now is a good time to panic

culinary wonder part I
30 September 2012, 12:00 pm
Filed under: life in general | Tags: , ,

In order to celebrate my return from hiatus (thanks to a VERY generous gift), I’m going to tell you guys about my friend Theresa. This is going to be a week long story, so buckle your seatbelts.


For the past twenty years, my brother’s friend Theresa has been a staple in our house. She didn’t have the best home life, so she’d escape to hang out with my younger brother, Adam. She started drinking at age 12 and was a full blown alcoholic by age 14. Along with her difficult time at home, she also had full blown ADHD and the only reason she even passed high school was with my brother’s tutoring. She worked at a local BBQ joint in high school to finance her drinking and drug use, and left home soon after graduating to go to culinary school in Baltimore. She dropped out without graduating after being offered an management position in a restaurant in the area. That lasted a year and a half before she and her boss came to a decision that she needed to work on her drinking problem. She stopped cold turkey on her own and went and lived for a few weeks with an uncle that’s been sober for the past 15 years. Her friend found her a job at a fine dining restaurant in Baltimore. She did a little bit of everything there, working the garmanager station along with sauteeing, salads, and some banquet work. She worked there for four months. Another friend found her a job at a small established restaurant in the Florida Keys and she learned the business end of running a restaurant. Soon after this, she got into heroin and things really started to fall apart. Her friend from Baltimore came to visit and his solution to her not drinking was for them to do heroin together instead. About five months after that happened, her old boss in Baltimore called and asked if she was drinking now and when she (honestly) said no, he flew her back up to Baltimore to help out with the busy season. Now that she’s in Baltimore, heroin was easy to get and waaay cheaper than the Keys. She got deeper and deeper, but was still managing to maintain at work.


Six months after that, she got a desperate phone call from the established restaurant in Florida offering her $900/week under the table, plus the opportunity to work breakfasts ($10/hour plus tips). A 22 year old with a raging heroin habit, of course she said yes. The first few days were rough because she was coming down from heroin and didn’t know where to get more. She switched to oxycotins because they were easier to get and did heroin when she could find it. She started spiraling downwards. She was working 18 hours a day with no days off, and there was no creativity involved. This was the established restaurant. They’d had the same menu and specials for the past ten years. Dope and pills were costing her about $200/day. When she ran low, she’s resort to binge drinking. She’d wreck her scooter on her way to work, pass out in the kitchen and in the bathroom, and be sent home. Nobody talked to her about her problems or threatened to fire her or anything.


Finally she tried to pull herself together. She quit the opiates, but was having a hard time sleeping from the withdrawl symptoms. To combat the sleeplessness she’d start popping xanax. Soon enough the opiates were kicked but now she had a xanax dependency. One day she gets off work and her friend calls from the bar. Theresa goes to meet her at the bar. Normally not a problem; she’s gone months and months of being around bars without drinking. She arrived and ordered an O’Doules and somehow ended up doing double shots of Jack. She still had xanax in her system from the night before. Her dealer shows up with oxycotin and by now it seems like a great idea to take some. She blacked out and the next thing she knows, the owner of the restaurant she works at is calling to find out where she is, and he’s cooking breakfast himself. She rushes to work and kept drinking while there. There were plenty of bottles of booze in the kitchen. Now she has opiates, xanax, and alcohol in her system. Finally her body can take no more and she passes out in the kitchen. The owner finds her and calls an ambulance. She flatlines in the ambulance and woke up in the hospital. By Florida law, the Baker Act found her a danger to herself and others and mandated detox.


5 Comments so far
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Sad story but a good one. Please insert some of your wonder and colorful humor. I Need to stop crying!!!

Comment by kathy scott

Aww, it’s okay Kathykins. Be patient :)

Comment by kathelldorfer

So far, super sad story. I feel bad that she had the life she had growing up & felt like she could only depend on her alcohol & drugs to be happy.

Comment by triing2survive

Well, it was pretty bad, but on the other hand she could have had it a LOT harder. It was really rough, and I am glad that she felt comfortable enough with my family to spend so much of her time over with my family. As a result, we get to know such a great person. So it’s kind of a win for me lol

Comment by kathelldorfer

I would like to think this is a Hollywood movie script, but I know this story is true and even more distressing, is this is not an uncommon occurrence these days. Drug supply lines are open and available everywhere and it does not take long to ruin you relationships, your career and your life. Theresa’s story is not over yet.

Comment by susan

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