They say “you learn who your true friends are when you’re in the hospital, in prison, or in the ground.” Considering I’m in the best physical shape of my life…and I’m definitely not dead yet…that quote only applies to one aspect of my life. Nonetheless, this experience thus far has opened my eyes to so much and has made me realize what’s truly important in my life–my family and of course, my friends. What I wouldn’t give to even be free for just one day…so I could spend some time with the ones I hold most dear to me. I’ve only gotten to interact with my fam and friends through glass for the past 14 months. It sucks…let me tell you. Can’t the kid get a hug? lol (FYI–the next stop on my journey will have contact visits…just another reason I am anxious to get transferred). Anyways, the reason for this is to express how I took so much of my life for granted, and now when I can’t even do something simple like having lunch with my Mom, Auntie and Grandpa on a Saturday, enjoy Sunday dinners, or take in a ball game with my boys…it really puts things in perspective. Life is fucking short, and at a moment’s notice, you can be taken away from anything and everything you know and love, thrown in an orange jumpsuit, and lose all the simple pleasures in life that you probably take for granted. It’s crazy to think about…but it can happen. On that note fellas, if you’re reading this, have one for me!
On another note, while I’m here, I’d like to sincerely apologize once again to my friends, and most importantly, my family…for ALL of my actions…not just the drug dealing over the years that led me to this foreign land of embarrassment and shame. I realize that my current situation has been nothing but a burden on all of your lives. A lot of you tried to warn me early on of this possible outcome to no avail, but I didn’t listen early enough. I’d say, “just a little more money and I’ll quit.” I said that one too many times. I was a know-it-all who knew nothing. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t regret getting into that business. I just want you all, especially my Mom, Mike, Auntie and Grandpa, to know how truly sorry I am. I’ve said it before…but for now…words are merely words. It’s my actions, after all of this is over, that will define the true remorse I feel for letting you all down.
I’ve already reached out to the others who deserved an apology from me. I don’t need to share that with the world…it’s something private that I’d like to keep between me and them…but they know who they are.
When I started selling drugs, all I could see was the fast abundance of money and the free highs I could put myself on. I never thought prison would be the end of that chapter…but alas…here I am. You know, I’ve been here roughly14 months now. If someone would have told me 15 months ago that I’d be spending the next 36 months in Federal Prison, I would have probably laughed in their face. Like I said before, I had already quit all of that nonsense. I thought I was untouchable. I was an asshole. I’m working on that…I promise. While I was speeding through life, I didn’t take the time to think about all the people I may have run over. Quite frankly, I don’t expect everyone to forgive my past mistakes…and I guess that’s my punishment…but I felt like it was time to grow up and start taking responsibility for my actions.
I’m actually very lucky compared to most inmates. Considering what an asshole I used to be, I still have a lot of great people in my life. I recently had a chance to sit down and read a copy of each and every character letter that friends and family had written on my behalf to the judge, asking him for leniency. I gotta admit, that on more than one occasion, I got pretty choked up by all of the kind words that people had to say about me. Words cannot express the gratitude and thanks that I feel inside. I am very blessed to have such a great core group of people in my corner. Whether it be your letters, pictures, phone calls (the cost is robbery…I might add), visits, or whatever you have done to reach out to me when I was at my absolute lowest, just know that I truly appreciate all of it. You’d never think something so small like a letter from a loved one or a friend could mean so much and really brighten my day, but it does. It’s probably nothing to all of you, but it means the absolute world to me. I get my mail delivered at 6PM daily here, along with my Boston Herald and the various magazines I subscribe to, and it’s probably my favorite time of day. Crazy…I know…but it’s true. I just want to say I appreciate everything people have done for me thus far.
It’s crazy how one second, you’re going through life, in one relationship and out of another, at one party and looking forward to the next, working every day, basically just living life…then it all comes to a complete halt. It really put things into perspective for me, so I had to let the ones that are riding this through with me know how blessed and appreciated I really feel. Appreciation…that’s a funny word. Before all of this, I didn’t appreciate shit. I didn’t grow up rich by any means, but I never wanted for anything. I was an only child…enough said. Even later in life, things always sorta came easy to me. I never had to really work for love. Friends, women, pretty much anything I set my sights on…all came easily. I guess it’s a gift and a curse at the same time. But…I just want you all to know how much I appreciate your love and friendship. I will NEVER forget any of this…and I hope to someday repay you all in some way…just not with money…cause I owe the Feds $50,000…lol.
People don’t change overnight…but they do grow over time. I can say that I am growing. Hey…it’s a start. I’ve done a lot of crazy shit in my day…but looking back…I was just a kid. Believe me, I know that’s no excuse. I now try and take others’ feelings into consideration before I act.
Sometimes when I write these blog entries, I feel a lot of pressure to make it better than my last. It’s like I have so much to say, but I don’t want to say it all in one day. Then I think, fuck it…I’m saying what’s on my mind at the given point when I write it. If it’s insightful or witty…then so be it…if it lacks something…whatever…there’s always the next blog. I have tons of stories to tell about my 14 months here…both good and bad. I also have a lot to share regarding how I ended up here…so please…stay tuned…this might take a while…
To all my true friends and my family…143!
Memorial Day just came to an end. While most people I know were partying, on vacation or at family barbecues, I spent my holiday weekend in jail…still waiting to be transferred to my next stop. This is my second Memorial Day spent here…and quite frankly…it doesn’t get any easier. To be perfectly honest…it pretty much sucks. The central A/C is broken on my cell block, and considering the heat and humidity we’ve been having, it’s about 100 degrees in here. Imagine, there’s 120 guys on this cell block…it’s not pleasant. It’s not like we can go take a dip in the prison pool to cool off…lol.
My boy Sean came to see me over the holiday weekend. It was a pleasant visit. We had some laughs and a pretty good conversation. We spoke of life, future plans and Memorial Days of the past. I’m not gonna lie…thinking of the past Memorial Day weekends got me kinda down. Other than this year and last year spent in jail, I’d usually be away on vacation.
That’s what has me thinking back…to where all this shit started. If memory serves me correctly (considering I have done a lot of drugs over the past few years) I believe it was a Memorial Day weekend that I got my first taste of what it was like becoming an overnight D-list celebrity. Basically, it led to a series of poor choices that ultimately landed me in Federal Prison.
Without going into too much detail, I was out in Vegas with a few of my friends from Boston, right after BB9 ended. I had been to Vegas a few times prior to that, always having a fun time, but that time in particular was different. It was the first time I was there as a reality TV personality. It was crazy. I mean, here I was, prior to all of this TV nonsense, a regular guy, working construction, going to college, then suddenly…overnight…I was recognized everywhere I went, signing autographs, taking pictures with fans, being paid to show up at places, women throwing themselves at me…it was pretty surreal. Along with all of this new found fame, came all of the perks: comped hotel rooms, free booze, parties and clubs….and being exposed to lots and lots of drugs. A lot of doors opened up for me, and on that particular Memorial Day weekend, a lot of ropes opened up in Vegas. It was the fast life…the life of a celebrity…the life I always wanted…or so I thought.
Nobody could have prepared me for any of that madness. I was 24-years old…tossed in the deep end…way over my head…with no floaties…and sadly…I couldn’t swim. But that didn’t stop me…I wanted it all…I wanted more. In a world filled with so many people, I wanted to matter. I got a taste of that life in Vegas…and that hunger came back to Boston with me.
I started going out all the time…partying like a maniac…like 6 or 7 days a week…doing all sorts of drugs. I thought, “Hey, I’m a celebrity…I’m entitled…right?” I was really soaking up my 15 minutes. It had me up on a high in itself. That fame was like a drug that I almost overdosed on. When the show ends, you’re on this high…on top of the world…at least I was anyway. I will admit it all went to my head. I didn’t want to hear shit from anyone. My head was so big…I probably could’ve floated away. I thought I was the man…boy was I wrong.
Like all highs, eventually you come down. I was becoming yesterday’s news…and I hated it. To most, it probably wouldn’t be so bad. Like, “Hey…back to regular life…that was fun!” But for me, it was awful. It might sound crazy to you, but I yearned for that feeling again. I couldn’t accept that the ride was coming to an end…or at least a pause….until I could make a move out west. That’s when I got introduced to this little blue pill, a percocet 30mg, an oxycodone, a blueberry, whatever name familiarizes you with what I’m talking about, by my former friend in Florida…and my life would never be the same.
One pill…that’s all it took…and I was right back up there…I was the man again. I started taking a pill on a Saturday night with a few cocktails, then on a Friday & Saturday, then on Thursday, Friday & Saturday, then on a Monday…to watch the game…then on a Wednesday…just because it was Wednesday. Eventually, I started taking them every day…not realizing I was addicted. Besides, I was back on Big Brother 10…as a guest this time around…so I was in the spotlight again…and these pills only enhanced it. I was still trying to keep up with this pseudo-Hollywood lifestyle. I was taking and sniffing a few pills per day. I thought, “I’m in control. Me…an addict? Nah…I’m Matty from BB9.”
I racked up around $80,000 in debt. My back was against the wall. I had to keep up this facade. I had to keep up appearances, this lifestyle, this image, and with my new found drug addiction…so I started selling these pills in bulk. I took more trips, bought another car, another watch, sniffed more pills. I was in control…wasn’t I? I womanized, I lied, I was living a double life…and my habit only got worse. I kept telling myself I was in control. I sold more, lied more, sniffed and took more pills. I won’t go into much detail of the drug dealing because in NO WAY am I trying to glamorize it. However, I do have to mention it a little, to show how I kept getting deeper and deeper over my head. I’m embarrassed and ashamed to even admit that at one point of my life, that was my profession–drug dealer.
My habit continued to get worse, as did my spending. While I was selling drugs and making money, I became more of an asshole. My own friends didn’t like the person I had become. Addiction took over my life. I was taking roughly 15 pills per day…and that was merely to feel normal…to not be sick. No one knew how bad my addiction was. I hid it well. I went tanning, I abused steroids, I had money. I didn’t think I was a drug addict. I was in total denial. People would ask me what I was doing with my life. I didn’t care. All I cared about was that I drove a Lexus and had a nice apartment. I thought I was fine. I needed help. My life was spiraling out of control. I was a mess.
I went back to working construction. I needed some structure in my life…a paycheck. I was fooling no one.
Thinking back, those pills that once made me a social butterfly turned me into a social recluse. I worked all week, then flew down to Florida on the weekends to pick up more pills…just to allow me to function at work all week. I was stuck in a pretty vicious cycle. I used to ask myself, “When is this gonna end?”
I was lying to my family…lying to my friends. I needed help. I was probably a few weeks away from death…who knows? I was no longer the man…not sure I ever really was. It was time to take the first step…admitting I had a problem.
I reached out to the same family and friends I had been lying to. I can still remember that one particular day, when I was getting out of the shower in mid-August 2009. I looked in the mirror, and for the first time in my life, I hated the person staring back at me. Who had I become? What happened to my ambition…my drive? My life had turned to drugs. I wanted the Hollywood life…and all I got was the drug addiction. I got the help I needed. It wasn’t easy…but I did it. I cleaned up my act and cut ties with all the negative influences in my life. I was on my way. That was in August 2009. I got indicted in April 2010. The past always catches up with you.
I have never felt better. I have to admit this has probably been the most eye opening, humbling experience of my life. I never truly realized how great my life was until I lost it all. I may have been on the right path long before I got indicted, but in a way, I feel as though I needed to go through this in order to learn a life-long lesson…to fully understand the consequences of my actions. It’s pretty ironic…a few years ago I was on the TV screen, being watched by the very same inmates, who I now sit next to while watching Big Brother. Talk about a mind fuck, but just goes to show you it can happen to anyone.
I’ll write again soon to give you all a more detailed explanation of a typical day here. For now, I’ll leave you with a piece of my story. I’m not making excuses for my actions, nor am I saying that my drug addiction was caused from being on a reality show. I made bad choices. I chose to go down the wrong path. I am not telling my story in the hopes of getting back in the limelight. This is my way of giving back…and hoping that I may be able to reach out and help someone. I am merely trying to give you an insight into how I went from Big Brother to the Big House.