William Everett Rose was born on 10/14/78. He was our first born son, our sunshine.
He was a bright light in our family’s lives and in his friends lives. When he was a boy, William struggled in school because of an anxiety disorder and ADHD that went undiagnosed in the 80s. He fought the demon of addiction beginning at the age of 16 with alcohol and eventually pills. His first introduction to opiates was from a local doctor that treated him for ingrown toenails that eventually had to be completely cut out. This doctor renewed his prescription and he shouldn’t have but by then William was already in full blown addiction. William survived an overdose at the age of 17. He was crying out for help. We found a 30 day rehab close by and he completed it, but he met a girl there and when they got out both relapsed together. His addiction took over his life for 5 more years and he and another friend found themselves facing a 12 year sentence for breaking and entering to support their habit. God showed his grace through a judge who allowed him to go to a Christ centered recovery program called Teen Challenge instead of jail, where he completed the program and was a brand new person when he got home 15 months later. The William we knew was back so with encouragement from us he relocated to another area about 2 1/2 hours from home. He met a young girl with a baby and fell in love with both of them. They were married for almost 15 years and had two more children, both beautiful girls. William got a job in the surveying business and he loved it, he was a very outdoorsy guy and loved learning the business. He still struggled with ADHD and anxiety but he found out he was really capable and smart in this field of work. He was blessed in so many ways during his 17 years free from substance use. He eventually got a job with a state agency, worked hard to get his gun and voting rights back and paid his court fines from his mistakes as a teen. He met many good Christian men along the way and he and his family were very involved in their church. As his beautiful family grew, he loved spending time with them in the woods hunting and he enjoyed being one of his middle daughters softball coaches. William was always trying to better himself, so he began lifting weights years before and eating healthy and he became very strong and fit. He tried power lifting and gained strength but also experienced several injuries along the way. William also ended up getting hurt on the job and after five years and four surgeries later he was provided prescription opiates again by his family doctor and the different surgeons. He thought he could handle it but he soon found himself in trouble. He was a man who struggled with substance use and was in recovery from an opiate addiction. He should never, ever have gotten a script for pain meds. It was an up and down battle for several years. He fell into a trap of shame and stigma and he felt like a failure. His marriage was falling apart and his ex wife didn’t understand anything about addiction. He also found from texts on her phone she’d been having an affair with a friend of his so they separated. During this time he was officially diagnosed with PTSD and an anxiety disorder and was put on Adderal & Prozac to help with his concentration at work and the nightmares and panic attacks. He struggled so badly and was able to stop on his own but when unnecessary tactics were used against him in the divorce, bogus protective orders to separate him from his daughters for weeks at a time, he self medicated trying to deal with his symptoms. Every time he was unnecessarily separated from his daughters the dark demon of addiction took him deeper and deeper down. He tried to fight it by himself but he was so sick he couldn’t hide it any longer. He was in and out of court for a year from show causes and bogus protective orders that should have been worked out with a meeting among lawyers. Protective orders were dismissed and he was reunited with his daughters but the relationships were strained because they had been brainwashed that he was dangerous. William saw his whole reason for living slipping away and the court system looked down on him because of his past record when he was a teen and because of lies that were being told about him. His oldest daughter stopped talking to him and completely cut him off and he never got to see her, hug her, explain to her what was going on to help her understand. After a year long, extremely unnecessary chaotic custody battle, the court gave complete discretion to the ex. She chose to not allow even a phone call with them or supervised meetings. He was a Dad who had devoted his life to his daughters and he hadn’t been allowed to see or talk to them for 10 months. He had lost all hope that they even loved him anymore. The system failed him and his children. William tried so many times to detox on his own so he didn’t have to tell his boss he needed help and be subjected to the stigma but this is impossible with an opiate addiction. Shame & Stigma are the two main reasons he didn’t share how sick he had become. He found a job on the side delivering hot tubs and he tore his right bicep completely and found himself facing another surgery and recovery time and unable to work which added to his troubles. The court system ordered him to pay child support based on the income from the state job he’d lost the year before and he was only making 1/3 that amount. He was being threatened with jail for back support, the lease on an apartment he loved wasn’t going to be renewed, and he’d lost his vehicle. He was so sick that he should have been in a long term inpatient program but he had no insurance and didn’t qualify for Medicaid. A friend of mine found an opening into a detox and after five days he signed up for an outpatient program back home. Once again the system failed him, he was put on a waiting list due to not enough counselors and the amount of people in the groups. William had to continue working to pay child support and to keep from going to jail. He needed and wanted help ASAP but a four week wait after detoxing from opiates is too long.
On Nov 4, 2017 at 5:30 pm, I found my beautiful boy on the bathroom floor, in respiratory distress, with a very faint heart beat. I screamed for help, I don’t know how I turned his lifeless body over but I did and I tried so hard to breathe life back into him. The life I gave him as his Mom but I was too late. He left this world a very broken man and our hearts will forever be broken, our lives will never be the same. He should still be here.