75) Nervous Breakdown in Boise, Idaho

Welcome new reader!

In my last post you read about the period between 1996 and 1998, after I had relocated Nadine, Jenner and Stevie from Londonderry, New Hampshire to Fort Collins, Colorado and just after I had secured a contract with Hewlett-Packard working as a contract mask designer. In this post you will read about my son Steve’s growing dependency on pain meds and a personal  meltdown I  underwent while on contract with Micron Technology in Boise, Idaho.

Full-Blown Addiction

What brought Steve relief was also what Steve seemed to really want. Opioids. After all, he had been getting them, in one form or another since he was 7 or nearly 5 years, including rotational and continuous use of : Demerol, Dilaudid and Oxycontin.

Job Offer in Tucson, Arizona

I completed my contract just fine in Tucson, Arizona with Burr-Brown Company, a designer of analog chip solutions. I had known the Layout Manager from Analog Devices back in Massachusetts. The guy was really doing well. He gave me a ride in his vintage Corvette to his house in the desert, which wasn’t a mansion but set up very comfortably for himself and his lady. Later, in the contract I received a very strong invitation to join the team as an employee. I was flattered but since I was already settled in Colorado, it didn’t work out.

Personal Meltdown in Boise, Idaho

It was in Boise, Idaho on my contract with Micron Technology that I fell apart. Having the symptoms of pneumonia Nadine had told me over the phone one day,“Steve is in the hospital and he is being tested for cystic fibrosis,” she told me. Between the fact I wasn’t doing well in my layout work with the team and Steve’s pending diagnosis of cystic fibrosis, I broke down and cried. I sobbed for hours. It must have been pent-up anxiety. It affected me physically such that I had difficulty concentrating on anything except my sons illness. The next day I left my contract and drove back to Colorado. It was the only contract in 27 years, that I left without notice. I truly believed I had experienced a nervous breakdown.

I vowed would not go on the road away from the family again. This was a foolish vow. I didn’t have any other way to make a living. And my tastes – in those days – tended to be expensive.

In the Gutter

The foundation I had put in place years earlier through personal development was still in place, but my experience at Micron Technology had badly shaken my self-confidence. I had no job; maybe no longer a way to earn a living and my son was in addiction. What had I gone wrong?

I still had my family. I would find a way to fight through all of this and win back the trust Nadine had placed in me when I enrolled in Mask Design program nearly 14 years before in San Jose, California, where we had lived.

Do you remember the lowest point in your life?

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