Hello my name is Ease.
Due to the graphic nature of addiction, I have left out some of my story. Addiction is a deadly disease and the message is still the same.
I was born in January of 1966. I am the middle child of three boys born and raised in Brooklyn New York. Growing up my life was simple, we were not rich but wasn’t considered poor either. My father worked for the Transit Authority and my mom stayed at home and took care of the family. I remember a lot of laughs and fun when I was young. I remember getting plenty of presents for Christmas and birthdays. I also remember being a good student in public school for a while. My parents had their issues but for the most part life seemed to be pretty normal. I was a happy kid. I remember not being particularly popular and kinda funny looking being skinny with big eyes. I got teased quite often as time went on. I remember my parents having get togethers with family and friends and how me, my older brother and cousins would run around draining glasses and miller nip bottles that were left on tables. I was a very curious kid so I would try anything. I liked drinking at a early age. I always had a bit of a temper and later in life found out I got that from my father. Little did I know when I was young but my father used to beat my mother. He was verbally abusive to us kids but I can honestly say I deserved most of my beatings. I was always doing something.
In my last year of public school I was introduced to smoking refer. I was in the fifth grade. I was already drinking and now with the refer I started to show signs of disciplinary problems. My acting out became worse and my teachers began to notice. On top of that my parents were separated now and I blamed myself for their unhappiness. Anyway its been all down hill since then. By the time I was 12 or 13 I was already drinking hard liquor and blacking out. I was not going to school. I was arrested for the first time at 13 for auto theft. My dad came to the precinct and whipped my ass. You would think I learned my lesson but I didn’t. My mother had enough and I was sent to live with my dad. My addictive behaviors got even more out of control. My father (MAY HE REST IN PEACE) later became my biggest enabler.
I did my first of many city bids on Rikers Island at the age of 15. Things just continued to spiral downward. After a while my father said if you are not gonna go to school then you have to get a job..WHAT??. That was all I needed to hear so in my first year of HIGH school I dropped out. Now I can hustle full time. (That was my thinking) Little did I know that hustling full time and always being around drugs would make my life a living HELL. This is the early 80’s now and we was moving drugs like a pharmacy. Crack was the newest thing on the streets and people were going crazy for it. At first THE LIFE as I call it now was cool. I was getting money in large amounts everyday, always had girls and plenty drugs. That lasted for a few years and just like all good things it had to come to a end.They say jealously and money is the root of all evil. Well I got a chance to experience the evil of it first hand. I am going to shorten this part due to the graphic nature of street violence in Brooklyn. Needless to say I have been in some life ending situations. I have seen a lot of people die and lost some very close friends.. R.I.P. MY BROTHERS YOU ARE GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN..and to make matters worse I got introduced to the other side of the crack game.
I began to get high on my own supply.
Crack has made my life unimaginably complicated to say the least. It became my life. I lived to use it. I sold drugs so I could always have it . Stopped using everything else except alcohol and for the last 25 years became a monster to everyone around me, I didn’t even recognize myself. So I went from crack dealer to crackhead. I still thought I was the man, still tried to maintain that life but I couldn’t and eventually I just gave up. My life wasn’t mine anymore and I had no control whatsoever. I couldn’t even control my own thoughts. So now I’m caught up in something I can’t begin to understand let alone describe. More jail time (This time State bids). Treatment centers, homelessness, dereliction, degradation and hopelessness, hospitals and not to mention the countless jobs I have been fired from throughout the years. I wanted out. Thoughts of suicide filled my head everyday. I wasn’t lucky enough to OD off crack aka have a heart attack or something so I began to live dangerously in hopes someone would do me the favor and kill me. Still no luck. I was at the end of my rope. I would think about killing myself more and more and would even walk to the train station and watch the train come into the station every day. I know that eventually I would jump. I had made the decision that, that would be my way out.
One day when I was at my lowest I thought about going back into treatment. I decided against it because most of the counselors I have had throughout the years never even used drugs. I figure how can they help me, they haven’t got a clue what I’ve been through. Then I remembered the NA meetings I attended while I was locked up and looked online to find a meeting. I found one but procrastination kept me from going . Then came the new year 2011 and I started feeling depressed I asked God for help. I remember thinking that asking God was a waste of time. I used to go to church and Sunday school back in the days I hated every minute of it and even developed a resentment towards my mother for making me go. I have prayed before but my lack of faith never allowed me to hear the answers to my prayers. Anyway I prayed and prayed and eventually I got off my lazy ass and went to my first outside NA meeting. That was January 22, 2011 two days after my 45th birthday.
I have been in and out of the rooms since 2011. I just couldn’t stay clean to save my life. I thought of giving up trying plenty of times. I figured that the program worked but it just didn’t work for me. I was depressed and I was at the end of my rope again. I thank God for a few members that kept in touch with me and didn’t turn their backs on me when I kept going back out. It was their love and support that helped me to keep coming back. They showed me the love that I could not show myself. I am grateful for those members.
On October 26, 2013 I came back to recovery with a new found hope that I could stay clean. I have now been clean 614 days. 1 year and almost 8 months, a new found faith in a higher power which I choose to call God, I have a sponsor and a home group and I have a network of recovering addicts to help me when I begin to think that I cannot do this and believe me I think that a lot. Today I have a desire to live clean and although I have stumbled a couple of times over the years I continue to keep trying. I will not give up. I am learning new things about my disease and about myself everyday. I keep a journal of my struggles on my blog at www.fromstruggletostrength.com and my life is looking better and better everyday that I am clean. I thank God for his unconditional love and everyone who has helped me along in my journey.
Life is just beginning for me at the age of 49, it just goes to show you that its never too late to change. Thank you for reading my story. I can only hope that someone reads this and knows that if I can do it, you can do it too.
Thank you for reading my story. You can follow my journey from addiction into recovery on my blog page at www.fromstruggletostrength.com.