3 years ago I lived in a car in Overtown, Miami. My life consisted of injecting just enough cocaine so that I would get as close to having a seizure as possible, and then I would shoot heroin to bring myself back down. I hated the holidays. They were a month long reminder of what I had done to my life. They took what I would usually put out of my mind with heroin and cocaine and put it right in front of my face. I would sit there and reminisce. Reminisce of a life I used to live. I would think about the holidays spent with my parents, siblings, grandmothers, cousins, aunts and uncles. The excitement my older brother and I would have prior to Christmas wondering what our parents had gotten us. I would think about December, 1994 when we broke into the attic and found the first Play Station ever to come out. My mom and dad had saved months in advance to purchase for us. I thought about all The Christmas Eve’s my mother had at our home with her ten siblings and my countless cousins in attendance. Yeah, I thought about all those memories, but that’s all they were, memories. Drugs had successfully done to me what they do to most people given enough time, they had made me forget about who I was and what was really important. I had one goal as an addict, more. I thank God every day that the therapist inside my 29th treatment center encouraged me to write about my life. It was with this pen I figured out how to get clean. It was through my writing I was able to help thousands. It was with her advice I remembered who I was. I no longer have to reminisce about the holidays. For the last few years I have been making new memories. 

-Kevin Alter