‘Time’ Offers In-Depth Profile Of Life After Addiction
About a year ago, a YouTube video went viral which documented a real life couple in the midst of an opioid overdose. To many, this moment was seen as the catalyst for bringing painkiller dependencies to national stage. Thankfully, the featured “stars,” Ron and Carla Hiers survived their ordeal (though just barely) and today, they have shared their journey with Time Magazine in an insightful piece titled “Life After Addiction.”
After it was initially published in October 2016, over three million people shared the Hiers’ video. The aftermath included EMT resuscitation, a jail stint for Carla and infamy across the internet. It may just have been a life saver as well, with Ron admitting to Time that those moments forced him to re-evaluate his life and his dependency problems.
“That’s what drugs and alcohol will do to you,” he told the mag in a video on their site. “It’ll take you places you can’t imagine.”
The Memphis native first discussed the actual dosages they took that put them over the edge. Apparently, it was a morning that started with Xanax pills and ended up with heroin injections in the stall of a public park restroom. From there the couple ended up in the street virtually lifeless, with Ron stretched out on a sidewalk and Carla collapsing in the middle of the crosswalk.
Ron describes the next several weeks as a blur, but admitted that with the help and support of his family he was able to make a positive change. Time documented his entire recovery experience (which Ron still freely admits is a “struggle”), including his admission into the Turning Point treatment facility. After attending meetings and eventually reuniting with Carla, he began to delve into the reasons behind dependency.
“After nearly a month of sober living, I woke up one morning and asked myself two questions,” Ron explained. “Are you honestly happy? And Do you want to kill yourself? I couldn’t answer the first with a yes. But I also realized I honestly no longer wanted to kill myself.”
He then discussed the inner turmoils that had plagued him since childhood (including issues like bullying and low self-esteem) and how using helped to bury those difficult feelings.
“I was most afraid of finding out who I was because I never knew,” he added. “I was scared to find out. I was scared to find out that I was probably not as tough as I thought I was. I was probably not as handsome as I thought I was. I was probably not as well-liked as I thought I was. I was scared to discover the truth about me.”
Thankfully, the recovery journey has helped him push through his emotional hurdles and both he and Carla have gone to on to share their experiences with others. For a better look at the complete story, we highly recommend watching Time’s video with the Hiers’ below.