Chapter 6 - Grandpa Richard
This is the first time I felt real reluctance to publish. I’m realizing that writing this book is the final step in clearing out all the junk and baggage I still carry with me.
You’re only as sick as your secrets.
I’ve never told anyone this before.
No one. Not a single soul.
I dropped an OxyContin in my car. I watched it fall behind the seat. I was driving a red Jeep wrangler, and it was an older version where the seat didn’t slide forward, but rather swung forward on a hinge.
I watched the pull fall in between the seat and the center console. I didn’t think much of it, but simply cursed, got out of the Jeep and pushed the seat forward.
But the pill was nowhere to be found.
I searched everywhere. I must have looked for 45 minutes. I looked on the street. I looked under the car thinking it may have fallen through the floor. I looked inside the cneter console.
Till this day, I have no idea what happened to that pill. I was always so paranoid that it would randomly appear when someone else was in the car, but it never did.
It was gone. Vanished.
This was one of the lowest points in my addiction. I was so desperate.
The thing is that I was always a very hard worker. I was always broke, but I was always working, so I was never without at least a few bucks that I could use to buy drugs and a cheese steak. But that only lasts for so long. A full blown dope fiend can make it a year at most before he runs out of money. It doesn’t matter how much money he has. Eventually, it always goes to zero.
This was where I was. I was at zero. It was the first time I was truly broke. Unable to pay my bills broke. I was snorting anywhere from 2 - 4 80 milligram pils of OxyContin a day. “Green monsters” we called them. I was in deep. I was underweight, depressed, and constantly dope sick.
This was where it all started to go downhill.
I had no where else to go, so I called my grandpa Richard.
Grandpa Richard and I were always friendly with each other. I had seen him from time to time when my mom would take us to Erie.
Over the last year, I had discovered that Grandpa Richard was also sober. I didn’t (and still don’t) know the full story, but I think his alcoholism had something to do with why I hardly ever spoke to him.
Suddenly, after 45 minutes of digging through my car, looking for that pill, the idea flashed into my mind.
“I bet grandpa Richard would lend me money.”
I feel ashamed to even write the words, but that’s what I did. I had talked to my grandpa Richard some months before so I had his number saved.
I called him. I told him I was in a jam, and I asked if he would lend me some money. He asked me how much, and I said “I think I could get by with a thousands dollars.”
A few days later, a thousands dollar check appeared in my mailbox.
That’s how grandpa Richard and I started building our relationship.
Helping Me Get Sober
I didn’t speak to him much, but when we spoke, it always felt like a big deal. I didn’t tell anyone that he and I were talking. His relationship with my family wasn’t great and to be honest, I’m still not really sure why.
One night, grandpa Richard told me his story. He told me about how alcoholism brought him to his knees. He told me that he had been bringing an AA meeting into a local prison for 25 years.
He told me that meeting makers make it and then he told me something that I’ll never forget.
He said “Tim, you’re going to want your recovery to happen fast, but I hope you let it go slow. Slow is beautiful.”
Slow is beautiful. I can still picture exactly where I was and exactly what the hot Florida air smelled like when he said those words to me.
Slow is beautiful. It is indeed.