J W Johnston • Photography


13 -18


While we were away for Thanksgiving, Francisco’s meth use causes him to have meltdown. He imagines voices, and thinks that two opposing gangs have positioned themselves at the front and back doors to the house. He thinks they want to kill him, our dogs, and will be waiting to kill us when we return. He calls me at two in the morning at my sister’s house. I spend several hours on the phone trying to calm him down. The next day we get a call from a neighbor saying that Francisco has been taken away by the police. We have someone check up on the dogs, but know they can last another day until we return home. When we arrive we find out that Francisco has been admitted to the psychiatric ward at St. Luke’s Hospital. They have him on medication to reduce the hallucinations. He is diagnosed with an acute psychotic episode. This psychotic episode, perhaps more than anything previously, has scared Francisco enough that he actually wants to start seriously dealing with his addictions. Hopefully in six months or a year, he won’t forget how scary it was for him.