I started drinking at the age of five. At seven years old, I was smoking marijuana. It was difficult for us when I was growing up. We were on welfare and food stamps. My family was pretty dysfunctional. When I was younger, I was the survivor of a female family member abusing me. By the age of seventeen, I was using cocaine. When I turned nineteen, I finally used crack cocaine and I was hooked. I spent years selling it and always refused to try it. Finally I gave in and my life was never the same.
I became addicted right away. There was nothing that I wouldn’t do to get another hit. Over the twenty-six years I was smoking crack cocaine, I have gone to hell and back. Twice I have been shot. I have broken thirteen bones. There were people that I saw die. I put myself in situations that I am surprised that I survived through them. There was a serial killer that killed over twenty people in my area. There were times that I was in his company but for some reason he spared me. This tells me that there is something greater than me working in my life. There have been times I have been clean. One time I had over two years of sobriety then I threw it all away because I didn’t have a program of recovery in my life.
My family is very important to me. I have always been a good provider. I work out on oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. Through my hard work, I earned myself a supervisory position that pays very well. I take my job very seriously and never have I used there. Unfortunately because of my using, my family members would take advantage of me. They knew that I would be getting paid and they would ask for money before I spent it all on crack cocaine. Now that I am clean, I know that I have to set better boundaries with them. After years of continuing to use while not on the job, I kept doing the same thing and seeing the same horrible results.
A Minister friend of mine prayed for me to get really sick the next time I put any drugs in my body. A couple weeks later, I became physically ill from using to the point where I had to stop. At that point, I decided I need to get help. I then called a treatment center and surrendered to the process. After a plane flight, I was in treatment.
There is much that I have learned while in rehab. I know now that my mission in life is to help others. I want to go speak to kids or others that are at risk of addiction and share my experience with them. My knowledge comes from experience. It is raw, uncut and direct. Sometimes people may not like to hear it that way I have to say it, but it can help them. If only one person out of a hundred listens and stays away from that horrible misery of drugs then I have done my job. The best thing I learned at treatment was to love myself. I am worthwhile and I have a lot to offer this world. I now look at life through a different lens. There is a whole world of possibilities open to me. I will continue to use the tools I have learned to keep myself healthy. If I follow these suggestions, I will not fail. I hope others will have the opportunity I had to pull their life back together.
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