I used to think it was all me, that I was the one that created who I became. And it’s not fair to just point the finger at one reason or purpose or person for why I became addicted to heroin. My abandonment issues created self esteem issues, and those were never dealt with properly. I was such a cool young child and I literally did love everything that life had to offer. I was really interested in a little bit of everything and of course I had interests that I was really passionate about, mostly football. I really did have so many interests, and maybe it is not fair to blame my childhood for having the life I did. But as a kid I was really the only one that I had and didn’t have someone that was supportive of the things I wanted to do. Can’t say I would have played professional football, but at least I could have tried out for the high school team. I had no support to do anything and that shattered my confidence. I have had feelings of inadequacy for a long time. I have said that statement over the years and most people don’t really understand why. I had to really do a self inventory on the things that I was and the things that I wasn’t in order to figure out what was best for my future. It all has to do with how I look at myself, the worth I give myself. Because I didn’t like who I was, it was easy to turn to drugs and girls to escape myself. Once I started smoking, that turned to selling weed, which turned to selling coke, molly, acid, X, shrooms, K, and all the pills. I really was like, “let mikey try it” because once I decided to experiment with drugs I wasn’t just doing a little. I ate like a half ounce of shrooms at once, I took 100 hits of LSD in three days, the first time I did ecstasy, I ate nine rollers and ate six hits of acid. That’s just so you know how fucked up and sick I was. I hate war stories and people trying to say their addiction is worse than the next persons. I would do everything to the extreme which should have been a telltale sign of my addictive personality. But. Within one week of me trying Oxycontin for the first time, I tried heroin, and a week later a heroin dealer walked through my front door to trade an half ounce of heroin, for an ounce of cocaine with my buddy. My cocaine dealer left his supply in my freezer. Never had more than a few ounces at a time, but at 19 years old that was crazy. Once the kid with the heroin, cause he was my age at the time, came into my life it was all but over. Once I began using, it really was like heroin was always part of my life. After that point I just started to do it everyday and as soon as my girlfriend saw me do it, she wanted to try it. We had already sold and did all the other drugs together, there was no way we thought heroin was going to be that much worse. My whole life I was told drugs were bad, and as I grew up and started experimenting with them I realized I could still function on most all of them. I just thought I could control heroin the same way. I didn’t give a shit what people thought anymore, it was great, and at first, I had money and I was still in school. I had my own place, a beautiful girlfriend, our puppy, and rarely got sick because we had money. At first we were using it and we became semi sustainable. The biggest issue was our dealer being available when we needed him to be and that was really why within a few months of starting her and I both really wanted to quit. We first tried to quit in August because in September my brother was taking me to Las Vegas for my 21st birthday. The sickness was unbearable and I was so new to detox, I had no idea what I was doing.Then September came and I was not going to miss Vegas. So, I taped heroin to my nut sack so I could bring it with. I money so bringing enough was not the issue. The biggest issue, besides the tape on the nuts, was that I flew on my birthday, which is 9/11. Quite the day to fly and smuggle things onto an airplane, but that was already how desperate I was, and that was only the beginning. Literally on the plane ride there I did half of it, because I am me, and that’s what I do. I did have a blast on the trip and it really was the best 21st birthday ever. Everyone wants to go to Vegas for their 21st birthday. I got to live it, but was I really living being a slave to heroin. After that first trip, I realized vacations were gonna be really hard to take if I did not plan accordingly. Over the course of my addiction I missed out on so many weekends and trips because I could not handle being away from the drug for that long. Christmas that year we went to Gulf Shores, Alabama with a friend and some other people. My girlfriend and I brought our dog MJ and heroin and Suboxone and we all drove there. Spent the week on the beach and we thought if we run out we will do Suboxone and we won’t have any other options. Well, we lasted the week, and when it was time to go, I got us back in 14 hours, yes, I drove straight through, we were both sick. Needless to say, that was my last trip until I got shipped to Florida for rehab in October 2012.The climax of 2011 and 2012 I have explained in some of my other writing but during all that time I really was lost and just looking for any guidance. I had no idea what to do. In June of 2011, the girlfriend of four years left, I moved and got clean on Suboxone for a few months. Then I relapsed, got a new girlfriend, and 2012, she murdered my dog MaryJane. I didn’t find it out until four months later that she did it. Did not help that during all of 2012 I started stealing on a massive level and was charged with seven cases in six counties throughout Wisconsin in the October. We lived in Wausau, but the drugs were five times cheaper in Milwaukee, so what did I do? I drove to Milwaukee everyday for about six months straight, 186 miles one way. And I drove that twice in one day twice. It was always a round trip situation but two roundtrips in one day. Talk about sick….Being sent to Florida was an experience, a new city, new people, new me, right on the beach. It was perfect, at first, it seemed. But wouldn’t you know it, there’s drugs in Florida too. After the year I had in 2012, my 2013 in Florida was not much better. I was using new drugs with new people, and it all really seemed like a new feeling, but the same me. I really did have a fun time at some points, but me getting shipped across the country during such a difficult time was definitely the wrong answer. I have learned that the opposite of addiction is connection, sending me to Florida alone was the opposite of that. The worst part is these places were all highly referred by people in the addiction community and it sounded like the right idea. Now not only are a lot of those rehabs closed but some got in trouble for insurance fraud right around where I was, the one I went to shut down last year.Florida had new people, and new drugs that weren’t common in Milwaukee. Florida took my addiction to another level because there was black tar, and dilaudid that I had never done before. So not only was I just getting clean for the first time ever, I was also able to start anew in West Palm Beach. I thought well, this time I am going to use it successfully. Unlike Milwaukee, Florida didn’t have needle exchanges at the time. We had to buy needles from a pharmacy chain. Well, there were a lot of times when my girlfriend at the time would find my ‘kit’ and throw it all away. The issue was that the dope man was down the street and the pharmacy was about five miles past him. Twice I went through to pick up the poison I needed and because I did not have a needle to use I would look around on the ground for an old one. It did not even cross my mind for a second to even rinse it out, I got my drugs and used the needle, without hesitation. That stupidity actually followed me into 2014 when I was back in Milwaukee and I did it there too but it was because I did not plan out my use properly. Sounds foolish to say it that way, but I didn’t have a needle again and I found one. This time I rinsed it out though, like that mattered…I used throughout 2014 after I got out of jail in April, after doing 219 days. Another bad year, with another girlfriend, but after the girl murdered MaryJane I only dated a woman who did not use heroin. That was a good and bad thing, good for my addiction, bad for the girl who had to put up with me. During that year I ended up in jail again. That relationship ended and actually I tried to get back into college that January and finally finish. I was doing well at first and thought I should get a student loan. I spent the 6,000 dollars in 20 days and had to medically withdraw from classes. Dropping out again, after being a senior since 2008 and after being in college until 2011. I was doing very well too, my addiction had won again. As I dropped out of school that Spring, I left the city and I did try to get clean, but I just was not ready and I actually still had my place that had been paid for already. I went back to the city and with no money and no drugs, I had to figure out the next plan. It was just the end of March in Wisconsin and if anyone knows its fucking cold still, but I had ran into a guy who was my age and was panhandling and making really good money to support his drug habit. The same one as me, so we joined panhandling forces and literally we would share about 500 dollars a day on heroin and crack. We smoked crack and shot heroin in the alley on 13th and Galena in Milwaukee. That was my everyday from March until July when I went back to jail, this time, it was for stealing textbooks. I have so many stories, so maybe I will get into that part of the addiction in a different post. But I stayed in jail until November of that year and when I got out I really thought I was ready to quit for good. I moved to Port Washington, WI trying to get away from the city life and I actually started out pretty good.Two days after Christmas that year, the only Grandparent that I ever knew had a stroke and passed away a few days into 2016. Within a week I had relapsed and for whatever reason everyone thought I was ‘fine’ cause I said so. Very odd. But that first part of 2016 was rough for me and everyone around me, a different girlfriend at this time, she actually became the mother to my son in September of 2018 but so much had gone on before that. May of 2016, was a month to remember. The beginning of the month was normal, me using heroin and lying and denying it. On May 17th I had my car stolen on 22nd and Highland in the ‘hood’ and literally a week later in the same area, in the same car, I started the high speed chase that caused me to become a felon. They thought my car was still stolen and I did not know. A nine mile high speed chase on the highway during rush hour north on I-43. I literally was on the shoulder and I got away. I was wanted for five days until the girlfriend called the cops because I was using drugs in the house again. I ended up in jail and was revocated for the fourth and last time. I might do a post on how that two weeks shook down, but it is a whole different story, but it is pretty crazy how everything happened. After 2016, the lifestyle I was living had changed drastically, I still used drugs after that and was still very addicted, but in my mind it was better because. I was in jail until July of 2017 and when I got out I was completely clean from all drugs. I actually maintained my clean date from April of 2017 until November of 2018. That relapse November was the one of the worst, it carried into 2019, and it is true, the relapses got shorter with more time in between them but you really do start off right where you left off. Most important part to know is if you relapse, your tolerance is not the same as it was when you were using, so just be mindful of that. My son was very young and I had a different girlfriend at the time and with all of the drama surrounding me, I overdosed for the first time on February 20th 2019. I was put in jail on a PO hold and when I got out, the overdose actually scared the shit out of me, I went and watched the body cam video of the police officer saving my life. Nine minutes of panic, and all that narcan and I finally came back to life. But I was yet to be alive. Like I said that overdose scared me from heroin for nine months, but I was smoking crack that whole summer by myself and I actually cleaned up in September and I was doing good until Thanksgiving night after dinner. An old girlfriend asked if I wanted to get together and we did. She was doing percocets and I thought after that long I could just do it and be fine. Well within a month I was back on heroin, a few weeks later I lost my job and then the Coronavirus took over the world. If that’s the reason enough for me to keep using and all summer, with no car, I would bike 25 miles one way to the city to pick up drugs, I even did it twice in one day a few times. Thats over 100 miles on a bicycle as a heroin addict….Talk about being tan. I did that all the way up until December 4th of 2020 and the next day I started my last detox I would ever have to do.The lengths and depths I went to protect my addiction and to feed my addiction sicken me to this day. I never felt like I had a lot of support from the people close to me, and when they would try it really was not much help. I lost all my good friends because I was on drugs, and then all my drug friends died, so I felt very alone for a long time. I truly had to forgive myself and try to make amends where I could. I never was much for the 12 steps, but the basic principles behind each are what I did follow. I will do a post on what methods I all tried, and what the difference is this time because I was asked for years. “What is the difference this time?” And For so long, I never had an answer for that, but I do now.

Published by SoberSteveRecovery

It was a home birth on the Eastside of Milwaukee on September, 11th 1987. I have lived all over Wisconsin, and even lived in Florida for a year. UW-MILWAUKEE is where I studied Journalism and History and I eventually switched my major to Environmental Science. My love for the planet equals my love for humanity and now I am focused on finishing up a degree in Addiction Counseling because I just want to help. Continuing school until I have a PhD so I can teach which is my long term goal. Everything I do is to be better for my son. Hopefully we can save some lives as well. ☮️ ❤️ ♾️

One thought on ““Alive”

  1. You are a incredibly powerful man I thank you inspire others you did me. I have been there with you . And walked in you shoes we all take it one day at a time to recover god bless you and your family


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