The Second Chance I Almost Didn’t Get

By the time I was 30 years old, I was neck-deep in a raging cocaine addiction. I’d started experimenting with coke in my late 20’s, and it just completely took over my life. I was off to a pretty promising start in life. I had a great job, the perfect girlfriend and had just bought in an amazing house in West Palm Beach, Florida. The strange thing was, as great as it felt to achieve everything I’d ever wanted up to this point, life was starting to get boring. I started looking at the house, the job, and my girlfriend not as accomplishments or blessings, but as just an anchor around my neck. One night when I was at my buddy’s apartment after a particularly stressful day at the office I spilled my guts to him after we had a few beers about how boring my life had become. He seemed to have the perfect, solution – little bit of cocaine that he had picked up during one of his weekend trips to see this girl he met in Miami.

I was never a drug person, but my perception of life had changed radically since I started college, and I thought I could control everything. My friend was much older than I was, and I thought that if he could use it as the occasional escape, then why couldn’t I? He had taken me under his wing in more ways than one. At the office, he was my mentor; at home, he was my dealer. I started using cocaine more and more, and after about a year I was hooked. My withdrawal became unbearable. I’d spend weekends at what felt like death’s door while trying to convince my girlfriend that it was just pneumonia or a stomach virus. I was missing work, losing sleep, and had all of these irrational fears, but I never expected what happened next.

I’d gotten home from my friend’s house one night, high out of my mind, and saw my girlfriend lying in my bed and reading, unaware of my condition. I rushed into the bathroom to wash my face while explaining my whereabouts. Right in the middle of our conversation I passed out and hit my head on the sink. She rushed me to the hospital and found out that I had overdosed and almost died. She said she knew everything, and that she was going to give me one chance to get clean or she and my unborn child would be out of my life forever. Apparently she had tried telling me she was pregnant right before I blacked out.

I cried like a baby and told her I’d get help for my drug problem, and that I was sorrier than anything that I had to find out that we were going to have a baby like this. I knew I wanted to stay close to her during the pregnancy. At that moment as we were talking a commercial comes on the TV for a Florida drug rehab center in Palm Beach! We both took it as a sign, so I immediately called them and got myself checked in to their treatment program. I am sure it was all coincidence but my girlfriend likes to think of it as a divine intervention that day because I have been clean ever since. It’s been a little more than a year since I completed their excellent program. My girlfriend and I recently got married after my one-year clean anniversary date, and today we have a beautiful young son. I’m eternally grateful to her and that TV commercial that gave me the second chance that I almost didn’t get.

Charles A.
West Palm Beach, FL