My Unexpected Nightmare

My Unexpected Nightmare

Leo Passed Away

It is hard for me to write this.

When I described Leo to you in my first post, he was already dead.

But I wanted you to know him the way I knew him. I wanted you to see Leo his family knew and loved, who cared about animals, and played beautiful music, and was such a sensitive, sweet soul.

The Leo I knew before drugs changed him; everything from his appearance to his interests, to the types of people he was spending time with.

The summer after his freshman year, Leo spent very little time at home. He mostly stayed with Makayla and her family, and then went back to school early so he could “focus on his fitness” with the other boys in the fraternity.

I was alarmed over the summer when I saw how much more significant and burlier Leo had gotten. He had completely changed his physique in a few short months. Between that and his red, rashy skin, he was almost unrecognizable. I still told myself that it was because he was just growing up and going through some changes and that I should be understanding and not pry.

One day during his sophomore year my husband and I got a call from Leo’s University.

Leo had overdosed on steroids and passed away.

His fraternity brothers had found him in his room, but by the time the ambulance arrived, it was too late.

The university searched the fraternity house and discovered that almost all the boys had been illegally buying large quantities of all different brands of steroids, and splitting them amongst each other to boost their workouts. It was a toxic situation: a bunch of young men living in a house together, feeding off each other’s testosterone and peer pressure, all trying to look fit while jeopardizing their actual health. The police said if it hadn’t been Leo, any of the other boys would have eventually overdosed, and several of them would require treatment to get off the steroids safely.

I know it’s a horrible thing to say, but I wish it had been one of the other boys. Not my son. Not my Leo.