shadow people begin climbing out of the river onto the bed, their faces black, their movements awkward, quick, and aggressive.
I am unable to move.
The walls and ceilings are melting in front of me, like hot wax from a candle. They disappear into the river and are replaced with new ones only to melt again.
I close my eyes tightly.
My legs feel like they are made of lead, and yet they don’t stop moving in spasms.
I wonder if I'll ever feel normal again.
November 8th, 2016- Three Days Sober
I tell myself I need to get help. I begin making phone calls to every treatment facility in the state of Alaska. I spend all day on the phone. The nearest bed available is 3 weeks out.
If I sit in silence too long the voice in the walls continue taunting me, his voice raspy.
Complacency is a killer, and eventually I'll use and drink again. This isn't the first time I've hit rock bottom. I've finally accepted that this is a battle I cannot win alone. I have had enough of this life. I cannot wait three weeks. I will not survive. I've taken drugs to hallucinate before. But to hallucinate because of not drinking or taking drugs is absolutely insane.
One text message at 8:44pm to an acquaintance changes everything.
I met Travis at a bar in Ballard, Washington in September 2016. I was partying and thought he was too. I offered him a shot.
"I've been sober for 24 years" he explained
A couple days later he visits me while I'm working on the F/V Summer Bay. He slips on my crack pipe and breaks his ankle. This was the first time I witnessed my addiction hurting someone.
On the deck in a fetal position, cupping his foot with clenched teeth he says in pain, "When you're ready to change, call me." He gives me his number and limps away cursing under his breath.
Back in the present, Travis immediately drives to Lakeside Milam in Kirkland, Washington. He does all of the foot work for me to be accepted into a 28 day intensive inpatient treatment facility.
The heart he has shown to a complete stranger gives me hope.
November 9th, 2016- Four Days Sober
Problem one, I can’t afford the ten thousand dollar price tag for treatment. Hell, I don't have enough money to buy a pack of cigarettes. Problem two, I'm in Florida. But these do not stay problems for long.
My former captain, Wild Bill, agrees to pay five thousand dollars of the fee. The other boat owner, Ian, agrees to pay the remaining balance. And my father buys me a plane ticket that departs in two days.
I am a complete emotional wreck. I'm a grown man, a hard Bering Sea Crabber, and I cannot stop crying.
For the first time in years I am grateful for the love I feel.
The feelings of flying away to the strange world of 'rehab' scares me.
November 11th, 2016- Six Days Sober
I hug my dad good bye. Bobbie Sue has spent the last couple of days on the phone working tirelessly with treatment centers to once again save my life. She tells me they will be praying for me. I never imagined this to be the last time I embrace my fathers wife.
I have five dollars in my wallet and a six hour flight ahead of me. I think of how badly I need to be sober. How little I know of myself. My life as a young boy, playing with friends, innocent and free. How did I go from being so happy to living like this?
I've become a prisoner, chained to drugs and alcohol.
Travis pops his trunk and hobbles toward me. The brace on his ankle obvious.
I am broken, beaten, without hope, courage or willpower. I walk through the doors of Lakeside Milam at 11:11pm and my life changes forever.
To be continued...