I had always felt as if something were missing, my earliest memories consist of a desperate longing for something, someone or someplace that was just not there. This void could never be filled, it always became hungrier and hungrier the more I tried to feed it with external things. As a young boy, I constantly obsessed with toys and video games and as I entered my teens, it was CD’s and stereos.
As I entered young adulthood, my world darkened significantly with the rush of hormones and teenage angst, I moved onto suicidal ideation and self-harm. Then I found drugs, my ultimate security blanket. It started innocently enough, as it always does; with pot on the weekends. But soon it began to spiral outside of my control with drugs like cocaine and crystal meth. My grades floundered and soon circumstance began to conspire against me and I found myself dropped out of high school and selling crack cocaine to earn a living. After two years of this high stress environment, I could no longer take it, so I decided to take my own life. Without getting into detail, my attempt failed, but it turned out to be a decision that for the next ten years, turned my life around. I went to trade school, worked full time, earned enough to buy a car, a home and do the things I wanted to do. This way of life worked, until it didn’t.
They say old habits diehard and it is the truth, unless you’re willing to fetter out the root causes and then become willing to change everything about yourself. Narcotics Anonymous literature states that, ‘half measures availed us nothing’. This is so very true, if only I had known.
As my twenties came to an end, I became more and more unhappy with the career path I was on. I had always wanted to attend university, but I had figured that my choices earlier in life had sealed the deal on that dream. So I did what I had to do to make myself happy, I medicated as much as I could and worked only as much as I had to. To supplement my income, I sold cocaine to my co-workers and it had seemed like I had found the perfect balance in my life. Then I found needles. Then I found my first treatment center. IV cocaine was the most intense drug experience I had ever found, I thought about killing myself but then I wondered how I would go about getting high again if I was dead. I know that sounds insane and it was.
I eventually pulled away from that demon for long enough to find heroin. It was my one true love. It loved me when I was too ugly, too scared and too lonely to love myself. In the end though, like any jilted lover, it took my home, my money, my car and ruined my career. With no where left to run, my parents rescued me and financed my stay in a private, residential treatment center. I was apprehensive about going at first, because I did not want to squander their money on something that I was convinced would not work. I was 155 lbs. of emaciated man-child, brimming with selfishness and cynicism passing through those gates but
I left there after 34 days a changed human being. I was full of hope, compassion, empathy and purpose; not to mention forty pounds heavier with a clear complexion and a smile on my face.
Today I am almost 90 days sober, I regularly volunteer in my community and attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings religiously. I am bankrupt, penniless and unemployed but I couldn’t be happier.
In the new year, I will be attending my first year of university with my eyes set on law school, in the hopes that I can use that degree to advocate and reach out to addicts and their families and do my part to heal wounds in my corner of the world.