Updated: Oct 14, 2022
I have never really been one for bullshit; I will admit that sometimes I could be more patient. However, what I will never be is still! I can still feel the chill of the crisp December morning, my body sore. Not just from sleeping in the car, the withdrawal was already beginning; I would be full-on dope sick in a couple of hours. Well, I sure in hell ain't going to wait around for that to happen; it's time to get some money. This was the norm for most mornings, although occasionally, I would make enough money to have something already. Those days were like coming out on Christmas morning to a tree full of gifts and an overflowing stocking.
I never knew what heroin was, not even after I started using it. I never thought that I would ever stick a needle in my arm. I wasn't that broken, was I? It didn't take me long to realize that I had an excuse as long as I had a heroin habit. I had to have it, or I would be sick. In the beginning, it was great, 20 bucks a weekend, and snort a few lines. I was a recreational heroin user then; that lasted two weeks. At that point, I was hooked. I could have sex for hours, finally sleep without nightmares, and I could exist without feeling. I never felt so alive in all of my life! However, like most things, the more you do, the more you need. Things progress, and the money runs out. Well, now it was time to become who I needed to be to sustain this type of life.
Initially, it was taking pallets in for $2.50 a piece that we stole from behind grocery stores. We would strap 14 of them on my 1988 grey Dodge Omni, hoping that nothing flew off and that we wouldn't get pulled over. Eventually, this wasn't enough; we had to evolve and find a way to make more. So we did; we started to boost (that's shoplifting for those wondering). It was kids' movies from Kmart. You see, it had started as a few kids chasing a high, but we ended up stealing millions of dollars worth of merchandise. My sister and I once spent $90,000 in 90 days on drugs to see if we could. The point is, every time my needs changed, I became who I needed to be, to adapt and maintain my lifestyle. Even in full-blown addiction, I understood that. Never has this strength, this tool, been more valuable than it has in recovery. I don't tell these stories to glorify any of that lifestyle. I tell them because they are my truth.
Learning to adapt or evolve takes dedication. Dedication to whatever it is that needs to be addressed. It's about showing up no matter what and getting it done. I did this day in and day out, and in the end, I was living in my car. It didn't matter how much money I made or how high I was; these things didn't dictate my life. My mindset has always been the driving force in anything I have taken on. I didn't see a future, so I loomed in the moment: I embraced the darkness of the world I lived in. It wasn't until I honestly had enough that I was truly ready to become who I really needed to be. At the time, I had no idea what that looked like; hell, at times, I still don't. That doesn't change the fact that my evolution is based on my desire to change, to finally embrace the light, the fire of the world I live in today. Today I am on my way to becoming the man I am meant to be.