My Friend Darren (by Guest Blogger Andrew Donegan)

Andrew is involved in judging prisoner fiction for the Koestler Trust by providing critique and feedback for their work. His blog is Donnie’s Dustbin.

Darren was a recovering addict. When his best friend came around to his flat with some heroin, Darren reluctantly agreed to shoot him up with a small amount. Darren’s reasoning was that if he didn’t, then his friend would go elsewhere and ask someone less trustworthy to do it. His friend also sneaked Darren’s 60ml of methadone from the kitchen too, then overdosed and died. Darren was done
for technical supply. The newspaper headline read: MAN KILLS FRIEND WITH LETHAL INJECTION.

Darren had 2.8 years in Walton jail, Liverpool, to dwell on what had happened. To this very day he gets tearful about the subject and has admitted that he will never move on from the sadness he feels whenever he thinks of his best friend’s family reading that headline. It was an unfortunate accident. His grief and guilt tempted him to suicide, but in his despair he reached out to the bible and found enough sense in it to warrant his salvation.

Four days after he was released, Darren’s mother died. He had also recently discovered that his birth was the result of his mother being raped. He hit the drugs with a vengeance. He was ripped off with the sale of his mother’s house, his childhood home, receiving just £15,000. This he spent in a few short months, racking up a £200 a day habit. 10 white (crack cocaine), and 10 brown (heroin). He
injected into the groin after suffering an abscess the size of a golf ball in his arm. He has the scars to prove it, and at his weakest had to sit down to shave.

As of now, after rehab, Darren is a clean, loyal and trustworthy friend, who has time for anyone. I've seen him assist drunks and tramps in the street on numerous occasions when I've been too embarrassed to stop and help out. Everyone has only kind words to say about him. He maintains a genuine faith and works out regularly, although he does freely enjoy a beer. He is also hilariously funny and never fails to cheer me up. He makes me choke with laughter when he gets tipsy and starts complaining about what's on the telly!

Having this version of events out in the open means a lot to him.

Andrews previous blogs for Jon's Jail Journal:
Review of Hard Time
Big Issue Article
The Scary Fun of Prison 3
The Scary Fun of Prison 2 
The Scary Fun of Prison 1  

Shaun Attwood 

8 comments:

Jason said...

I've lost some friends to addiction. Some of us are lucky to have made it out alive with whats left of our minds and bodies.Thanks for the post.

~Big Jason

Liz said...

Life is full of turns. Who are we to judge. This is what it is all about, finding another path leading to a new beginning with alot of insight and understanding. Great story. Thank you for sharing. Liz

Liz said...

Jon,
Daren's story is inspiring. Everyone has should have a chance to change and learn from their mistakes. Now, he has a different take on life and his compassion for strangers says it all. God Bless him and you.
Liz Stewart

Mother of an addict now serving 70 years for a non-violent crime. Help us all to change CA Three Strikes Law. "Let the Time Fit the Crime"

Anonymous said...

Well put, Liz, thanks!

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