Pursuit of Happiness
My name is Blake Alexander West. I am now 19 years old, almost 20. But I almost didn't live to see 18. And I am here to share that story with millions of teens for them to just have something to read and see if this is where they are going. And if it is, they can hopefully see that's not where they want to go, if that does happen i would have accomplished my goal of helping at least 1 person realize reality and happiness, so here it goes.
It?all really started when i was 2. My mother left me to go into the millitary. I was young yes but still felt like abandonment. From my understanding of it all she was still there to support me by calling my NaNa and checking in on me and my sister as much as possible because my father didnt let her talk to us much. My father was a cocaine dealer. He drove across the border of Mexico and California with me and my sister, who would have been 5 at the time, with 60 kilos of cocaine in his trunk, keep in mind my father is in a wheelchair.?My father was a drug addict and alcoholic. He would take me into bars and I would walk around and drink the ends of peoples beers. He had done every drug in the book by the time he was 17. So drugs were in our blood, i was doomed to begin with. When i was 3 and a half he woke up one day and decided he was done with drugs and alcohol and started sobriety and still to this day has not taken a sip of alcohol or a bump of cocaine. I am proud of what he has done in his life now.
With all that being said you can see that my childhood was a little rough. I picked up my first cigarette at 6 years old. Didn't become a constant smoker 'til the time i was 9. That's also the time i started drinking everyday. Before school, during school, and after. ALL DAY. My 10th birthday came around and one of my friends wanted to smoke weed with me. I was nervous as hell to do it. But we went up to the park and blazed an 8th out of a popcan. I was so high i was rolling around in the grass, thinking it was the most amazing time ive ever had. And THAT is when it all started. Smoked every other weekend, then every weekend. Advanced to every other day, then well, everyday. So by 11 i was smoking and drinking everyday of the week. When i turned 12, the same friend that got me into smoking pot, asked me if i wanted to try ecstasy. "SURE WHY NOT!". So we would do ecstacy probably, ehh once a month. Never really got into that side of things because i realized my thing was downers, not uppers. So i decided to try taking my father's vicodin that he needed for his back and neck problems from being in a wheel chair for so long. Instantly i was hooked. Moved from stealing his vicodin, to buying OxyCodones. But tolerance builds and builds, so you have to keep going up in the scale/milligram. So i tried morphines. From 15s, then to the 30s. Got to the point where i was eating 10 30s a day to stay well. Cost WAY too much money for the high i was getting. So i moved on to OxyContin. Went the the milligram scale in those 'til i was eating 2 full oxy 80s. Thats a realllllly high dose for someone who is by this time 14.
Time went on as it does and i turned 15. I went to my friend's birthday party to celebrate with him. He told me to run with this guy Petey to go get a bag of weed an come back. So we walked to our dealer's house and picked up the bag of weed. I saw him hitting a piece of foil. I asked what it was an he said "Heroin, wanna try some?". I hesitated but i actually said no. For the first time i was happy i said no to a new drug. Petey was hitting it with him but that wasn't bothering me. But Petey insisted we go down stairs an smoke a cigarette then come back up so he could take another hit. Whatever, so we go down smoke a cig, come back up, he takes more hits an they say "Are you sure you dont want to try it." Fuck, peer pressure is a bitch. So i give in and take my first hit of my worst nightmare. We walk back to our friends house and continue our party drinkin an smokin with Petey and I just kinda chillin.
Later on the next couple weeks Petey calls me up an says "i got a bag of tar, come smoke it with me". "HELL YEA I'M ON MY WAY" i said. I didnt think about it 'til later but that is where i should have known i was addicted after that first hit. It progresses just like the pills did and we end up going to portland to cop bags of dope everyday. I couldnt go a day without this thing or i was sick and puking out of both ends of my body. But as time goes on and you keep doin this drug, again tolerance builds. We weren't getting high anymore. By this time im 15 and i wasn't even getting high off heroin? So I stopped hangin out with him so i could cop my own bags of dope and get high to myself because sharing just wasn't an option anymore.?I was now on my own doing what i thought i loved.
Bad mistake. I went to pick up a bag one time, my dealer had started shooting it and asked me if he could hit me. fuck. So i took my first shot by the time i was 16 years old. If you think the greatest feeling in the world is sex you may be right, but to me?shooting heroin was better than anything i had ever done in my life. I couldn't go back to smokin it off foil. So i told them to hook me up with a few cleans and i would be back in a couple days to get some more. They would give me free cleans making it easy to have access to needles. But once again that damn tolerance thing comes back into play. At 16 and a half years old i was slamming almost a half gram of heroin, EVERYDAY, at least 5 to 6 times a day.
My father finally got sick of me, my addiction, my bullshit, my games, my lies, my stealing, me not doing well in school, out all hours of the night that he finally kicked me out. My mother was the one that came to pick me up and take me into her house. So all in all, yea she left when i was 2 but my dad left when i was almost 17. That makes a lot more of an impact. I could understand what was going on, i wasnt a child anymore. He abandond me more than my mom could ever have. So 7 months after my 17th birthday and 3 days after my sister's 11th birthday i was at my girlfriend's house. She pissed me off sooooo bad to the point i almost hit her. I DIDN'T but almost did. I left making the better decision or well so i thought. As i was walking home one of my old dealers came up behind me. I just so happen to have enough money to buy a little more than a half gram. He offered so i bought. I got home and I saw my little sister on the couch in the living room. My room and the living room are on the same floor. So i told her to go upstairs and go into her room, watch TV, play with toys, whatever she wanted to do she just couldn't be downstairs. She went up and turned the?TV on. When i heard that i knew i was good.
I went into my room (Which has 2 doors to it by the way) and got out my kit. Cooked up almost all of the dope into an 80mm cyringe. And went to town. From there i don't remember what happened. I tried to piece it together and came up with:?I hid my needle and laid down on my bed like i normally would if i was going to take a nap. Stomach down, arms crossed, head down.
The rest is what i was told by my mother from here on. She came home from work and Clara (my little sister) had been back down into the living room. She asked Clara where i was and she said i was in my room sleeping. My mother tried to open the first door to my room. It was locked. She tried bangin on it to wake me up, no answer. She goes to the other door, it was open, so she walked in and saw me lookin like i was asleep. She tried and tried to wake me but couldn't from the door. When she came over to me and rolled me over my whole face had turned blue and i was dead.
She ran unlocked the other door and screamed to my little sister to call the ambualnce. She did as she was told but happend to walk to the door of my room and see my mom giving me CPR. She instantly started crying and while my mom was yelling "Come back to mommy Blake, Come back to mommy!" Still giving me CPR. The paramedics got to the house and incerted an IV into my arm and shot me with Narcan, a drug to instantly put a heroin overdose into withdrawl and bring the person back. It's an opiate blocker. Some times it works, sometimes it doesn't. The paramedics said if my mom wouldn't have been giving me?CPR i would have been dead. But the Narcan worked. This is where i came back, this is now what i can start remembering again. I remember it being dark even tho the light was on and i saw a figure. My grandma had recently passed. I can't help but think it was her telling me it wasn't my time, yea there was medicine involved in bringing me back but this was just different. I felt like she basically slapped me back into my body because all of a sudden there was light, and i was back in my room. I was dead for 7 minutes is what the paramedics said. And if you don't know each minute dead is chance of not coming back. Thats p percent chance i was a gonner. Thats why i believe it was more than the medicine.
But anyway, I was back in my room, and slowly i got my vision back. I was still deaf as hell but i could start seeing multiple faces i had never seen before standing over my bed. I guess I started yelling at them because i didn't know who they were or why the hell they were in my house but they were saving me. I had to look at their jackets to realize what had just happened, I had overdosed. For my first time in my life, I overdosed.... and died.
They wanted to take me out of the house on a strecher but i wasn't doin that. They put my shoes on me and i walked my ass to that ambulance. They took me to one hospital where they just ran tests on me. I was still deaf for about 45 minutes after all this. When my hearing was finally coming to, the only thing out of every beep and voice from random people was my mother in the back corner behind me bawling her eyes out. Sad yes, happy i was alive, HELL yes. But it was the dissapointment cry i heard that day. I looked back and the only thing i finally said, that i could hear, to her was, "I'm sorry mom". The paramedics and doctors kept doin there business and realized they have to transport me due to the fact i need to stay overnight cuz i had extreamly low oxygen levels.
They transported me to Dornbeckers hospital for children up at the Oregon Health Science University (OHSU) in portland. There I stayed out the night with oxygen tubes up my nose. I was still able to talk and eat, just not breath properly. The nurse that came in the middle of the night had other people she should have been taking care of but i was the one she sat next to all night and she just watched me breathe and made sure i didnt die. She didnt have to do that, it was her choice.
The next day when i awoke they took the breathing tubes out of my nose and i was finally able to go home. Not knowing my mother had already months ago started talking to a rehabilitation center to send me to, 2 big dudes walked into my room and stood by my bed. My mom signed my release papers i put my clothes on and they said sir we need you to come with us. As i was walking out with them i asked " Do i already know where im going?". They responded "Probably kid...". I went to NorthWest Behavirol Health Services in Gladstone, Oregon were i spent the next 40 days working on what i needed to do. It took me almost half way through the stay to realize that thats what i wanted. i wanted to be sober again. I got out june 25th 2010.
Sometimes things have?to get rough, I know, I have lapsed once or twice since then. But when my dad woke up that day and said "Im done"... I finally see what he ment. I hope my story has hit you in some sort of way. It was the roughest times of my life. I understand what you kids are going through, i really do. But im proud to say i am clean. Can you soon say the same for you? I sure hope so and Im 1000 percent sure your parents do to. They really do only want the best in life for you. I hope hearing this come from someone like this will help influence you in your pursuit to happiness
Blake Alexander West
This Story of Hope was created in celebration of recovery and to let families know that there are pathways to hope and healing. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families who are struggling with their son or daughter's substance use. Please consider sharing this page so that families know where to turn to for help, and that there is always hope.