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”Fruits Of Addiction: A Pernicious Love” CHAPTER 2( turn 3) REVISION

Merry Christmas to all once again!!! As some of you noticed, I thanked those of you who have been so helpful with my project in my previous post this morning. So I received some amazing and well-needed criticism from the #WritingCommunity’s own @NirakSyu, Karin and @bookauthor_56, Vickie Hughes!!! (Thank you two so much)

Of course this is NOT in any way a final draft, but I was able to hopefully structure my book in a more interesting manner. Hopefully not a way that is doesn’t seem too long. Initially I kept my book at 10 chapters but I’m going to start breaking everything down so its easier to handle! With that being said, my chapter one is also much different and was broken down into two chapters because of its initial length.

Please provide harsh feedback I will NOT GET OFFENDED. In fact you’re helping in a manner that is so amazing and I could never repay those who actually take the time to read my work!!

THANK YOU AND GOOD NIGHT


# Chapter 3: Three Days

At some point addicts admit to themselves that they indeed have a problem. Some later than others, and few actually work on their issue to find a solution. Me? I didn’t realize I had a problem until I found myself spending almost double on pills so that my dealer would hopefully drive half hour to my job. I began noticing my own physical changes but it wasn’t to an extent where I’d feel the need to quit my habit of substance abuse.

I confessed to Lily that I was addicted to percs way before I even thought about cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, Xanax, kpins, etc. Even before our struggles truly began. Since my daily habit began to affect my performance at work so I assumed that quitting pills cold turkey would be easy. I didn’t see it as an addiction, I saw my dependence as an intense preference. Plus I strongly believed that I was unbelievably mentally tough so the mental aspect of addiction would be easy for me to withstand. Me mentally tough? That’s funny, I’m the same person who’d sob after any miscommunication with Lily. Aside from being a mentally and emotionally fragile person, I wasn’t aware of the hell behind physical withdrawals at all. That didn’t matter though.

Percocets, oxy, hydro, etc. If it ended with “condone”, my love for it was undeniable. In my mind I wasn’t addicted, I just loved the type of drug I had gotten into. From that one pill and that amazing feeling that came right after, chasing that demon was all I wanted to do. I never fully experienced withdrawals so this whole idea of “being addicted” and being controlled by drugs was laughable to me.

As much as I didn’t want to notice, I finally had to. Why am I getting mad so easily? Why is it that my body shakes really bad, I start to sweat profusely and I can’t stay still for the life of me until I pop a few pills? Is the love of my life really that upset that I haven’t given her much attention today? No, she’s not like that. She loves making me feel happy, she’d never make me feel mad or sick… well I hope not. Those “rumors” of addiction I refused to believe began making more and more sense until I finally needed someone to talk to. I can’t keep this to myself anymore, but who can I trust? I have my part-time friend Billy but can he keep his mouth shut and actually be a friend? Maybe but I’m not taking risks. Huh, I DO have a girlfriend… But I don’t want her to be mad at me, judge me then leave me. No, I shouldn’t think that way. She’s not like that… I have to tell her. I need to come clean.

To be completely honest, I remember that specific night like it was yesterday. I felt so guilty for lying to my Lily about my minor addiction that I finally confessed to her. No matter how much I denied the idea that I was an addict, it was time I faced the truth. I am a drug addict. Not as bad as others but I’m still an addict. Deep down I felt that because I only popped pills, my addiction wasn’t as severe as being addicted to heroin so I laughed at the idea that I would struggle with addiction. Before truly grasping the reality that my addiction was so much more serious than anticipated, I became aware of that idea that the worst of any withdrawal symptoms I’d face would be over after 72 hours. Commonly referred to as ”3 days.” With that being said, I had high hopes that this little issue would be temporary. Funny.

My one true love who I chased none stop, was only going to hurt me in the end. But Lily, with her promises to stand my side, faithfully accepted my fate the way I should have;

> I’m so proud of you for coming clean. I know it’s not easy but I’ll be here for you until you get clean.

That meant the world to me. It would have never processed in my mind that I was years away from actually getting clean. In fact, I was completely unaware that I would lose everything from chasing my demon. If I was told that I’d be responsible formy own failings and the hardships Lily and I faced as a couple, I would’ve laughed it off and applauded you for the creativity. Even though I was quickly losing control of my ever-growing demon, I still felt invincible.

I constantly promised that I’d never commit any crimes to feed my addiction and I’d never sniff anything or pump narcotics into my veins. I promised that I’d stay away from the hard drugs. I even talked down on the kind of addict I would eventually become. Wishing the worst upon their very lives. I truly believed that I was unique and that I was fully capable of controlling my actions.

It’s not at all humorous but I find it ironic that I basically foreshadowed my life for the next 6 years and I didn’t just ruin my life, I ruined Lily’s life in the process. For that, I will never forgive myself, and I will always consider myself the word I hate the most. A “junkie”.

As addicts we forget about the importance of acceptance. Specifically, accepting the decision we made to poison our bodies with the drug we love the most which is what put us in this shitty predicament. If I knew that I’d be an addict for the rest of my life then I’d have stuck to the straight edge life I always preached about.

Unfortunately, life does not work that way so now I have to grow and learn from this experience. More importantly, I have to keep my chin up. I’m still likely to relapse and only God knows the hundreds of times I have already because, in all honesty, it’s too much for me to count.

## Oblivious

> “3 days… just give me three days, that’s all I need to kick my habit.”

Was it true? Probably, just not for me. I kept that ridiculous idea in mind until I finally decided that it was time to stop doing drugs for a while. Forever? Absolutely not. I had finally found the love of my life and I am never letting go. We just need a short break.

I became obsessed with the idea that 3 days was all it took for me to supposedly get clean. No matter how unrealistic it sounded I quickly began to strongly believe it. I’d always tell myself, that it’ll only be 3 days of suffering which was something I thought could easily handle. Besides, at the time it seemed like days were moving so fast, I had no idea that when you go through withdrawals time drastically slows down. I eventually forgot how idiotic the idea of a whole addiction subsiding after 3 days sounded and would confidently give myself pep talks about being mentally tough and it would be easy for me.

> ” It’s only 3 days, I’ll easily quit doing percs and I’ll be back to my normal self! There’s no way I’d let myself stay addicted forever like some people.”

With that being said at one point I really did quit opiates. Not my drug habit but I was clean from pills before I had transitioned to dope. I traded out one addiction for a minor habit. I began sniffing coke and for a whole 3 months and I had not even thought about percs because of that one traumatizing experience. From time to time I still think about my first and worst experience with withdrawals.

My love and passion, Percocet’s, why would she do that to me? After only 24 hours of me trying to break up with her she punished me with so much pain. I was completely oblivious to the pain she’d put me through and it broke my heart knowing she’d do this to me. Not only mental but physical punishments as well. All I needed was to actually experience the full wrath of opiate withdrawals, which scared me straight. For a bit at least. Those first few days of excruciating body and stomach pain, explosive diarrhea, throwing up and crazy shaking leg syndrome. I was even sweating through my clothes and blankets but I felt so cold. I could barely walk, I couldn’t stop crying and I felt like I was trapped inside my own body. The fact that I had just lost my job was the only reason why I even made that decision to quit.

Like I said even with that being my first time to go through withdrawals, I was only told of what I would go through. Of course, major details were left out but I thought it to be a walk in the park. Before attempting my first time actually ”quitting” opiates I bought Xanax to keep me asleep for most of the experience and I bought weed to reduce the pain and help me focus on something else. I told Lily of my decision and she was fully supportive. Even she believed that “3 days” is all it would take for me to detox myself off of opiates. Lily was so cute, she’d give me little pep talks about how after those 3 days I’d behealthy once again and that she was so proud of me for making the decision to quit. Little did Lily know, she would see the absolute worst of me. You see, she had never seen me weak nor throwing up nor seen me cry from the pain I experienced. To her I was perfect and as much as I thought it, she also thought that I was unbelievably tough, that nothing could tear me down.

That image we both had of myself was destroyed in one night. Imagine trying to fall asleep at 11 and by 12 you begin to suffer from the worst flu-like symptoms ever known to man. It all started with an excruciating stomach pain which caused me to almost throw up all over myself. Luckily I managed to make it to the toilet and at that point my living nightmare began. That night Lily tried so hard to console me;

> Babe what can I do to help you? Should I hold you? Do you want me to make you soup?

Her innocent attempts to hopefully make me feel better meant the world to me but I had to be realistic. I had to save her from the hell of tending to me so I’d tell her;

> “Babe I did this to myself, you have work really early you need sleep.”

I convinced her to go back to bed but my ridiculously loud hollers and cries of pain kept her up whether I wanted her by my side or not. Even when I switched rooms, we both were up.

The next day came and I was left alone. I had heard of the methadone clinic before and decided I needed to pay a visit so the seemingly impossible task began. I tried with all my might to get dressed because getting in a shower was not even an option for me. I managed to look in the mirror and was truly frightened at what I had seen. I was a completely different shade, I was all sweaty and my face looked flushed.

> ”I can’t do this alone… I need help”

Before I take off, I call Lily in the hopes that she could hopefully leave work to help me get to the clinic but she reminds me that her manager, Wanda, wouldn’t just let her leave. See, Wanda was my old manager from when I worked at that given bank. I got Lily that job so I was already aware of how strict Wanda was.

> ”Okay well I guess I’m on my own”

I think to myself as I begin this unbearable journey to the methadone clinic. As I commence my walk down the stairs my legs give out and I plummet all the way to the lowermost step. If I was feeling myself I would’ve laughed it off but because pain is multiplied by 100 when you’re going through withdrawals, I sobbed again and laid there like an animal who was just ran over by a truck. After giving myself the “getup bitch” speech I manage to pick myself up and get in my car and struggle to drive myself to the clinic.

I go on to hit two cars on the way there. Fortunately, I wasn’t chased and the damage was minimal so my car was drivable. Of course, I wish I pulled over and admitted guilt but the physical state I was in would’ve left the victims with the same reaction. They were hit by a sick junkie.

After finally signing myself up and taking a drug test was required to make a payment because I didn’t have health insurance due to my recent unemployment.

> “Whatever I’ll pay the fee”

I thought as I was desperate for treatment. I could barely stand still because of the body pain so I’d dance around off one leg to the other trying to relieve the pain in my legs and back. They ladies that worked in the office noticed my distress and decided to warn me of the issue I had. First one being that they had to wait for my drug test to come in before they could let me meet with the doctor. On top of that they wouldn’t even be able to treat me until the following Tuesday because doctors only show up twice a week.

I don’t know how much more disappointment my heart could take but once again my heart dropped to the acids in my stomach. It was a Friday and the thought of dealing with that pain for 4 days was very unnerving for me. I was already trying to last those initial 3 days, but a 4th? No, I’m not doing it. On top of that, they wanted me to stay clean until that given day which something I was not willing to do. I quietly have a panic attack from the thought of having to suffer for not 3 but 4 days. What was I supposed to tell Lily? I couldn’t do it. I had no other options, I had to give up and buy some pills. I had barely lasted a day and I already gave up. I thought I would be strong enough to face my demon but she overpowered me and made me look like a bitch in front of Lily and anyone else who had seen me that day.

At that point I leave and I call my dealer and decide to get some pills to hold me over until I decide what I can do. On the way to my dealer I get into another accident in which I wasn’t able to drive away and had to suffer through another hour of excruciating pain because I actually had to exchange information with this victim. Finally, the time comes. I yearned for the feeling of satisfaction and for my suffering to gradually fade. Sometimes it felt as if the misery was worth the wait because the pleasure I’d experience after was unbelievably gratifying.

The second I had those pills in my hand I anxiously swallowed them and desperately waited for them to take effect. The “love” of my life convinced me to come running back to her like a little puppy, and she welcomed me back with open arms.

> “Why don’t you try sniffing dope? It’s a lot cheaper and gets you way higher that 6 perc 30s ever will.”

My dealer who had recently transitioned from sniffing pills to sniffing dope recommended as he prepared himself a line of fentanyl.

Just a friendly reminder to all, although I had just lost my job and had wasted most of my savings on percs, I still stood tall on my pedestal.

> “It’s just percs, who doesn’t do percs? But heroin? I’d quit percs before I resort to dope”

I thought to myself. Although deep down a curiosity to see if that’s true began to cultivate.

> “I’m good.”

He later suggests suboxones. Suboxone’s are a synthetic opiate which is used during the recovery process. But like every other drug, it can be abused and used to sell which is the habituated for the opposite of it’s purpose. Comprehending that, I decided that it would be good to have just in case I ever get put in that predicament. He sells me a few and explains how to use them. A month after that horrendous experience, and even more money wasted on pills, I try to quit pills again. With the help of those suboxones of course.

> “I can never let my baby see me that weak again, what kind of a man am I.”

I thought.

After using suboxines to successfully trade opiates for cocaine, things began looking up for me. I did it, I kicked my addiction!

Again, that first time quitting only lasted 3 months and in those three months, I developed a temporary taste for cocaine. I quickly learned that quitting on my own was impossible without a little help. Cocaine wasn’t the help I needed and I knew that but didn’t want to admit that yet. Those next 3 months I used any money I had on cocaine and began to use coke the same way I’d take pills.

Even after my first experience with withdrawals, I would make every possible excuse as to why I couldn’t go to rehab for so long. Throughout the duration that I was popping pills, there was the breakout of fake pills where people would replace Percocets with fentanyl with the primary goal being, having their clientele develop a robust addiction for their product rather than their competitor’s product. I would unknowingly take those pills which would pull me deeper into the curiosity for fentanyl. While pushing me towards withdrawals a lot quicker.

For the first half of my addiction to pills before I had experienced that initial hell, I was completely unaware that I was even going through withdrawals. I just assumed that I was having a bad night when Id have shaken leg syndrome or when I couldn’t sleep. Then eventually I would only take perks in the mornings because if I took them at night then I wouldn’t sleep all night which I thought was just a minor side effect of doing the pills but little did I know I was finally addicted. I was sweating at work, Id have horrible allergies all day and have bad diarrhea and crazy cravings for pills until I bought my next few pills to hold me throughout the next day. When experiencing these withdrawals, I would turn so pale and sweaty that whenever my mother or my manager would see me, I’d tell them it’s probably the flu.

Again fast forward back to my dealer telling me that I’m most likely addicted and going through withdrawals, I had become aware of my crisis being more than just a ”habit.” I knew needed to finally accept that I was an addict.

> “I’ll just buy some suboxones and stay clean for three days, that should kick my habit”

I would constantly tell myself this to avoid taking the necessary steps to get clean. I’d use that line and convince my beautiful extraordinary girlfriend Lily to give me money to buy a suboxone or two in the hopes that I actually follow my plan. For whatever reason, even after figuring out that even with enough suboxone to last me a week, 3 days wasn’t the extent of withdrawals. I’d only fully come to understand that after I’d try to quit years after my transition to dope.

I’d convince certain dealers and friends to go out of their way to find me and buy me suboxones with the same empty promise I told my girl,

> “I’ll pay you back, you know I’m good for it.”

In reality, the only thing I was good for at that point was buying and sniffing drugs anywhere I could. I can’t even count the times I’ve told my girl,

> “Baby I’m gonna try quitting this week so please understand if I’m sick or in a bad mood.”

That empty promise to stay clean gave her so much false hope that I needed to keep that lie going so that she would be as close to happy as she could possibly be while being in a growing abusive and toxic relationship with someone who did not want to change.

When you’re an addict, you’re most painful yet effective weapon is false promises. False promises goes hand in hand with lying because it’s essentially the same thing. Lying is something you do regularly to avoid getting in trouble or to fulfill whatever hidden agenda you have. False promises though. These are used to break the spirit of those you hold closely. Whenever I’d make a false promise, I usually had every intention of fulfilling it but deep down I knew my addict tendencies always get in the way.

I can’t remember how many times I tried to quit opiates without getting real help from professionals. As you know my addiction began with an unhealthy lustful and desire for pills. I’d take percs at home, at school (when I attended college), at work (when I worked at the bank), even at home in front of my son, in the bathroom in between domino games with my love Lily and our friends, even right next to Lily as she slept soundly. My decisions to “quit” always started with me telling myself

> “Okay this is my last batch so I gotta enjoy it.”

From trying to quit pain pills to cocaine and eventually harder opiates, that phrase quickly became my most told lie aside from,

> “No I didn’t take your money babe, I promise.”

As unintentional as my lie was, that’s the only way to define something that you know isn’t true. I had every intention of getting clean but something that required me to not be sick from opiate withdrawals always came up.

My parents want me over for dinner, I have to use.

Damn I have an interview, I’ll use one more time.

My friends want to play dominos with Lily and I. Okay give me one second I’ll be back. I need my dose of opiates.

I just didn’t want anyone seeing me go through the excruciating pain caused by withdrawals that I would manage to prevent. I’d even stay in bed for days at a time, no eating, drinking, showers, nothing. If I had to work, same thing, I wouldn’t eat and I wouldn’t shower.

I needed to accept that I can’t face this alone.

I needed to accept that I wouldn’t make it alone.

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Christmas Gratitude!!

Merry Christmas to all! Such a wondrous holiday… for the kids. Let’s be realistic, for us adults it’s stressful, irritating and can be overwhelming. But the looks on our loved one’s faces are a magical sensation. I really hope those of you who are reading this post have an amazing day and a well-deserved rest from all the stress you faced from making today magical for those you love!

Once my beautiful Lily and our two kids got home after a day with their grandparents, they were so happy. My son had a tool set gifted to him by my stepdaughter’s grandfather which seemed to be his favorite gift so far! He’s two and he’s unbelievably intelligent so seeing him adjust the toy drill really amazed me.

But for one of the main topics of my post, it mostly directed to those who feel lonely or feel bad because of financial hardships or because they are unwelcome to their family’s houses for whatever reason. I get it. During the prime stages of my addiction, if I wasn’t jobless during the holiday season I was spending whole paychecks on drugs.

No matter how lonely you may feel or how bad you want to give in to negative tendencies, keep your own happiness in mind! Although it’s easier said than done, relapse will only ruin your day and the rest of the year. Whatever the reason that you’re alone may be, try not to let yourself prove those who doubt you, right!

For me, my loved one knew I’d be wasting my day high off of opiates and because they all made it obvious, I though me proving them right would hurt them. No. I was only hurting myself. I see that now. The best gift I gave myself was sobriety and even though I still have people in my life who want to blame me for whatever shortcomings they may have and blame me for whatever discrepancy they face, I know deep down that I’m as clean as a whistle. I don’t tolerate people’s looks of suspicion anymore and the best thing to do is ignore their ignorance. Again, it’s easier said than done but people also are ignorant to the fact that the holiday season is even harder for those who suffer from addiction. While other’s stresses are buying a gift before the store closes, ours comes from the negativity we face because of our illness. Will anybody ever understand? Yeah, if they follow in our footsteps but let’s pray that our loved one never have to understand our pain.

Me? I know what it feels like to feel like a dead beat and because of my habits, I also know what it’s like to be excluded from family events. I would’ve loved for those people who have (or still are) blamed me for shit behind my back to feel my pain for just one second but that’s the equivalent to wishing death upon someone. I can’t let karma have her way with me so I keep my thoughts to myself 😜

I really wish I spent time with my family and with the family I created but hopefully one day they’ll come to see that I’m committed to my sobriety and committed to being the man I once was. Even if that isn’t possible, hopefully, I can be better than before.

This year I sat at home all day working on my book and formatting chapters. I finally reached my word count goal of 50k so I spent every second perfecting my craft. Thankfully I have some AMAZING friends from twitter who are helping me by reviewing my chapters and giving me their constructive criticism which will hopefully make my project a success!! This being my first book, I’m sure it’ll be bad due to grammatical errors or maybe because it’s my first time writing a book so maybe it won’t appeal to my selected audience but whatever!! My goal is to share my story and let addicts know that they’re not alone! Redemption is possible. For those at risk, I have they use my story as a guide on what not to do if they ever decide to make any decisions. I can’t make anyone see the gift of sobriety but I can at least share my experiences so that my mistakes aren’t repeated.

With that being said, I’m so grateful for everyone who has helped me up to this point and I’ll do my best to give credit where credit is due!

Merry Christmas to all and for anyone suffering from addiction remember, stay warm and stay positive!!! It’s almost over, every day is a new day!

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Curly, My Very First Mistake

Christmas is right around the corner, everyone is doing shopping and racing to their local malls. Spending ridiculous amounts of money on gifts for their loved ones and even people they don’t really like but got picked as their secret Santa. Whatever the reason, people are going all out to buy these gifts!!

Me? Well, my only concern is my two kids and their mother. Even though we don’t see eye to eye on a lot of things, she’s still the one person who’s been by my side through it all. I love that woman more than I love myself and I’d kill for her just as quick as I’d die for her. As a recovering addict, I’m not too sure how healthy that mentality is but it’s not going to change so let’s just leave it as it.

Okay so for those of you who’ve been keeping up with my posts and the chapters I’ve posted up from my upcoming book “Fruits Of Addiction: A Pernicious Love”…

A lot of you or at least some of you know how my story and addiction begins. The first woman to steal my heart… just to crush it and drive me into believing that drugs were a suitable escape, Curly. My origin story, the woman who I once wanted a life with, the one and only. Yeah, I’m sure you see where I’m going, and if you follow me on twitter (@FruitsOfAddictn) then you definitely already know.

So as I was stating before, my only concerns in regards to gift buying are my kids and their mother. As I’m walking through the mall in my city I decide to stop at Kay Jewelers to check on the status of my order ( not going to spoil any surprises ). Of course, it’s absolutely packed so I think to myself “f*ck this. I’ll be back.. maybe” and I start leaving. As I’m walking out I see a familiar figure. Usually, if I even think that I’m going to run into someone I know I try to hide behind people, but unfortunately, I was the only person leaving and this figure was the only one approaching me.

Again, you know where I’m going with this so I’ll just cut to the chase. That familiar figure was Curly. Yup. Surprise!! Curly was at my local mall. Note: after I dropped out of college she proceeded to obtain her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and moved to Boston so what brought her to my city knowing she doesn’t have family over here? I don’t know. She seemed hesitant to tell me who she was meeting with but it was obviously some love interest. No, I’m not jealous! “Then why are you writing about her?”

Well you see, Johnny, I usually take full responsibility for my actions and my addiction because nobody put a gun to my head and forced me to swallow that 5 milligram Percocet which inevitably became the love of my life for 6 years almost 7. But the state of my blinded mentality revolved around her. She didn’t force me to take the pill but she was the first woman who I thought I fell in love with and who absolutely destroyed my heart and views on love as a whole.

Although my heart dropped and I couldn’t even look her in the eye, she seemed so happy to see me. She went on to say that “I fell off the face of the earth” and I haven’t been answering her messages nor tried to reach out after all these years…

Uhhhhhh.. YEAH YOU THINK??

It took me years to fully get over her and on top of that she broke up with me. Or am I wrong for not keeping in touch? I don’t know, lately I’ve been making a lot of mistakes so maybe it is just me and it’s a common courtesy to stay in touch with the reason why you got into drugs in the first place… D*amn it there I go again victimizing myself!

But yeah our conversation consisted of “How’s your son?”, “Are you still with Lily?”, “How are you feeling health-wise?” Forgive me if I’m being ignorant but is this the part where I relapse or…?

Sorry, that joke was in bad taste. Out of all people, I should know that people are going through negativity and a constant hell because of addiction. But anyways, something deep inside of me, my intuition I believe, is telling me that this is more than a coincidence. Does that make sense? Truth is I ended up seeing two more people that have to do with the destruction that occurred in my life at the same exact place!

I’ll try not to overthink it. I need to be strong. So aside from that, I was blessed with the opportunity to give my input to a few addicts who reached out for my opinion/ to thank me for being a positive figure in our negative and dark addict community. I hope these people find the answers they’re looking for and the same to anyone else with other issues. It doesn’t have to be an addiction, if anyone is interested I am always willing to email, message, text, etc. people who need a shoulder to cry on / vent to!

Happy holidays everyone!!

It’s almost time for my book to be released btw!!! Any of you interested in being a beta reader?? Let me know!!!
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”Fruits Of Addiction: A Pernicious Love” Chapter 2 Rough Draft!

Good evening everyone!!

I know I’ve been MIA on here for a while, I’ve just been doing a lot of reflecting and thinking! My book is scheduled to drop this upcoming January but I’m nowhere close to being done!! I have 3 out of 11+ chapters reviewed, I have 43k out of 50k words done, I need to properly format it, have it edited and I need to put it in a proper template. I’m so excited with the results of the last three chapters I had reviewed because I was told where to improve, what the readers found irrelevant to the given topic of the book, I was shown grammatical errors etc. I’m grateful to every writer and reader whose given me the confidence to post my chapters but unfortunately this will be the last one I post publicly! Of course I want to promote my book but the purpose of my social media pages is to spread awareness for addiction!

Absolutely, my story shows my own experience with addiction but I feel that if people are Interested then they could read my book. Not everyone is here to support my goal for my book, does that make sense? Anyways, this is one of the chapters I really did NOT like how it came out so PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE provide honest feedback. Does it flow? Is it interesting? Does it make you want to continue reading? What is your overall thoughts on this chapter. Thank you, I hope you enjoy!!!!


This is another potential book cover I worked on. Which do you like???

Chapter 2- Three Days

Acceptance. Comes easy to some, and doesn’t to most. I fall into the “most” category. I had this idea that once I accept that I had a problem, finding a solution would become easier. False. It would never be as easy as I made it out to be. If I knew what I was in for I’d have just gone to rehab instead of suffering and spreading pain the next few years.

That’s the thing about life, yeah I made it past all of my struggles and if I was able to somehow see into the future and see what I know now I wouldn’t even be writing this book. I’d still probably be a stuck up know it all. Shit, I don’t even want to imagine the life I’d have. But then again, I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason. I was meant to spread pain and I was meant to destroy my life. Maybe I was meant to write this book to prevent someone else from experiencing the hell of addiction. Or maybe I had such a shitty life as karma from hurting so many people. The main person being the mother of my children, Lily.

Okay, so I had accepted that I was an addict but because I was still in love with that faceless beauty that gifted me with a euphoric feeling, I didn’t really want to get clean. From others who claim that they had experienced opiate addiction and withdrawals claimed that they wouldn’t last long. Just so we’re on the same page guys, addiction won’t be done in “three days.” I’ve done a lot of research before trying to quit and as many websites and professionals claimed, I came to learn that it’s not true. 72-96 hours they say. Wrong. At one point I strongly believed that myth which kept me from finally accepting I had a problem.

> If my withdrawals go away after three days then how is that even considered an addiction? I’ll start on Friday and I’ll be clean and ready to work by Monday.

A common mentality I’d have throughout my addiction. That mentality is what made it so difficult for my girlfriend to keep up and stay supportive. I didn’t want to get clean. I didn’t fully grasp that understanding that I had finally experienced the devastating force behind withdrawals and it was not as easy as “staying clean for three days.” Maybe I just didn’t have the will power at the time? Maybe I really am a mentally and physically weak junkie? Either way, my mind was beyond clouded and aside from not having the drive to reflect on my lifestyle and practice acceptance, my support system began to lose patience.

At what point does one give up on that addict that they’re trying so hard to help and support? It’s expected for you to be there for your significant other when they’re suffering from this “disease.” But let’s be real, those who are burdened with having an addict boyfriend or girlfriend will never truly understand what it’s like to be in an addict. No one ever does unless they experience it themselves, so that lack of experience makes their patience for addict loved ones very scarce.

I admitted to Lily that I was addicted to percs way before I even thought about cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, Xanax, kpins, etc. Even before our struggles truly began. My daily habit also began to affect my performance at work so I thought that quitting pills cold turkey would be easy. I didn’t see it as an addiction, I saw my dependence as a strong preference. Plus I strongly believed that I was unbelievably mentally tough so the mental aspect of addiction would be easy for me to overcome. I wasn’t aware of the hell behind physical withdrawals at all. No matter though.

I loved Percocets, oxy, hydro, etc. If it ended with “condone”, my love for it was undeniable. I wasn’t addicted, I just loved the type of drug I had gotten into. From that one pill and that amazing feeling that came right after, chasing that demon was all I wanted to do. I never fully experienced withdrawals so this whole idea of “being addicted” and being controlled by drugs was laughable to me.

As much as I didn’t want to notice, I finally had to. Why am I getting mad so easily? Why is it that my body shakes really bad, I start to sweat profusely and I can’t stay still for the life of me until I pop a few pills? Is the love of my life really that upset that I haven’t given her much attention today? No, she’s not like that. She loves making me feel happy, she’d never make me feel mad or sick… well I hope not. Those “rumors” of addiction I refused to believe began making more and more sense until I finally needed someone to talk to. I can’t keep this to myself anymore, but who can I trust? I have my part-time friend Billy but can he keep his mouth shut and actually be a friend? Maybe but I’m not taking risks. Huh, I DO have a girlfriend… But I don’t want her to be mad or judge me then leave me. No, she’s not like that… I have to tell her. I need to come clean.

To be completely honest, I remember that specific night like it was yesterday. I felt so guilty for lying to my girlfriend about my minor addiction that I finally came clean to her. No matter how much I denied the idea that I was addicted at first it was time I faced the truth. My one true love who I chased none stop, was only going to hurt me in the end. But Lily, with her promises to stand my side, accepted my fate the way I should have;

> I’m so proud of you for coming clean. I know it’s not easy but I’ll be here for you until you get clean.

That meant the world to me but little did I know that I was years away from actually getting clean. In fact, I didn’t know that I would lose everything from chasing my demon and I would never have guessed that I’d be the reason for so many failings for myself, and my girl and me as a couple. I promised that I’d never steal and I’d never sniff anything, I promised that I’d stay away from the hard drugs. I even talked down on the kind of addict Id eventually became. No, it’s not funny but I find it ironic that I basically foreshadowed my life for the next 5-6 years and I didn’t just ruin my life, I ruined my girl’s life in the process. For that I will never forgive myself, and for that I will always consider myself the word I hate the most. A “junkie”.

As addicts we forget about the importance of acceptance. Realistically speaking the decision we made to poison our bodies with the drug we love the most is what put us in this shitty predicament. If I knew that I’d be an addict for the rest of my life then I’d have slapped that pill out of Babe’s hand, fuck that, I’d have slapped that blunt out of Devon’s hand all those years ago and stuck to the straight edge life I always preached about.

Unfortunately, that never happened so now I have to grow and learn from this experience. More importantly, I have to keep my chin up. I’m still likely to relapse and only God knows the hundreds of times I have already because, in all honesty, it’s too much for me to count.

## Oblivious

> “3 days… just give me three days, that’s all I need to kick my habit.”

Was it true? Probably, just not for me. I kept that ridiculous idea in mind until I finally decided that it was time to stop doing drugs for a while. Forever? Absolutely not. I had finally found the love of my life and I am never letting go. We just need a short break.

At one point I really did quit opiates. Not my drug habit but I was clean from pills and dope. I traded out one addiction for a minor habit. I began sniffing coke and for a whole 3 months I had not even thought about percs because of that one traumatizing experience. My love, my passion, Percocet’s, why would she do that to me? After only 24 hours of me trying to break up with her, she punished me with so much pain. I was completely oblivious to the pain she’d put me through and it broke my heart knowing she’d do this to me. Not only mental but physical as well. After using suboxines to successfully trade opiates for cocaine, things began looking up for me. I did it, I kicked my addiction! All I needed was to actually experience the full wrath of opiate withdrawals, which scared me straight. For a bit at least. Those first few days of excruciating body and stomach pain, explosive diarrhea, throwing up, crazy shaking leg syndrome. I was sweating through my clothes and blankets but I was so cold. I could barely walk, I couldn’t stop crying and I felt like I was trapped inside my own body. The fact that I had just lost my job was the only reason why I even made that decision to quit.

Like I said even with that being my first time to go through withdrawals, I was only told of what I would go through. Of course major details were left out but I thought it to be a walk in the park. I bought Xanax to keep me asleep for most of the experience and I bought weed to reduce the pain and help me focus on something else. I told my girl of my decision and she was fully supportive. Little did she know, she would see the absolute worst of me. You see, she had never seen me weak nor throwing up nor seen me cry from the pain I experienced. To her I was perfect and as much as I thought it, she also thought that I was unbelievably tough. That nothing could tear me down. That image we both had of myself was destroyed in one night. Imagine trying to fall asleep at 11 and by 12 you begin to suffer from the worst flu like symptoms known to man. That night she tried so hard to console me;

> Babe what can I do to help you? Should I hold you? Do you want me to make you soup?

Her innocent attempts to hopefully make me feel better meant the world to me but I had to be realistic. I had to save her from the hell of tending to me so I’d tell her;

> “babe I did this to myself, you have work really early you need sleep.”

I convinced her to go back to bed but my ridiculously loud hollers and cries of pain kept her up whether I wanted her by my side or not. Even when I switched rooms, we both were up.

The next day came and I was left alone. I had heard of the methadone clinic before and decided I needed to pay a visit so the seemingly impossible task began. I tried with all my might to get dressed because getting in a shower was not even an option for me. As I begin to walk down the stairs my legs give out and I fall all the way to the bottom step. If I was feeling myself I would’ve laughed it off but because pain is multiplied by 100 when you’re going through withdrawals, I cried again and laid there like an animal who was just ran over by a truck. After giving myself the “getup bitch” speech I go on to get in my car and attempt to drive myself to the clinic.

I go on to hit two cars on the way there. Fortunately I wasn’t chased and the damage was minimal so my car was drivable. Of course, I wish I pulled over and apologized but The physical state I was in would’ve left the victims with the same conclusion. They were hit by a sick junkie.

After finally signing myself up and taking a drug test I am required to make a payment because I didn’t have health insurance due to my recent unemployment. On top of that they wouldn’t even be able to treat me until the following Tuesday because doctors only show up twice a week. It was a Friday and the thought of dealing with that pain for 4 days was very unnerving for me. On top of that, they wanted me to stay clean until that given day which something I was not willing to do. At that point I leave and I call my dealer and decide to get some pills to hold me over until I decide what I can do. On the way to my dealer I get into another accident in which I wasn’t able to drive away and had to suffer through another hour of excruciating pain because I actually had to exchange information with this victim. Finally the time comes, I swallow my pills and wait for them to take effect. The “love” of my life convinced me to come running back to her like a little puppy, and she welcomed be back with open arms.

> “Why don’t you try sniffing dope? It’s a lot cheaper and gets you way higher that 6 perc 30s ever will.”

My dealer who had recently transitioned from sniffing pills to sniffing dope advised me as he prepared himself a line of fentanyl.

Just a friendly reminder to all, although I had just lost my job and had wasted most of my savings on percs, I still stood tall on my pedestal.

> “It’s just percs, who doesn’t do percs? But heroin? I’d quit percs before I resort to dope”

I thought to myself. Although deep down a curiosity to see if that’s true began to develop.

> “I’m good.”

He later suggests suboxones. Suboxone’s are a synthetic opiate which is used during the recovery process. But like every other drug it can be abused and used to sell which is it’s opposite purposed. Knowing that I’d decide that it would be good to have just in case I ever get put in that predicament. He sells me a few and explains how to use them. A month after that horrendous experience, and even more money wasted on pills, I try to quit pills again. With the help of those suboxones of course.

> “I can never let my baby see me that weak again, what kind of a man am I.”

I thought.

Again, that first time quitting only lasted 3 month and in those three months I developed a temporary taste for cocaine. I quickly learned that quitting on my own was impossible without a little help. Cocaine wasn’t the help I needed and I knew that but didn’t want to admit it.

Even after my first experience with withdrawals, I would make every possible excuse as to why I couldn’t go to rehab for so long. During the time period that I was popping pills, there was the epidemic where people would replace Percocet with fentanyl and I would unknowingly take those pills which would push me towards withdrawals a lot quicker.

For the first half of my addiction to pills before I had experienced that initial hell, I was completely unaware that I was even going through withdrawals. I just assumed that I was having a bad night when Id have shaken leg syndrome or when I couldn’t sleep. Then eventually I would only take perks in the mornings because if I took them at night then I wouldn’t sleep all night which I thought was just a minor side effect of doing the pills but little did I know I was finally addicted. I was sweating at work, Id have horrible allergies all day and have bad diarrhea and crazy cravings for pills until I bought my next few pills to hold me throughout the next day. When experiencing these withdrawals, I would turn so pale and sweaty that whenever my mother or my manager would see me, I’d tell them it’s probably the flu. Again fast forward back to my dealer telling me that I’m most likely addicted and going through withdrawals, I had become aware of my problem being more than just a ”habit.” I needed to finally accept that I was an addict.

> “I’ll just buy some suboxones and stay clean for three days, that should kick my habit”

I would constantly tell myself this to avoid taking the necessary steps to get clean. I’d use that line and convince my beautiful extraordinary girlfriend Lily to give me money to buy a suboxone or two in the hopes that I actually follow my plan.

I’d convince certain dealers and friends to go out of their way to find me and buy me suboxones with the same empty promise I told my girl,

> “I’ll pay you back, you know I’m good for it.”

In reality, the only thing I was good for at that point was buying and sniffing drugs anywhere I could. I can’t even count the times I’ve told my girl,

> “Baby I’m gonna try quitting this week so please understand if I’m sick or in a bad mood.”

That empty promise to stay clean gave her so much false hope that I needed to keep that lie going so that she would be as close to happy as she could possibly be while being in a growing abusive and toxic relationship with someone who did not want to change.

When you’re an addict, you’re most painful yet effective weapon is false promises. False promises goes hand in hand with lying because it’s essentially the same thing. Lying is something you do regularly to avoid getting in trouble or to fulfill whatever hidden agenda you have. False promises though. These are used to break the spirit of those you hold closely. Whenever I’d make a false promise, I usually had every intention of fulfilling it but deep down I knew my addict tendencies always get in the way.

I can’t remember how many times I tried to quit opiates without getting real help from professionals. As you know my addiction began with an unhealthy lustful desire for pills. I’d take percs at home, at school (when I attended college), at work (when I worked at the bank), even at home in front of my son, in the bathroom in between domino games with my love Lily and our friends, even right next to my girl as she slept soundly. My decisions to “quit” always started with me telling myself “okay this is my last batch so I gotta enjoy it.” From trying to quit pain pills to cocaine and eventually harder opiates, that phrase quickly became my most told lie aside from “no I didn’t take your money babe, I promise.”

As unintentional as my lie was, that’s the only way to define something that you know isn’t true. I had every intention of getting clean but something that required me to not be sick from opiate withdrawals always came up.

My parents want me over for dinner, I have to use.

Damn I have an interview, I’ll use one more time.

My friends want to play dominos with my girl and I. Okay give me one second I’ll be back. I need my dose of opiates.

I just didn’t want anyone seeing me go through the excruciating pain caused by withdrawals that I would manage to avoid. I’d even stay in bed for days at a time, no eating, drinking, showers, nothing. If I had to work, same thing, I wouldn’t eat and I wouldn’t shower.

I needed to accept that I can’t face this alone.

I needed to accept that I wouldn’t make it alone.

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“Fruits of Addiction : A Pernicious Love” Complete Draft Of Chapter One

After the confidence I gained from posting the introductory sections to chapter 1, I decided that I should post the rest of chapter one to hopefully give readers more of an understanding on what to expect and my overall writing style. I included the first section on this post as well with an updated section that I had initially removed to turn into a study for one of my first blog posts! I included ”A boy’s role model” please let me know if it flows with my opening chapter or if I should take it out again! Though I’m not as confident seeing this on an actual post, I still remind all readers that feedback is crucial for me to hopefully perfect my project! Don’t hold back! Please let me know where I could improve and what parts seem irrelevant or uninteresting! Yes it’s my story but I also want it to be as enjoyable as a memoir can be. Again, because of the things I’ve done I’m fully aware that I will most likely be hated, I hope you can look passed who I once was and understand the message I’m trying to send!


Chapter 1: The Beginning Of The End

Where should I start? No seriously. The more I try to remember, the more I envision darkness. I don’t mean “darkness” figuratively I literally mean the color black. My years of drug use have made it so hard for me to remember my past that I can’t tell a story without a long pause and really working my brain so hard that I question if what I’m about to say even happened. Were these past few years just a long dream from a sleep I have yet to awaken from? Yeah, I wish. Realistically, it would be better defined as a nightmare. I’m haunted by my decisions made from the very moment I took my first hit.

I’ve had an addictive personality ever since I was young and as far as I can remember. Having an addictive personality and having a dangerous curiosity for destruction and anarchy was a dangerous mix for me. Not only that, I’ve always had an inner sadness that whispered at me as I grew up. I never paid full attention until I finally did and realized that inner sadness had developed into full-blown depression.

Aside from that, when trying to remember my childhood, I recall growing up around abuse, fear, and anger. From being forced to watch my father literally beat the earrings off my mother’s head, to experiencing his traumatic rage for myself. That fear inevitably evolved into an unbearable hatred that had influenced my decisions dramatically.

I recall my father being an addict himself, but unlike me, his addiction has always been alcohol which was eventually traded out for gambling. Maybe that’s what influenced me to develop that “addictive personality” I’m babbling on about. From abuse to surrounding myself with people who fit the criteria of a “negative influence” I slowly developed a life-lasting addiction to the rush of doing shit I’m not supposed to.

## A Boy’s Role Model

> “Why does he hate me so much? Am I really that bad of a son, mami?”

> “No mijo. You’re not a bad son, papi just needs his rest. He had a stressful day at work. He loves all of us…”

Love? It even sounded like she was trying to believe it herself. As much as she wanted to believe that, she’d hold me trying to keep me as quiet as possible, trembling in fear hoping she doesn’t say anything in a manner that may offend him. My father’s abuse isn’t how I’d define love even being so young all those years of his toxic behavior. That must’ve been some rough 3rd world love from their native country because, as an American myself, I’ve only seen American parents scold their kids just to apologize to them afterwards. Uh yeah, I was unbelievably jealous. But then again it did make me feel as if I was tough because of what I endure.

When ever I’d read articles on addiction or I’d speak to those who suffer from it, a common pattern I’d see is people blaming their addiction on their childhood, or the influence their own parents’ addictions would have on them. Of course it’s hard not to hold grudges, which I did for years but I don’t blame my father’s abuse nor his addictions. I don’t blame my mother when she’d feel no other choice than to spank me as well so that my father doesn’t feel as she’s contradicting him. I don’t blame my culture and I don’t blame my parents’ generation where discipline revolved around spanking wrists with rulers, spanking with belts and bare hands, though I wish that’s the only punishment my mother and I would’ve gotten. I know what my older audience may think, “man up, you millennials complain about everything. When I was your age my father would hit me with a rock.” Okay caveman, calm down. Yeah my father wouldn’t use rocks or whatever the f*ck. Though, sometimes when he’d a strip me naked, throwing me in the shower with freezing cold water and whip me with his belt with a barrage of close handed strikes to the face, head, body, and back. When I was too big for him to do that anymore, he’d stick to strictly punches to the face and head and if I had my shirt off, whips across my chest and back with the occasional shot for the head that I would dodge which resulted it more whips.

My own experiences with domestic and child abuse stems back to my child hood but you know what? I didn’t blame my early exposure to addiction and abuse. If I did then I’d indirectly be blaming my father for my own decisions. Truth is I wasn’t even thinking about my past when I smoked weed for the first time. I wasn’t thinking about my father beating my mother when I transitioned over to opiates. Maybe I did inherit my father’s “addict” gene. Shit I might even have his “gambling every weekend” gene too. Countless studies say that addiction is almost always passed down from parent to child. In my case that seems very likely. No matter how much trauma I faced in my past, I can only blame myself. You’ll come to learn how I doomed myself from trying to blame others for my own selfish desires. Yes, I feel that I walked a similar path as my father but in time I realize that just because it’s similar does not mean it’s exact.

## Curios George

My road to drug addiction is a tad different. Unlike the typical “my parent was a crackhead” story we all read, my story began not when I took my first Percocet, but when I decided I would try marijuana for the first time. Okay whatever, weed smokers all say the same thing, “you can’t get addicted to weed.” Which is true. There is a difference between mental dependence or “addiction” where you convince yourself that you “need” to smoke, take a hit, blow a rail, etc. and full-blown physical addiction where you shit your pants, throw up anything you ate and prefer death over the hell of not having your drug of preference to even you out. You can become mentally dependent/addicted or physically addicted, sometimes both, is what I’m trying to say. So do me a favor and read back to those last few words again, “My road to drug addiction is a tad different” that’s the key in this below-average attempt to begin illustrating how I became the addict I am today. In my case, smoking weed was 100% the “gateway drug” that developed an alter ego of myself. The epitome of pain itself. Better defined as my ”addictive personality,”

I’ve always been such a curious person, from early childhood to a quarter-century of my life later. Although I’ve always had a curiosity for rebellion and self-destruction, that curiosity didn’t begin killing this cat* until drugs and their euphoric effects were introduced.

Whether it be almost every kid in high school bragging about smoking their first blunts to the occasional kid from the projects that started exploring their options when they were “twelve”. No, I’m not exaggerating. Almost every project kid I met had already either smoked their first blunt, ate their first shroom or popped their first pill at that age. I kid you not. For some reason, if you grew up in the projects, it must have been some kind of “life of crime and poverty” initiation to get high at the tender age of “twelve”, at least that’s what they all made it seem like. I wasn’t a “project kid” but the city I’m from is always defined as the “ghetto”. Yes, it has beautiful neighborhoods, houses and the stereotypical Trump supporters that would lock their door if a person of color walks within 25 feet of their car. But even those same residents helped our city earn the nickname of a “hood”. Although we are technically named the “City of Champions”, Urbandictionary.com better describes us as “a very metropolitan area, resembling Detroit, with a crime rate to match.”

## Marijuana

I never truly understood why I acted the way I did in my youth but I look back at myself and can’t help but facepalm in dissatisfaction. Even before my addiction began, I was unbelievably intolerant and unbelievably stuck up. Of course, it’s natural to look back at your high school days in disappointment but me? I was always the character that everyone found annoying. Yes, I knew that and I absolutely worked it as if it was something to be proud of. I would talk down to my close friends about smoking weed and would act as if I were completely innocent and would never “stoop down” to that level. I’d walk around with my chest out, chin up and pants so high that my ankles would show. I wasn’t just stuck up, I was also a lower class child wearing clothes that didn’t fit him. My opinions have always been strong and I had a knack for being judgmental yet never willingly accepted feedback on who I was as a person. Every hypocrite sees themself as a diety, I was no different. Sometimes I wonder how I made it through high school without getting bullied.

I saw myself as an anti-Drug delegate for high school until eventually, I wasn’t. I became so curious and wanted to understand why everyone was so obsessed with “smoking a blunt” and “getting high.” Then again, who doesn’t get curious when everyone’s goal in high school is to be accepted? I’d ask questions about their “first time” and ask about how they felt, what their reason to smoking was and how they make sure they don’t get caught.

Eventually, I decided to act upon that cultivating curiosity and my love of drugs began to sprout. I still remember my first time, clear as day. Being a “weed virgin”, my two friends, Devon and Jon, made it their mission to take my “green-ginity.”

After weeks of them trying and months of my personal research, they had successfully “convinced” me to smoke weed. Between you and me, that decision was already made once my curiosity was too much for me to handle.

It was before wrestling practice during our junior year of high school when we bought some low-grade bud with money that I had been saving. We convinced our 18-year-old friend David to buy us one green leaf cigarello and went on to roll a sloppy blunt that was probably, the poorest blunt ever rolled. It did the job so we weren’t complaining. Of course, Jon and Devon took their hit first but after what felt like a never-ending wait, my turn finally came. Puff, puff, pass you say? I don’t think so. I took one deep hit and did my absolute best to hold it in. It felt as if my lungs and throat were on fire and I then proceeded to have, what I thought was an asthma attack. The thing about that horrid burning sensation is if you don’t have any type of beverage to settle that burning inside your body, when it’s finally over it feels as if your lungs are nothing but ash. After I finally catch my breath, it slaps me. I had never experienced any other kind of high so when it hit me, trust and believe it hit me harder than my father’s right hook after having a fervent argument with my mother.

At first, I became unbelievably paranoid because if my father ever saw me high then I’d really catch his right hook, and no that isn’t a metaphor. Eventually, my negative thoughts tire out and I finally get to enjoy my high. As much as I could that is. Smoking before a 3-hour long wrestling practice that revolves around cardio was not a good idea. I was so worried about my father when I didn’t even consider the fact that my cardio was already shit, without including the fact that I had just smoked weed from a leaf of tobacco. If that’s not irony then I don’t know what is.

That “one-time” experience eventually became a habit. From smoking before and after school to eventually sneaking out at night to smoke until 2-3 am I became the person who I hated not too long ago. It ultimately got to the point where I began acting out in class, rebelling at home, and claimed that I was stressed and was angry if I didn’t smoke that given day. I was an on and off, self-proclaimed “pothead” and would brag about my late-night blunt walks around town, and 6-10 blunt sessions any chance I got. In reality, I was a hypocrite who would victimize myself any chance I got so I had a reason to smoke bud. That one need to fit in has been one of my most devastating and destructive traits aside from the curiosity that caused this whole mess. At that point, the gates into the world of drugs were on the verge of opening completely.

## Curly

We all experience “love” at some point in our lives. Either it’s true love or we think it’s love. Our first emotional connection leads us to make absurd decisions that eventually shape our overall opinion on what love **should** be. See, I’ve had too many of those “love but not actually love” moments so my vision on how a relationship should be was demented for a very long time. Fast forward to my sophomore year in college. By this point in my life, I’ve experienced alcoholism, continued my daily marijuana intake and had just gotten out of a 2-year relationship with a curly-headed beauty whose name I shall not speak. My experience with Curly was that exactly, a relationship that gave me an impure idea on how a relationship should be because of the “love” I had and the heartbreak I ended up facing.

That heartbreak, alcoholic tendencies and forced love of marijuana aside, I actually began to make a life for myself, at least that’s what I thought. I was a successful banker, college wrestler/ volunteer high school coach, I was absolutely adored by all and was the go-to guy for anyone who needed money or a favor. One thing you’ll learn about me if you haven’t already, is that I was full of myself and thought to be better than everyone I associated myself with. I mean, what am I supposed to think? Everyone came to me for their needs because they knew I had it. Oh, you need $200? Okay, pay me back when you can. You’re about to get evicted? Okay, Brenda, here’s some rent money, pay me back when you can.

Even though it secretly bothered me, I loved being able to say “yeah he/she needed me.” But after that heart-wrenching break up with that curly-headed beauty I mentioned, being used for my money by people who’d eventually fuck me over, and my semi-constant drinking and weed smoking; I began to feel empty. Yeah, I saw myself as successful and yeah I felt loved and was popular but that just wasn’t enough.

Another thing about me that eventually played probably the biggest role in my addiction was the fact that I became unbelievably emotionally needy. I finally experienced what I thought was true love and heartbreak so I developed this everlasting hunger for attention and some kind of loving connection. Sex? Yeah, sex is great but I didn’t crave it the way I craved a woman’s love.

I found myself remember times I’d go above and beyond for Curly and how I devoted my life to her. I’d skip class to please her, not come home for days to please her and even admitted my love hoping it was mutual. It wasn’t. I didn’t give up though, even when I found out she was seeing someone else. Of course, I was heartbroken but I stayed vigilant. Until of course I stopped being useful to her and she ended our two-year relationship with:

> I need to love myself before I can love you.. but I value your friendship I hope we can still be friends.

Those words tore right through me. My heart sunk. I could literally feel the pounding go from my chest to my stomach and as I opened my mouth to give a pain-filled response I felt my eyes tear up. At that point, I knew that if said anything else I’d end up crying, so I got up, gave her one last pain-filled glance and left the cafeteria. Yup. She broke up with me in a fucking campus cafeteria as if I was some kind of nobody who didn’t cherish her virginity and did absolutely everything to make her happy. I thought I loved her so much even when that “love” itself hurt. But for whatever narcissistic reason, I loved that my love for her hurt. Was that normal? Probably not. Did I even make sense just now? Probably not. Little did I know, the same words she told me, are the words I need to accept for myself. Something I don’t realize for another 6 years.

> I need to love myself before I can love anyone.

So upon learning that our love was never mutual, she quickly went from “curly-headed beauty” to the “manipulative bitch who broke my heart.” When I ask myself, what was the actual reason that caused me to transition from weed to pills, her name always came up. I just couldn’t get over that heartbreak even after I met the mother of my children. Of course, she’s completely aware of my heartbreak and you know what? She gave me the love I needed right away. From the moment she met me, she knew I was the one she wanted. Yes, I’d die for her now but back then, her love just wasn’t enough.

Every time I think back to my initial neglect towards the mother of my children, deep hatred and anger for myself takes over. Of course, eventually, we built a powerful bond with a mutual love so much more powerful than I would have ever experienced with Curly. I mean that’s what you get when you finally date a woman who knows what she wants instead of a girl who still brags about being drunk at college parties, right?.

But before L became my blessing, I was lost. Curly took my sense of direction, my pride and my happiness with her the night she tore my heart into pieces. I’d find myself looking at her name on my phone while typing a hate-filled message about how she was it for me. How she was my “one true love”. I felt so used and abused and confused. I turned into a damn depressed version of Dr. Seuss for fuck’s sake.

From writing texts that I never end up sending to quoting love songs throughout any social media she followed me on, I hoped that she’d one day change her mind. Until that moment came, I needed some kind of escape. I needed my heart to be put back together, or at least that’s what I thought. I’m just a heartbroken 19-year-old boy, who thought he knew what love was.

## Percocet

Finally came the night that would shape my life into a ball of shit and regrets. Again it starts off as just another night of me constantly thinking about how Curly “broke my heart.” About 1 am on a weekday. My favorite bottle of Bacardi and the 2 Grams of weed I had left wasn’t satisfying my need to forget. I just couldn’t be alone with my thoughts, because if I was then I’d have another hour-long session of love songs, love notes, and unnecessary tears for a bitch who was probably getting fucked while I proceeded to ruin my life.

I was with two of my friends, B & C. That night we were at a hidden baseball field really late. Back then We would constantly go to a baseball field that we’d simply call “the park.” B had just popped two Percocet’s. I guess my venting had depressed him so he had an escape of his own. B had recently gotten a prescription for percs so for that week the only thing I really remember is him popping pills and constantly saying he felt amazing or that he’s “so fucked up.”

This is where that curiosity and “addictive personality” began to take over my body once again. Just like old times, I had slowly become more and more curious about that supposed “amazing feeling” the whole week B was taking them. Like me, he had gone through his own heartbreak so his easy access to pills turned into his personal escape. I needed that. I needed to forget about my heartbreak, I wanted to stop feeling like I wasn’t good enough, I just wanted my loud thoughts to quiet the fuck down for once.

I was so scared to ask him for a pill because I knew a bit about drug addiction and how it can ruin someone’s life from courses I took in college but I also thought myself as a mentally strong person who would never succumb to addiction. As I try to build up the strength to ask for a pill without making me look desperate he becomes noticeably different.

Eventually, he gets quiet. His eyes become low, straight face, overall went from outgoing to calm and looked as if he was moving in slow motion. Finally, he looks at me and says,

> Do you want one? I’m not gonna force you but you keep crying over your ex, that’ll make you feel a lot better.

I look at him and think to myself,

> It’s about damn time, stingy mother fucker.

Obviously, I didn’t want them to know how deeply I craved escape so I began to act as I usually do.

> Fuck I look like taking those shits, do I look like a druggy to you?

I said, trying to maintain my anti-drug persona. Yup. Years after smoking weed for the first time I still held myself on a pedestal. I still believed I was “too good” for the shit I knew I was going to give into at some point. I secretly hoped that he’d argue back and play the role of the bad influence. Trust and believe that’s exactly what he did. Nice. After a short “I don’t wanna get addicted/ don’t worry you won’t” debate, I finally decided it was time to cut the shit and feed my curiosity.

> “Okay fuck it, but if I get addicted it all your fault”

I jokingly say as reach for the pill. At that point, C realized I was serious and begged for me not to do it and insisted that I would get addicted.

> Don’t worry, I’m all about mental toughness, I’d never get addicted plus it’s just this one time

I say, trying to convince her. It almost felt like I was trying to convince myself too. Although she didn’t admit it until years later she had experience with her family being addicts and the destruction it caused during her childhood. I will never blame her for not warning me of the lifestyle she knew I would eventually endure, but sometimes I do wish I at least knew what the fuck I was in for. Either way, it probably wouldn’t have made a difference.

I saw myself as the equivalent of a God and I would have never guessed that this one pill I held in my hand, staring at it in awe, fixated on its perfectly round shape, would be the actual stepping stone to me becoming a “junkie.” I toss the pill in my mouth quicker than my last nut. Grab Bs bottle of water and chug the whole thing. Not a single drop left. I did it, I’m a damn hypocrite again.

I put myself on a fucking pedestal, I worked at a fucking bank, I was fucking good looking, and I was so fucking successful for my age. I immediately regret my decision and become so angry with myself. I start imagining how all my hard work and all my assets and opportunities were at risk because I decided to take that one pill. And my good looks. My dashing good looks! What if I lose all my teeth and have sores all over my face? Of course, I didn’t know the difference between a crystal meth addict and an opiate addict. On top of that, I became a hypocrite again! I’d always claim that I’d never get into drugs but so much for that.

Excuse the profanity and repetition but I don’t know how else to express my anger in myself. That night I made my own bed. At first, I started to hesitate quietly and felt nothing but embarrassment and fear.. 20 minutes of mental torture pass and as I began to feel relief and thought, “okay it wasn’t enough, I’m good.” I look at B to act my tough usual self and I pause. There it was.

My eyes dropped, my heart slowed, it felt as if my face was slowly melting off. For the first few seconds, my vision goes black and slowly comes back. It felt as if that breathtaking feeling just slapped me to make its presence known. I close my mouth, smile, and that’s all she wrote. I became obsessed. I forgot about my heartbreak, I forgot about why I was so scared, shit I didn’t even think about how taking this pill almost scared me straight. Nothing mattered anymore, I didn’t care about that damn pedestal I stood on, I didn’t care that I may have ruined my life. I thought I needed a woman’s love. Wrong. I wanted to feel like this forever. To me this was love.

## In control

The thing about drug addicts, is that at first we really think we can control our habit. For the first few years, I did a decent job. Id pop pills every other weekend, which I would desperately look forward to. By that time I had an even better job, a junior in college, I felt like I was the damn Wolf of Wall Street, successful as fuck, reaching every goal I’ve ever listed in my notes. I was untouchable. Mix that feeling with the perk high I was so obsessed with. Bulletproof.

I even had the first and only woman to ever truly make me feel loved and appreciated by my side at all times. She became my biggest supporter and absolutely worshipped me. Curly headed what? Nope, I have a queen by my side and she was having my prince. Yup, my first son was on the way.

All this financial success and newfound love and support added to how I viewed myself. I went from being so torn about taking one pill to make opiates a priority. I became my own story’s antagonist. I was a stuck up little prick who loved only himself and lived only for himself but loved the euphoric effects of opiates even more.

I was such a hypocrite that I would look at addicts in disgust because I thought they were weak-minded for letting their favorite drug take over their lives. Even after popping my first perk and eventually adding it to my schedule and to my bi-weekly budget, I still Refused to admit that I had developed a habit. Although it wasn’t physical dependence, I’d still have strong cravings at times. “But I’m not an addict” I always thought after satisfying that powerful urge. My “little” secret; she loves me… she loves me not.

I strongly believe that all the times that I frowned upon drug addicts and all the times I’ve talked so much shit about my friends who did cocaine, dope, shrooms, etc, is what led me to become an addict. I should’ve known that my ignorance would keep me blind to the fact that I had eventually become worse than the friends I talked shit about, realistically I became worse than many of those addicts whose weakness disgusted me so much. As much as tried to ignore it, I slowly began to realize that karma really is a bitch. And God doesn’t like ugly.

I can only describe my first perc high as love. I wanted nothing more but to be perk high and I swear I’ll never forget it because after that, I have never experienced a feeling as beautiful. I quickly jumped from one perc every other week, to two every week. As time passed I increased doses more and more frequently. I had quickly started to build tolerance and the highs were barely ever the same again. Even when I was told to try heroin that it was “so much better“ than being perc high, I never felt that beautiful euphoria. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved the feeling but only opiate addicts can understand how much the feeling begins to fade as your dependence grows.

Even though it was still a year before my addiction to sniffing began, I had gone from having a pill-popping schedule to literally pop 20 at a time every other day. No, I’m not exaggerating. Obviously, it wasn’t all at once, although I did once try and almost choked. I’d do three or four each time, but Within 2-3 minutes, all 20 would be in my stomach. Eventually, I moved on to perc 30s because they were easier to swallow and everyone had them. I’d even take pills every morning at work because it was “too boring” or at parties because “I worked hard all week so I deserve to feel good.” I wanted to keep forgetting about my daily stresses and have fun so half the time I wouldn’t just take percs. I had begun to experiment and started to take Xanax, kpins, Adderall and sometimes OxyContin. Eventually, it got to the point where I’d a blackout at parties and would get woken up the next day, still completely fucked up, from random friends telling me;

> Hey it’s 6 am. you gotta get ready for work

Work? What was I thinking mixing all these drugs on a work night? A quick slap to the face and warm shower, maybe a donut from Dunkin’ Donuts to start off my day was never enough. I’d fall asleep standing up, fall asleep in front of customers. And of course, I was 19-20 working in a bank in a rich town so they don’t know what addicts are like because addicts couldn’t afford to even get to this town. “Sorry I had a long night” or laugh it off, “sorry I was at a college party”, was my go-to excuse. That was just the start of the trouble I began to make for myself.

From the day I popped my first pill, to a year later, my tolerance skyrocketed, I had spent thousands and I had even started selling cocaine to help maintain my habit. Did I need it? Not really, but an extra $1000 a week didn’t hurt seeing that I had to pay bills, save for my son, save for our house and provide for my pregnant girlfriend and her daughter all while buying pills at a growing rate.

Even though money was never an issue, my queen was closer and closer to giving birth and yeah we started looking for a house to buy, but I was also looking for my next batch to buy as well. I’d spend $100 a day for a few pills that were barely getting me high anymore. Yes, it’s still an amazing feeling but I’m praying that my next high resembles that first time. Even if it’s for a second.

By this time I was a successful loan officer at a military credit union, I hadn’t graduated college yet but I was finally a senior. I even started lifting weights and working out. Yes, I’m bragging by the way. The pedestal I stood on was taller and stronger than ever. After switching jobs three times, I finally found a job that I made enough to pay our bills and buy my pills. That didn’t even matter for too much longer because shortly after my son’s birth, the hardships slowly began.

## Out of control

As addicts, we never realize when we’re about to hit rock bottom, nor do we see the damage our addiction is causing. Before I caused emotional and physical damage, I started to put my financial stability at risk. Of course, I wasn’t aware of how much I was actually spending but either way, the amount of money I was making made it barely noticeable.

I had fallen in love. That’s the only way I know how to describe the feeling I’d get throughout the process of acquiring these pills. This was enough for me to put all of my worries and responsibilities aside. I needed to chase her. I needed her to wrap herself around me. ”I’ll never lose myself and I’ll never hit rock bottom”, I thought to myself. My strive was so prosperous that even after months of using, only blessings were coming my way. I felt invincible, I felt bulletproof. I’m aware of the risks but I felt so stable and comfortable with the path my life was going I was unfazed. I felt I was in control and I there’s no way I could even lose. I stood firmly on my pedestal and this euphoric feeling she’d bless me extended my reach to the heavens. I knew in my heart that I would never fall off. What I didn’t know was that I was hanging so close to the edge of my pedestal, it slowly began to tilt from the weight of my growing addiction.

The day my son was born I had bought about $200 worth of pills. My first child is about to be born, this is the best day of my life. Yeah, I’m going to celebrate. Though that day my definition of “celebration” included my daily dose of percs and sitting beside my beautiful pregnant girlfriend. I can still remember how stunning she looked pregnant. Eventually, I go to the bathroom and pull out the pills from my pocket. I had them wrapped in an ATM receipt paper, enough for two days. As I looked at them I thought to myself,

> “I should just take all of them now, I mean I am going to be here a while, right?”

So that I did. It was an easy decision, I had the money so I could easily just buy more if I wanted to, it’s whatever.

I come back out, sit with the love of my life and our conversation about God knows what continues. I soon start experiencing a very familiar but very vague feeling. I pause, look down at my hands and start to focus on that familiar feeling. Could it be? Could it really and finally be?

And again, there. It. Was. My eyes dropped, my heart slowed, my face felt as if it was slowly melting off. A beautiful slap to the face and I did not mind at all. My vision goes black and slowly comes back, and for those few seconds, it feels as if I was moving in slow motion. After thousands of dollars and failed attempts to catch this demon, I finally grasped her. I reached out and did not want to let go. For whatever reason, it felt exactly like my first time and I was unbelievably happy. In a few hours my son was born and I finally caught her, the demon I chased and continued to chase for years after.

Did I ever feel the same? No. That was the last time I ever felt that glorious euphoria that felt like an escape but was actually a prison. I wasn’t escaping anything at all, and realistically speaking, there’s no way to escape the responsibilities of fatherhood, being a provider, being a boyfriend and making sure my family is fed and has a roof over their head. Shit, there’s no escaping life, but my mind became clouded. The whiny, stuck up, self-loving, arrogant and self-proclaimed “hood rich” brat I once was, faded away.

My personality was changing, I didn’t care to help out “friends” anymore, I slowly stopped being a sweetheart and spoiling my love and her daughter, shit I didn’t even take care of myself. I wasn’t lifting anymore, I wasn’t in school anymore. I began to sell cocaine to those “friends” I used to look down on and it was much more lucrative than selling to strangers in the streets. I started trafficking guns from city to city, trafficking drugs from state to state all for the extra income to feed my cravings. The only trait that I convinced myself that I still had was being a “good” father to my son. I still thought I was in control. Maybe a little more careless, but I got this. This addiction let me believe I was in control and she was almost ready to show her surprisingly ugly self and I still thought I was in love with a beauty.

My love for that one euphoria hoping I would feel it again became an obsession to the point that it overlapped the love I had for my girl. Even it was never truly the same again, I basically ruined my life and destroyed so many relationships chasing that demon. I was too proud to verbally admit it but I saw it. I saw it the moment I struggled to maintain a steady source of income. My addiction is out of control.