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The day I died


The day I died.
Back in 1983, I would never have believed, or thought, that I, would endure so much pain and suffering, from that toke, on that first ever joint of cannabis, mind you, I was only 23 at the time, and old age seemed a long long way away.

As time ticked by, the drugs got stronger and stronger and created a multitude of problems, for both my life and that of the family and friends around me.

Initially, it was just cannabis and LSD, but soon progressed to whatever was available at the time that took my fancy. In particular, the one that did the most damage was amphetamine, Speed, Whizz, or whatever you like to call it today and my friends and I took copious amounts throughout the 80s.

I had about seven close drug-using friends, (All Dead Now) but in particular, was Howard, (Howie) who I had grown up with at school. Howie and I spend days on end seeking that magic white crystalline substance, then, obsessively, even ritualistically chopping, and preparing it, into perfect straight rows, of neat, consistent  lines, across the mirror, before snorting, as much as we could, as fast as possible.

My personal definition of amphetamine, is:

“Psychotic fits, extreme paranoia, and the need to perform useless tasks with great meticulous detail”

Things, like dismantling the kettle into a dozen pieces, and never being able to get it back together again, or, using 8 reels of film to photograph the pattern of the stub ends, in, and around the ashtray on the table, from every angle imaginable.

How about going to see a friend in Grange Park, from Bispham College, in a straight line at midnight, across some fields and a swamp, through Layton Cemetery, then across the railway line, then, over the roof of a timber merchant, then, on through a rest home on Garstang Road, with the warden and the police in tow.

Life was so exciting, we thought that it would last forever, but little did we know..?

It was 1990, and I was 30, fit as a fiddle, a personal bodyguard for a well known hard man in Blackpool, that run, and, still run’s I think, one of the biggest door security agencies in the “North West”.

Howie and I had been up for three days working, resting, and playing hard, and we weren’t doing it on Mars Bar’s I can tell you, more like ½ ounce a day of uncut, pure hard white stuff between us.

We were sitting on the couch at my house in Bispham, waffling nonsense, and chopping another batch, whilst, my first wife Wendy slept in the chair. Suddenly, I started to fall backwards into the sofa, down and down I went, until, I landed in a nice, warm bath of marshmallow..  all was quiet and calm, when I realised that I could no longer feel my heart beating in my chest.

Bamm, as the fight or flight kicked in, I jumped, and started to run across the room, when suddenly it all went black for a split second and I was floating in the upper left corner of the room looking down at my lifeless body on the lounge floor.

“ Steve, Steve” shouted Howard, who jumped up and went over to me, and started trying to give me the kiss of life... 123 puff 123 puff. “Fcuk this'' he said to Wendy as she awoke to the horror of the situation and he started to try and blow whizz up my nose with a teaspoon.

“Steve, Steve..” Wendy ran into the hall to call for an ambulance as Howie grabbed the table lamp, ripped the wires out of it and started touching them first on my chest and then on my arm, which started to crackle and burn, I still have the scars today..

It was all very exciting being dead for what turned out to be about 17 minutes, but things did start to get a bit bleary and dark towards the end.

Howie was still shocking and pounding away on my chest when suddenly the lounge door opened and in walked my 10 year old daughter Claire, who luckily has no recollection today.

She stood and stared, then knelt down and started beating on my chest sobbing and shouting “My Daddy, my Daddy’s dead” Her mom came running in, grabbed her and took her back upstairs, just as the ambulance arrived.

It was all going a bit faint now and I was “comfortably numb” (pardon the pun) but very scared and disturbed by what I was watching, as they injected something in to my chest, which did nothing, then they shocked me, which also did nothing, they increased the power and Wham!, the second shock and I was no longer floating in the corner and I was back in my body and awake on the floor.

Well, I’m  61 now and I’ve never touched or snorted speed, or taken any other illegal drug in 31 years.

I’ve died twice since then, because of my damaged heart, but never had any out of body experiences on those occasions, it was just dark and I had no memory of the events..

So here I am, with Angina, Ischemic Heart disease, Mitral Valve incompetence, A/F, Diabetes, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Arthritis, Tinnitus, Bowel Incontinence and recurring TIA’s,(mini Strokes), apart from that I’m fine..
Alive but not kicking.

“You don’t really think it was down to the drugs was it?”

Steve Howarth, aka Captain Richard Williams 17/12/2021

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