FebruaryIsARose, IWontBeQuiet, YourStoryIsNotOver -

Drugs and the downward spiral into forever.. | February 17, 2020

This morning was quite emotional, my thoughts wandered to a time 5 years ago. I remember writing at 7:44:
"My sons - Jacob Tom, Quinnton Tom & Ulandio Stryker Ramsey:
Today is a new - a new beginning
Wherever you are - what ever you are doing - do it with pride and dignity.
Take today as a blessing - a new start..
Don't take for granted all the blessings that come your way - no matter how minute .. Or how trivial it may seem.
Don't take advantage of people but do take advantage of opportunities.
Above all - always remember that you are wanted - you are loved and you are Respected!"
...I wrote that with excitement knowing my son was being released from jail. There were no celebrations, nor was there banners or support from those he counted on. All alone .. but not for long, as fate would have it Quinnton met up with his friends this day 5 years ago ..
He called and said he would be released that morning and was going to call as soon as he reached his destination.
...The call didn't come like it was suppose to .. the morning turned into afternoon .. turned into evening. I was sitting with  and that's when the call came.
Within hours of his release My son Quinnton was in the hospital in Vancouver, he had ingested an almost lethal dose of Fentanyl. We were lucky that day (or so I thought) , when Quinnton was found he was found face down on the sidewalk of DES- close to death ..
..Fast forward to our reality that day, he wasn't drunk or passed out on the sidewalk of the Lower East side .. he had in fact overdosed on Fentanyl, and was found unresponsive on the sidewalk in Vancouver. Quinnton had died three times, and revived three times - he had a medical team who thought he was WORTH!! Saving. They tried everything that they were taught in medical school, perfect strangers could have given up on him they could have turned their backs - but they didn't .. they worked with him until he was well enough to leave.
.. I flew to Vancouver on the first flight I could book out was on February 18 2015. During the trip I kept thinking "I couldn't survive if I lost my child .. anyone of my three children .. I couldn't survive ..Thank you for sparing me the ultimate grief"
The plane landed and I could feel my heart beating out of my chest, I rode the escalator down to the arrivals and who was standing there to greet me was my second born son .. My Deh' , My Quinnton. He saw me and started to cry as he walked towards me. I remember slapping him, and telling him, "since fucken when you do shit so tainted it just about killed you..?" He held me and said I'm sorry Mom, Mom I'm sorry.. I was so scared ..I was never more scared than anything in the world.."
We stayed together, we talked, we held each other, & like a baby I held my grown son in my arms while he cried. This is day that I saw something in my son that I never saw before - this is the day that frightened me to my core. My living breathing second born son, his eyes.. were the saddest I've ever seen..
..As I look back on this day, I've learned many things about my son, I reread his letters and his countless text messages .. I understand now his preparation.
...I understand now Quinnton- and I wanted to say, as we know he did say it that day to Annalynn, Betty Patrick, Dan J Martel and Sheila Burden thank you for the support that day .. thank you for caring enough to share, and for being with us in Vancouver.
...As I wipe my tears and reminisce about this day five years ago, and process what my son experienced .. I know now that In the days to come I would learn more from Quinnton about his near death experience. I would learn more of his story when he was released and how he ended up in the hospital.
Once drugs have gotten your spirit, it will have the most personal impact on you that you can ever imagine. Like a first love, it is all you want, you crave it, you desire it more than anything. The things I learned with illicit drugs, it is a mask to hide a trauma. A normal functioning human being doesn’t just decide one day to be an addict.
A person using drugs doesn’t just say I’m going to overdose, the person just wants to get high, which sometimes leads to a lethal dose. We can’t hide the truths that bend us, we have to bend with the truth and support those who really need to extra hand up, not a hand out.
As a society we have to be compassionate to those who are struggling, to be mindful that trauma informed practices, treatment and daily living can be an answer to getting our loved ones walking the red road. Constant support and sometimes pushing and shoving will be a part of the journey.
What trauma did my son experience, that he went back to that lifestyle. What did he have to cover and mask? I know the answers are there, but know well do I know how to help the next person?
We see billboards that say “Say No to Drugs”
As difficult as it is, we can help or find help for those we love. We can find the community it’s champions to give teach us, we can have strength to navigate to wellness. We can do this together. Anything to help so another family doesn’t have the intimate relationship with drugs and it’s downward spiral into forever.
It will be 227 days from Quinntons overdose to his final personal act, his death by suicide, I know things could have been different... the fact is life has a way of teaching valuable lessons, we are where we need to be - using our voice ...
Quinnton's life may be over - but his story isn't;

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