Hello, I’m Sarahya. This is my story. It’s long and raw but I hope it can offer something to someone, somewhere
This is Daniel, in October 2021 Daniel was introduced to the reaper, disguised as a little blue pill. They were called “blues”or “dirty 30’s”and all we really knew is they had fentanyl in them and they made you feel good, like really really good. From the first hit, Daniel was hooked. I watched my husband fall in love, not with another woman, with a substance, which I knew I could never compete against. I was now on the losing end and I had no more fight left in me, after almost 11 years of this merry go round. So I made the worst decision of my life, I decided to join in. I distinctly remember the feeling of dread as I took my first hit, the realization of the power this little pill had quickly sinking in. Like a semi truck, barreling straight towards me at full speed as I just stood there, looking in horror, unable to move not yet realizing the full magnitude the weight of the decision I just made held. A timer had just been set on the life of the only man I had ever loved. From that very moment a number of how many days on this earth he would have left, had been set. BUT Daniel loved me and Daniel was a fighter, so he squared up and even though addiction finally had us both fully in its grasp, he fought fiercely. We would get clean and then we’d relapse, get clean, relapse. It was an endless cycle, those last 10 months of his life. I remember screaming into the phone, trying to keep him awake, terrified he was going to die as he was driving home from picking up blues one night because he was so high he was throwing up on himself and nodding out. I also remember him giving me a hit of it while I was in the bathtub, it being so strong It immediately made me slump over, unable to keep my eyes open as he frantically shook me yelling “ baby wake up, talk to me Sarahya, talk to me!” How sad that those are some of my memories of us towards the end, how tragically, devastatingly painfully sad… Our ten year wedding anniversary, the last wedding anniversary we would ever spend together, July 28th 2022, would be spent in a hotel room, smoking crack, meth and fentanyl together the entire night. Even writing that holds the weight of a thousand suns falling to the earth… On August 4th 2022, Daniel and I realized we could not beat this demon that was wrecking havoc on our bodies and life, so we flew to California and both entered rehab. It took me seventeen days and Daniel twenty two to finally have a clean UA. It was hell, it was lonely, it was scary but it also taught me so much. On August 26th, Daniel and I flew home with a new outlook on our relationship, our sobriety and what we wanted our future to look like. We were so hopeful. I remember hiding in my mother-in-law‘s room as our kids got home, them running into the room and jumping into our arms, crying and saying how much they missed us and loved us. Our daughter put her little hands on her daddy’s face, telling him “I’m so glad you got better daddy, I missed you!” My husband held his babies and wept telling them how he did it for them, how they were worth staying clean for. That day and the two following day’s were some of the best days we had experienced in years. There was so much love packed into those last couple days, for that I will always be thankful. Monday night Daniel was contacted by one of our old drug dealers who he thought he had blocked. I remember the look on Daniel’s face after he spoke with her, there was a visible internal battle of the soul going on inside of him and he was losing. When he hung up the phone he stated “baby I’m gonna go get four blues, I promise I’ll never touch them again after this.” I was sitting on our bed and began crying, I looked at him and responded “I’m going to lose you Dan, I’m going to lose you this time for good.” He stopped putting on his shoes, locked eyes with me and said “if you tell me not to go, I won’t. All you have to do, is tell me not to go.” Having just gotten out of rehab and it being drilled into me that it has to be a decision he makes himself, I cannot save him, along with the many years I had tried without success, I put my head down, quietly crying and whispered, “I can’t Daniel, I can’t make that decision for you.” He stood looking at me for a second longer and slowly finished putting his shoes on stating “It’ll be OK baby, I promise, this will be the last time.” Little did I know the timer that was set on Daniel’s life just 10 months prior was almost up, it truly would be his last time. Had I known I would have desperately screamed “don’t go! Please don’t go!” I would have clutched onto him, dragging him from that car in desperation. Sadly that’s the thing about life though, we always think we have more time.
When Daniel arrived back, his mother and I were sitting outside. He walked up and gave her a hug stating “mama, all your boys are clean! You can sleep peaceful tonight, knowing none of us are going to die.” My mother-in-law nodded her head and hugged him, not knowing it would be the last interaction her and her baby boy, would ever have. That night Daniel and I went outside and sat on our car, looking up at the stars while he held me. For the life of me, I can’t remember our conversation. I know we talked for at least two hours. We then went inside and went to bed. Daniel held me that night, but never fell asleep. When I woke that morning to his alarm going off, he was looking at me and whispered “I love you, I never slept last night, I just watched you sleep.” He then got ready for work and as he was leaving, he popped his head back through our door with his crooked little grin saying “I love you baby girl, I’ll see you tonight.” I had no idea he would never enter that doorway again. I watched as he left, back to me, as he entered his car and drove down our winding driveway, ￼blissfully unaware of the horror that would strike so very soon after. Daniel went to work and was dead just four short hours later. His timer finally up. He entered a porta potty on his job site and took ONE puff of a blue pill. He died at 8:07 a.m. They gave him Narcan and worked on him for an hour, to no avail, my beautiful husband was gone from this earth. Leaving all of us who loved him to be forever changed, longing for someone we will never have again, on this side of eternity at least. Please listen to these words I’ve spilled onto this page, let this be a cautionary tale for whoever reads it. There’s no going back, the hands on life’s clock, they rewind for no one. Our decisions and choices we make are set in stone, no way to erase them. Addiction will take you much further then you want to go, lead you to places you never intended on visiting. It will take everything you love and hold dear from you, leaving you with a life you can’t recognize, more pain then you ever had before it.
I will forever have to live with my regrets, the thought of what If I’d never joined in, what if I’d told him not to go that night, could we have been so much more, could he have been so much more, echoing forever in my head. I guess that’s my retribution for my part though, so I’ll bear it in its full weight. Addiction is no respecter of persons. Daniel was high up in his career with the Carpenter union, I worked alongside the state, we hosted family holidays at our home that we owned￼, we went to church on Sundays and our children were in private school. Trust me when I say, it’s not only the corner bum you see in your minds eye when you hear the word “junkie.” It’s the politician, the high schooler, the doctor, the stay at home mom, that blue collar hard working dad. Addiction has so many faces. I know if Daniel was granted the option to send just one last message from his grave, he would cry out “don’t make the same mistake I did, It’s not worth all it cost me.” If our story can help even one person, cause pause in even one life, to me, that’s worth more then all it’s weight in gold. Then maybe, just maybe Daniels tragic death, won’t seem so pointless.
I don’t know where Daniel is in eternity today but I believe from the day Daniel took his first breath out of his mother’s womb in that hospital in Texas, until the day he took his last breath inside that Porta-Potty, God had him in his sights and held him in his hands and I believe, God has him still… I now know what not to do going forward, wisdom has been granted to me, but I’ve paid so very dearly for it. Such a steep, sorrowful cost.
To the struggling addict: I see you, I was you, I am you. I know the stigma, I know how it’s easier to hide then ask for help. I promise, you will find your people. You can recover but only if you want to. You may come out crawling with claw marks from a fight you both won and lost at but, you can make it out. I hold so much love for you. You’re worth it. You’ve always been worth it. Your story matters. Your life is still of so much value. I promise, no matter how desperately discouraging the situation seems, as long as there’s breath in your body, there is hope. I encourage you to find that hope, and run with it. Don’t waste the time you’ve been given. The next time you want to use or think about relapse, I hope you remember our story, and think about the little family from Washington State, who played with life and tragically lost.