As I’m sitting on my computer, typing with the one good hand that I have right now, I’m compelled to tell my story of how drug abuse destroyed my life. Before God stopped me, I was smoking crack, snorting heroin, popping pills, anything I could to medicate the pain. I could not stop, the drug using that is, until God loved me enough to stop my black behind. I had a major stroke, that left my left side paralyzed. Then the thought came to me, “fool, you really F’d up now!”. It’s been 2 years since, sober for 2 1/2 years thankfully. The 1/2 year was strictly from all doors becoming closed to me.
Born in 1968, my childhood was average at best. Not poor, but not rich, I received gifts for Christmas like”Rock em Sock em Robots”, “Tonka Trucks’, “Hot Wheels” and “Matchbox cars”. My father, just before he died suddenly, bought me my first pong video game at Sears, which cost $159.99 at the time. Atari was the front runner, but he did his best. Me and my dad were very close, almost inseparable. Later, at the age of 25, my mother told me Leo wasn’t my real father. Anyhow, I felt loved. My mother loved me as well, but it was different. He used to take me everywhere and teach me how to clean carpets, cut hair, work on automobiles, etc. My Mother always used to take me to babysitters so she could play bingo, go to the beauty shop, go shopping or the horse track. I remember the terrible experiences sitting for hours while my mother and my aunt went to “Gasman’s and Marshall Fields”. Still don’t like it now. Horray to shopping online.
Spoiled at a young age, the death of my father changed my personality drastically. I didn’t feel loved anymore, even though my mother tried her best to show. Suddenly a single parent family now. I started to have migraines all the time. No perceived joy in my life anymore, I tried to take my frustrations out on anyone. No smiling, no conversation, nothing but pain. The cousins and my friends got the brunt of the frustration, even though I couldn’t fight a lick. Girls beat me up:).
12 years old, mad at the world, the next few years were just a set up for what was to come. First sexual experience, first raunchy sexual experience, first night staying out all night, first experience with alcohol and marijuana. Whenever I felt drunk or high, I thought I was on top of the world. Since my mother found a friend ( year later), she would sometimes stay at his house all night. He did not have a phone and he was a drunk, so I knew if my mother wasn’t home by 8:00 p.m., freedom to be grown!
The first night was tough, being by myself. I was afraid, crying and everything. After that, it was a breeze. Every other day she was going to be away, weekends home everyday. The start of the double personality, another step to deception.
1. Mad at the world.
I knew how to behave when my mother was home and act the opposite when she was away. I was having women sleep over, orgies, parties, whatever since I acted as if I was grown. School work was easy, even though it was catholic grammer school and High School.The development of the camilion attitude began. 16 years old, stone alcoholic. There was no 12 steps in my community, so I thought. It was cool to me to have red eyes, barely open. I didn’t realize the things that I loved doing, sports, wasn’t important anymore. My thinking was the women, being a player and all. Women were objects of lust to me, maybe all the pornographic movies I was watching on a daily basis.
Sickness to me was a word that was associated to actions, not mental or physical well being. With drug abuse, it’s a stepping stone, some immediate, some gradual. My usage was gradual. Alcohol, then marijuana, both, etc. I now know alcohol is a drug and it leaves you vulnerable to do things you will normally say no to. Four of my 5 sons were conceived in drunkenness or being high. When I was young, getting high, smoking crack was the last thing I thought I would do, but I never daily did anything about to not do it. 3. Lying to one self.
My first experience with crack cocaine came in the form of a blunt at a very established company at a 2 week shut down party. I was drinking” long time”, trying to be cool, saying yes to weed that was passed, I smoked something that messed my brain up. The taste was funny, but I knew I had to have it. There was a beastly craving for it, even though I didn’t know what it was. 4. Being Ungrateful. The year was 1993. April,the day my life changed when I hit that pipe. 285 lbs and fairly good health, that soon changed. Within 2 months, my usages was over $2000 a day, no exaggeration. I stole everything that wasn’t tied down. I stole from my wife,my children, my mother of all people. My focus was the stuff, that’s it. Before I didn’t feel love, now I felt less than a human being. Treatments, long term and short term, didn’t help. Before I said I was used to behaving when people were watching you, so in treatment facilities, the same behavior. Good jobs let me go, friends let me go, enemies wanted me to perish, but God had another plan.
Threats by the wife, it didn’t matter. I gave my life to God many times, attended every service, it didn’t matter. Drugs was calling me and I answered the call. I can’t tell you how many times I left my wife standing at the bus stop or a designated area I was going to be, waiting just to see me not show up. It’s amazing though when you disclose your an addict, people change. Do you blame them though?
In October 2005, after riding the trains all night from going back to drugs, almost all doors closed to me,I decided to stop for real. The times I quit, it was because I got caught or I felt she was serious this time. Having diabetes, high blood pressure and using the bathroom every ten minutes also helped in the decision.Every year since my drug usage, extended hospital stays were a norm, at least a month out each year. Whenever the pastor called, the first or second sentence was ” are you still getting high?” My wife’s friends been stopped calling and it hurts to see her suffer by sticking with me. Doing people dirty started to catch up on me. I got arrested for waiting at a hospital emergency room and other little things.I got hired at Caterpillar, but they never called in.
Free from the years of drug abuse, I had a major stroke on January 9, 2006. Being only 37 years of age, to me this was a challenge. I went blind and went into a comma for 9 days for having a sugar level of over 1000. The doctor ordered a body bag, but God yet spared my life. All the trials, I was still using drugs. That’s just how powerful addiction is. Doesn’t matter the circumstance or situation, drugs can and will destroy you. The stroke left my left side paralyzed, but I can walk, talk, attend school online, drive, cook, be as normal as possible.
After I had the stroke, there was a weight lifted off of me. I knew my troubles were over, drug wise. I don’t wish that on anyone, the stroke. But if you choose the drug addiction or the stroke, I will choose the stroke. Drug Addiction is the worst scenario ever, other than spending eternity in hell. Drug addiction is hell on earth. Pray for anyone who is struggling in drugs. Someone prayed for me.
Today, I’m an A student, studying to be a lawyer, an advocate for the disabled. I’m free, I love myself today and I appreciate the life I live. As a diabetic, my eating habits are good and it will stay that way. My current weight is 225. My sugar is an average of 115 and blood pressure is 125/68. Good, healthy eating. There is great healing in my family relationships, spiritual relationships and upward growth. My goal is to change the world for the better and I will!