By Ron S.
I remember going to school, coming home, playing with my friends and not wanting my ugly bicycle that my mother bought me. I remember purposefully leaving it outside and telling my mom I lost it, and her telling me I better go and find it before she spanked me.
I went downstairs and got my bike and brought it upstairs. What I don’t remember is every thinking I would be homeless, and on drugs.
Life was good when I was younger, even though I didn’t get what I always wanted when I wanted. Dad was working all the time. At 12, my mom passed away and my hopes and dreams went with her. I was what they called a mamma’s boy and I loved my mother very much. I remember everything changed about the way I behaved I didn’t want to go to school. My dad gave me a beating because of the bad letters that were sent home from school. I didn’t like my dad. He beat me too much and I remember wishing him dead. I ran into my cousin Wayne one day and he showed me a lot of money. I asked him where he got it and he told me he was selling drugs. He asked me if I wanted to work and said “Yeah.” I started selling drugs and then using drugs. It was good at first. It took away the pain. I did good selling but the using got the best of me. I started stealing drugs from the providers, and using it until I stole from the wrong person. He wanted to see me dead. He wanted people to find me so he could hurt me, but I wasn’t scared. I just needed more drugs and I was willing to suffer the consequences. I remember being too ashamed to go home. The days were long and the nights were cold. I would sleep in abandoned buildings in the corners so the wind didn’t seem so mean. I even went to shelters when I got tired enough. Eating food out of garbage cans, visiting relatives asking for money or something to eat, it seemed everyone knew something was wrong with me, but me. When I could find a place to live I would look for the cleanest thing to wear in the dirty clothes basket.
One day I got arrested, and it was my saving grace. The things I saw in jail frightened me so much I got on my knees and told God if he got me out of there I would never come back, ever. Six months later, they released me to another city but I knew deep down something was changing inside, and for some strange reason I knew I was changing for the better and that I was done with drugs. But in the new city, you could find drugs everywhere. I met a few people in the new city and the drug use started all over again for a year. I was working in a hospital and for the first time I liked working, but the drug use had taken over, and again everyone knew something was wrong with me, but me.
A supervisor asked if I was O.K. Naturally, I told him yes. He said, “Listen, if you need help, why don’t you go.” I did and they sent me to detox and five days in rehab and I was O.K. I didn’t trust anybody, though. I thought everybody was out to get me.
But I started to go to meetings and that’s where I learned to trust that it was alight to share with other men the feelings – the hurt, the shame, remorse, and guilt.
Eighteen years have passed and I haven’t had a drug or a drink and I’ve got some pretty awesome friends today. God did for me what no one else could do. My best friend when I was using is still my best friend today. He has 19 years clean and sober. My friends, you don’t have to go through what I went through or what you’re going through right now. Just allow someone into your life and stay the course. Learn to trust someone because when God takes hold, what an amazing adventure you’ll have. They say you will not regret the past or wish to shut the door on it and I’m a witness. To God be the glory.