The only way you can keep what you have is by giving it away.
I hope you enjoy this story of addiction and the road to recovery. (Names have been changed)
I have always been a troubled kid. I was 14 when I started gang banging and smoking weed. I was influenced by my friends and family to that lifestyle. I was getting in to gang wars, stealing bikes, wallets and stealing from my enemies. There were never consequences for me. My Mom was rarely home and visited another City a lot of the time so I was by myself. I basically had a place where my “homies” could come and party.
It wasn’t long before I was expelled from school for fighting. My Mom sent me to live with an Aunt and go to a school in the middle of nowhere. That was the worst thing to have done. This new school was full of “G’s” and I was back in business quickly.
That school didn’t work so my Mom brought me to live with her in L.A. She put me in another school. Eventually, I met an older guy and started selling Cocaine for him. I still had only smoked pot and never really didn’t want to do other drugs. The older guy and his gorgeous girlfriend convinced me one day to take it. I was mad at myself. My promise to myself to never do anything other than weed was gone. Pretty soon I was doing coke and ecstasy. At one point I took so much ecstasy I was high for two weeks.
By the time I was 17 I moved on to Norco’s, somas, volume, and then Roxy’s which became Oxy’s and of course I was selling them. By the time I was 18 the State of CA stopped making Oxy and everyone was left withdrawing including me. Soon I moved on to Heroin. I myself was smoking 3 grams a day. Life as a dealer/addict was great. I had money that I never had before and respect. People had to come to me for drugs and I was always up for a fight if need be. I earned a lot of respect but it was from the wrong people. Over time I was getting depressed and realized that my future was held together with a thin string that was about to break. I was tired of looking over my shoulder or my heart dropping when I saw the Police. I was also tired of depending on a drug to get me through the day.
Right after I was 20, I told my business partner that I was going away for a few days. I left everything, all the money I had made all my clothes, everything. I didn’t want to bring with me anything that I had bought as the result of drugs. I could not tell my business partner what I was doing it was a very dangerous game I had been playing. I went to my Mom’s house to stay and tried to get through the withdrawals without her knowing. Within a couple of days it was too extreme to hide. I broke down and told my Mom and for the next two weeks she helped me. I went through this cold turkey which I knew was deadly but I had no means to get help and decided that I had to do it.
I had a few friends who wrote music but didn’t use anything but weed. I used to write with them and started hanging out with them again. Soon after my best friend who is like a Brother to me was also sober and he went back home after jail and then I moved in too. I was living there when they did his intervention and was actually not doing anything at that time. Even though I was living with him back then we didn’t hang out much. Now that we were both clean at the same time for once it was a good time to go back and live with them. We helped each other. I had gotten sober about 3 months before Bryon.
I didn’t think much of it but I still smoked weed occasionally. I didn’t see the harm in smoking weed. One day I left my backpack on the porch. Bryon’s dad saw it and went through it. He found a small amount of weed. I knew I couldn’t justify it but he said some things that made me think about what I really wanted out of life. I thought I had come so far being out of the thug life and off drugs but I have so much further I need to go. Basically, because Bryon has to be free of everything and they did not want anything around the little Brother Dane or Bryon. Cliff told me that if Dane had found that then he felt not only would Dane feel it is okay that we as the Parents were allowing someone to stay here that was smoking weed and that it was okay. It was also a concern because weed is still a big issue with Bryon. He doesn’t see why he can’t smoke it. I can’t do weed as long as I am staying there and they are testing all of us. So I made the decision to stop. I realized it wasn’t helping me in my life and I needed to make bigger changes.
I decided that I was finally going to work on my dream of being a pro fighter. Bryon’s little Brother Dane found me a Gym to train at close by and Cliff (the Dad) and Dane took me to the Gym to talk to the owner. I train every day now at the Gym and have already done some “legal” fighting. I have not smoke weed at all and do not even have a drink anymore. After I was caught with the weed and decided to go in to fighting I stopped everything including eating fast food. There is no point for me to smoke weed occasionally or to even have a beer anymore. I suppose it could be argued that I was not sober but I feel I was. It has been almost one year that I have not had Heroin or any hard drugs. It has been about two months since I have had weed or any alcohol or fast food oh and I even quit smoking. I am healthier than I have ever been. I will be 21 in the next week and I am very proud of myself for where I am today.
I still have a long way to go and I know it would have been very hard for me if I hadn’t been able to move in with them. I couldn’t stay at my Mom’s any longer and I think it is probably good for both Bryon and I that we have each other. I hope that I have helped him with his sobriety as much as he has helped me. I have been here since November 2011 this time. I am looking for a job so that I can get my own place. I will continue to train to be a pro fighter and for once I am excited about my future. I am taking it slow and working on my life free of drugs.
For anyone fighting to be sober, don’t give up. No one thought I would get sober or stay sober. It doesn’t matter how you get sober, rehab, jail or just because you want to. Just don’t give up.
Not all addicts get sober the same way. What works for one addict might not work for another. Although NA has helped me, that doesn't mean that just because an addict does not go to NA he/she will not be successful.
It doesn't matter how you become sober...as long as you get there!
Thank you so much Darren for sharing your story! :)