I thought when I was using drugs I was only hurting myself.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. Around 2008 the most sought after bag of heroin in NYC was stamped “Ace of Spades.”

This was my all-time favorite bag of dope. Wherever this bag went I followed. No matter the cost, the risk, or the time it took I would find it. When a drug dealer didn’t know me, I’d show him my track marks and wait to get served.

Heroin was on the rise in America. Heroin had taken over my young life before it really even began. My life consisted of getting high and nodding out. I remember thinking I was cool or something. The harsh reality of it was that I was a loser. I had nobody, nothing, and didn’t care about anything but fulfilling my dope habit every day.

When I wanted to get clean I didn’t care about anything, either. I chased recovery into different states for years, desperately searching for anything and anyone that could help me. I still had nobody, and nothing, but this time around I didn’t care about anything but staying clean. I would cringe if my phone rang when I got clean this last time. I dreaded the conversation that would ensue about how I just got out of treatment again while trying to explain how this time would be different. I had done that before and failed. So I didn’t answer those calls this time around.

I kept to myself and a small circle of people. I was still a loser, but I was a clean loser. I’d see people with things I wanted, and for a change, I wouldn’t hate on them. I’d say to myself, “good for them, one day that’ll be me.” Things started happening for me when I stayed clean. I got a job, I got a car, I fixed my credit, and I saved every dollar I made.

Then I got my first apartment. It was a dingy dump, but it was my dingy dump. My landlord was Polish and I couldn’t understand what he said, but he was my Polish landlord. I had a bed that squeaked, but it was my bed that squeaked.

I got my family back, they were still nuts, but they were my nuts. You see, I had found Kevin, he wasn’t perfect, but he was my Kevin. Sometimes when I write, it’s a sad story, but it’s my story.