I wasn’t trying to die, but I came really, really close.

When their heart is empty, don’t fill their glass.

If you ever decide to take 12 shots of whiskey, eat a package of Starburst first. That way, when you wake up in a puddle of your own vomit, it won’t smell so bad. I found this out the hard way, my life nearly ending on a night I can’t remember.

There was a dirty mattress on the floor of a run-down drug house, where me and three others tried to drown our pain in a bottle of cheap liquor. I don’t remember why I kept drinking. Yet somehow I can remember how many shots I had. Twelve. Is that even possible?

I woke up, face down in the front yard. My head was strategically placed over a hole to ensure that I didn’t choke. Looking back now, this infuriates me. You thought enough to put my head over a hole, but you didn’t call 911? You left me all alone laying in the dirt, and you couldn’t even call my parents? No, the owners probably didn’t even know who I was, and everyone was so blitzed out of their minds that calling the authorities would have been the last thing they would have done.

I try not to be angry about that night. I’m not trying to eschew my own accountability, but there’s something I’d like to tell all of the adults who provided me alcohol as a teenager: your judgment sucked. I was damaged, emotionally raw, and you poured booze on my wounds. True, some of you honestly cared about me, and had nothing but good intentions, but what were you thinking?!

I know in my heart I was not trying to die. After seeing what my brother’s death had put my family through, I didn’t dare consider this option. But, it could very well have happened that night. I used to wonder where God was through all of this. But now I know. He was keeping me alive. I feel guilty that I was selfish enough to put myself in that situation, and angry that others let me.

Don’t, under any circumstances, buy alcohol for minors. Especially sixteen-year-olds who’ve just had their whole world ripped out from under them. You’re not helping. Not helping at all.


12 thoughts on “I wasn’t trying to die, but I came really, really close.

  1. Oh, Cat. Thank you so much for trusting us with these stories that you’ve let soar out of your heart in such beautiful, wrenching ways. You speak with so much open honesty and while you share your feelings of guilt, selfishness, and shame – your writing does not apologize for anything. As it should be. I am so grateful that I’ve found your blog and your story. Thank you.

  2. I’m curious, given my connection to the story, how long after Eric’s death this did this occur? You’re right — 12 shots could have been fatal, so you’re fortunate to still be with us. Strong message backed by a vivid example why providing alcohol to minors is a bad idea. Well done. And yet at the same time I feel a gripping sadness at recognizing (again, understandably) that you had to endure such deep pain.

  3. So glad you made it. I’ve been there and it hurts. Maybe not in the same way but with a lot of other things going on. I’ve been reading your journey about your brother and while it wasn’t my brother that passed (but it came close a few times) I had a close friend who chose to kill himself and the wounds are still there. The damage it caused me and those around really puts you in a place you never want to see again. I hope this writing is cathartic for you and those that knew your brother.

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