I remember when I was using heroin I would see people smiling and wonder how they could be happy. I’d see people enjoying their lives and hate them for it. The things that made people smile had no effect on my emotions. Honestly, I had no emotions. I didn’t cry, I didn’t smile, I didn’t laugh, I didn’t believe in anything or anyone. I literally felt NOTHING. I spent years wondering why I always had to have something just not to be sick. I hated myself for that. Whether it was the needle in my arm, the methadone pill dissolving in a Dixie cup in front of me, or an orange film of suboxone under my tongue, I always needed something.  Whatever method I attempted to get clean from drugs failed. An embarrassment to my family, and an embarrassment to myself things continued to get worse.

One day, beaten and broken I crawled out of a stairwell in the Bronx and decided to try again. I went against my own sick know it all type of thinking for once. When they said talk I talked when they said sit, I sat, and when they said write, I pushed that pen with the same ferocity I pushed the syringe into my veins. I chased my therapist like she was the dope dealer, and I chased recovering addicts like they were bundles of heroin. I chased my old life like it was the last hit in the crack pipe. I ran from my old friends like they were the police, and I avoided negativity like it was a debt collector. I searched for myself like there was an Amber Alert out for me. Making those sacrifices have brought me many great things from family to friends, and the respect of others. I have learned to smile, to laugh, to cry, and to feel. Living my life like this has given me something I never had before, PEACE.