For 22 years my life was a party. I lived the life of a rockstar to the best of my ability. The truth is I wasn’t living at all. I was slowly killing myself. At age 12 I was smoking cigarettes, smoking weed and drinking. By age 14 I was smoking crack on occasion. By 16 I was smoking crack everyday. Somehow I still managed to graduate high school. At age 27 I made my first attempt at getting clean. Not by choice. I was given 2 choices. Go to jail or go to treatment. Of course I chose treatment. I went for 28 days and stayed clean for 9 months. 2 years later I was in the same predicament. Jail or treatment. I didn’t get in trouble every time I used, but every time I got in trouble it was because I was using. This time I went to treatment for 5 months. I made it 1 day after I left. I smoked crack, drank a half gallon of vodka and blacked out. I was 29. At age 30 I tried sniffing heroin. I instantly fell in love with the feeling. 3 years later I was sticking a needle in my arm. Something I swore I would never do. This is when my life spun out of control. I was at rock bottom. I was homeless and living in my truck, I had no job, no friends and my mother was the only family member speaking to me. Using heroin became a full time job. Lying, cheating and stealing. Everyday, all day. One day I was sitting in my truck crying, with the gas light on, 1 bag of heroin left, not a penny to my name and no way to get any money. I was hopeless and Defeated. I knew I was done. That was the day I decided to make a change. The jig was up. I picked up the phone and asked for help. Something I had never done before. The next day I was in detox. That was 9 months ago. Today I live a life of recovery. I’m a proud member of narcotics anonymous. I go to a meeting everyday. I have a sponsor. I work the steps. I volunteer. I’m a member of 2 subcommittees that go into hospitals, institutions and schools. Today I’m a son, a boyfriend, a father figure and a man. I never thought I could be happy without heroin. I couldn’t have been more wrong. My life is better than it has ever been. Today I have hope.

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