Archive for the ‘Addiction’ Tag
I am being released from Federal Prison in a few days time. This will be the very last blog that I write from behind the wall. In fact, by the time this is posted and most of you read this, I will already be a free man.
I still can’t fucking believe it…to be perfectly honest. The mere thought of being free seems somewhat surreal to me. I know it’s in a few days and all but it’s almost unbelievable. I used to dream of the day I would have my freedom again and now it’s going to be a reality. My journey has come to an end–I made it. Even writing this and realizing the validity of what I’m saying is kind of bugging me out. Like…I am really getting out in a few days?!
I think the toughest part to wrap my mind around in all this good news is the fact that three years has passed me by. I don’t care what anyone says, that’s a long time. Three whole years have gone by without me. Not three days. Not three weeks. Not even three months for that matter. Three fucking years! That’s one thousand ninety five days…all of which I’ve spent behind bars and away from the world. Now all of a sudden I’m about to get out? Just like that. Shit, put yourself in my shoes for a second, you would be bugging the fuck out too. Just sayin’.
Don’t get me wrong, I may be buggin’ out a little, but I am fucking elated to be leaving this shit hole of a prison. These past few days kind of remind me of how I used to feel when I was a little kid waiting on Christmas morning, except way more intense. My release is pretty much all I think about, even though I try hard as fuck not to. It’s actually all I’ve thought about since the day that the alphabet boys came through, slapped the cuffs on me and tossed me in the slammer. I feel like I’ve been waiting on this moment forever and now my time is finally up. I guess all of the waiting, the excitement and the nerves I get from thinking of what’s to come, mixed with the thoughts of all I’ve been through and all I’ve missed out on over the past few years, is kind of getting to me. Like I said, it feels surreal…overwhelming even. It kind of makes me think like, damn, three whole years passed and it’s finally over. Looking back at this journey the time flew by…but when I was looking forward…not so much.
Truth be told, I didn’t always feel the overwhelming sense of joy and excitement that I feel inside right now…far from it actually. Some, if not most days of my incarceration, I felt an overwhelming sense of hopelessness, sort of a desperation…especially when I first got locked up. I thought that the world had simply given up on me and forgot all about me. I thought my time would never come, as if I was destined to spend the remainder of my days locked in a fucking cage, stuck in a living nightmare while life passed me by on the outside. I never thought I would make it down the seemingly endless tunnel of darkness with no sign of light at the end. It was definitely bad at times for me mentally. I’d be lying if I said otherwise…
When I first got tossed in jail with no hope of freedom in the foreseeable future, I was a fucking disaster. Sure, I had been very much clean from drugs for quite some time by that point, but my mind state and priorities were all out of whack. My world was crumbling around me at a rapid pace in every possible aspect imaginable. I was thrown unwillingly into a highly unfamiliar and extremely unpleasant situation. I went through the whole spectrum of shitty emotions at first…from fear to sadness to hopelessness to whatever…but what sticks out primarily in my mind is that of anger. Let’s face it, I was mad as fuck at everything that was going on in my life at the time. I honestly didn’t think that I belonged in prison.
I was still blaming everyone and their mother for my problems. I can’t even begin to count how many times I said “those fucking rat fucks!” (or something along those pleasant lines) while speaking with a loved one or a friend via telephone or letter. I was bitter….but in my case I had a lil’ reason to be mad at rats…or at least I thought I did. I probably would’ve never been exposed to any type of criminal prosecution without the help of multiple informants. Remember, I had quit hustling many months prior. I was out clean. I cleaned up my entire life and was working on cleaning up my soul. I honestly don’t even think I was on the Feds’ radar. But let’s face it…this was no one’s fault but my own. I am well aware of this. I just wasn’t at that point.
Let’s be honest here for a second. I’m no saint. I’m no innocent victim who was wrongly accused. I fucking smuggled and sold drugs–lots of them at that. I’m a fucking idiot if anything. I broke the law. Shit, I broke the law over and over, letting greed and addiction blind me of consequences or repercussions of my actions. I simply didn’t give a fuck. Nobody forced me to do any of that shit. Therefore I have NO ONE to blame but MYSELF. Regardless of who told whomever what..its all moot. I fucked up. Not them…ME. I am here because of ME and ME alone. I hold no grudges. I’m honestly over it. I’ve moved on and I’ve let go…
Letting go of all that anger and resentment that I held inside of me for so long was tough and it took some time, but I did it. Another really tough feat for me at first was realizing that the world simply does not revolve around me as I once firmly believed. Only child–don’t judge! When I first got locked up, everything was me, me, me. Do this. Do that. Send me money. Send this guy money. Call this one. Message that one. Get me this one’s address. Call the lawyer. Call him again. Send more money…and so forth (you get the idea). I acted as if life stopped once Matthew McDonald was incarcerated. I didn’t take the time out to think about the massive amount of pain, shame, and embarrassment that I had caused my loved ones. All I was worried about was my being comfortable in jail and more so that my pretty little life was being ripped from underneath me…not about how any of them felt inside. Sad…but true. While I was making the load heavy, I was bitching for more commissary. I was such an asshole back then…a selfish fucking asshole. It kills me inside when I look back….
I guess now that my journey is coming to an end, I can’t help but keep thinking back to the very beginning of it all. Even though it feels as if three years went by in the blink of an eye, it also feels like it was a lifetime ago since I first walked into prison (if that makes any sense). When I look back, I honestly cant believe the type of person that I was back then. It’s really quite embarrassing. I definitely had a lot of growing up to do…that’s for sure. I was in desperate need of a wake up call and a major reality check. What better place for such needs than in prison?
Regardless of however I happened to be feeling when I first walked into jail–whether it was anger, selfishness, despair or whatever the fuck else I may have been going through–I learned quickly that I had to check all that shit at the door. There was no room for tears, me-me-me, or walking around angry in jail. I had to learn how to carry myself without showing any type of emotions at all. Most importantly, I had to learn how to be humble…especially when I was facing some serious prison time.
If I was going to survive in this new world, I only had two choices. I could either continue being angry at the world, caring only about myself, blaming others for my problems and continue to be the immature cocky little asshole that I’ve been accustomed to being… or I could man the fuck up, accept the fact that I wasn’t going home any time soon and use the situation as both a learning experience and a chance to grow. I could work on my body, my mind and perhaps most importantly my soul, so hopefully I could come out of this a better man all around. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I chose the latter. Thank God I did…because who the fuck knows if I would’ve made it out of this shit alive if I was walking around with a chip on my shoulder for three years. That wouldn’t have been pretty.
I realize that there will be some skeptics out there…and that’s to be expected. I’m sure there’s people reading this right now claiming this is all bullshit….thinking I’m going to get back out there in a few days and be the same old Matty that I was before I went in. That’s fine. Think what you want. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Some people believe that human beings are incapable of change. Shit, maybe they’re right. Who really knows…I sure as hell don’t. The only thing I do know is that when I first came into jail, I had a long road ahead of me–both figuratively and literally. I really needed a kick in the ass. I needed to get over myself and whoever the fuck I thought I was. I simply needed to grow the fuck up…
I’m not claiming to be a changed man. On the contrary, I’m still very much the same person that I was before I came in. Prison didn’t suck all of the life and all of my personality out of me–thank God. So what I will say–and proudly I might add–is that I have grown a great deal since the day I first walked into the unknown world of prison. I may not be a “changed man” or any of that bullshit, but I have definitely learned a lot, I’ve matured greatly and my perspective on things has changed dramatically over these past few years.
The most important lesson among the multitude of others that I’ve learned in all of this is that freedom is a privilege and it should never be taken for granted. Losing mine made me realize that life is way too fucking short to be spent rotting in a prison. I learned that time is a valuable and precious commodity and should be treated as such. It should never be wasted. I now know that I have to cherish every moment when I’m out, no matter how seemingly insignificant, because who the hell knows which one is going to be my very last…
I learned that family comes first–no matter what. Because at the end of the day–when push comes to shove–they ALWAYS have my back–no questions asked. No matter the situation, I can always count on my family. That’s a fact I’m so fucking thankful for. I can’t even put into words of how much I love, respect and appreciate every member of my family for all that they’ve done for me. I may not have the biggest Italian family on the block but I have the best family that I could possibly ask for. I’ve learned that its quality–not quantity–that truly matters in life. Without them I honestly would’ve never made it through this shit. Their love and support over the years is what kept me going every day. When I thought of giving up or that I couldn’t make it…they were there to lift me back up and push me to keep going. I wouldn’t be the man that I am today without them. I owe them my life…that’s the fucking truth right there. To my family–if any of you are reading this (you guys better read my blogs btw lol)–I love and thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
This whole ordeal has taught me a few valuable lessons about friendship as well. True friends are a rarity in this world. A couple of years ago, I quoted Queen of the South when I said “you learn who your true friends are when you’re in the hospital, in prison or in the ground.” The saying remains true three years later. I’m lucky enough to be able to say that I have a few great friends that stuck by me through all of this. When I was at my absolute lowest and all my chips were down, they were there for me. Whether it was sending me letters, pictures, taking my phone calls, visiting me, sending me money or whatever… they were there–no questions asked–just like my family was. In fact, those few friends are part of my family now. My mom got a few more sons and daughters…and that’s alright by me. Because their love and support during my dark days is something that I will never ever forget and something I appreciate more than any of them will ever understand. They may not know what it’s like to be incarcerated, but they bidded with me… they laughed with me… they cried with me. I’ll never be able to thank you guys enough. 143!
What I came to realize is that since I made it through this fucking nightmare, I can make it through anything that life throws my way. They say if you can make it in New York then you can make it anywhere…try Federal Prison…then get back to me on that one. I’ve been to six different jails and prisons in four different states over the past three years. I’ve met all walks of life–both good and bad–some of which I’ll remain friends with for the rest of my life. You know what I’ve learned… that prison is a bad place. It is literally a hell on earth. It is certainly not a place for the weak or the weak minded. Those types don’t survive… but you know what…I fucking did… I’m out of here!!
P.S. Even though I’m being released…I will continue writing my blog…thanks to everyone!!
Finding the hidden stash of blueberries in the back of my freezer was pretty fucking awesome after my relentless searching. Mission accomplished. Sadly…it’s my last somewhat clear memory I have of that particular morning of madness. What events ensued exactly…your guess is as good as mine. I definitely must have went hard though, considering the fact that everything goes black after that in my memory bank. Even to this day I wonder what went down. All I can tell you for certain is what happened when I woke up (for the second time) later on that day.
I managed to regain consciousness later on that morning, around 11AM. I woke up even more confused than the first time around. I was on my couch…alone…with the TV on…yet set to mute. My living room was bright and I remember it hurting my eyes. I literally had no idea how I got there…or to quote my boy Alessandro: “wha, what ha happened?” Confused is an understatement. I was fucking lost in the sauce and apparently hung the fuck over.
I laid there for a few moments, wallowing in my hungover state, wondering what the hell was going on. As I tried to gather my thoughts to perhaps help me fill in the blanks, I realized that I was one hurting unit. My head was pounding. My body felt as if I got ran over and left for dead on the side of the road. My mouth was dry. I was so fucking thirsty but I didn’t have the energy at that moment to get up and search for liquids. On the whole…it’s pretty safe to say that I once again I felt like shit.
I must say, rehab really did a number on my tolerance levels. I hadn’t blacked out like that morning in ages…and that was when I was really going hard with the partying. I guess rehab really works after all….the cleaning up my system part…not the keeping me sober aspect. As you can clearly see…I failed miserably there. Less than twenty-four hours after getting released from rehab, I was already hungover, left with nothing but questions. Perhaps staying sober was going to be a bigger challenge than I had first assumed.
Still laying there on my sofa completely confused, hungover and thirsty as fuck…I tried to remember exactly what the fuck I did…what went down…something…shit…anything at all…which was no easy feat considering the fact that my head was still pounding hard as ever. I fought through it…at least I tried to anyways…and I thought back…….. (cue the thinking back music LOL)
Okay. Let’s see here…I came home completely stoked about being out of rehab (pffff…that clearly went well)… I ate take out… oh yeah, carrot cake (which in turn caused me to realize how hungry I was on top of my growing thirst)… I watched a movie… then I had some sex (quickly I might add–damn you rehab!)… wait, where the hell is my girl? And why am I alone–on the sofa no less? Was my performance that bad (causing me to laugh to myself)… no, there’s more… we went to sleep in my bed…then….uggghhhh this fucking headache sucks! Wait, yeah, I remember… I got up in the middle of the night… I couldn’t sleep… I was sweating… I thought I had withdrawals again (which caused me to realize that despite how shitty I felt at that moment, I no longer had withdrawal symptoms of any kind)… okay, okay, I remember wandering around my apartment… looking for something…. oh shit. (light bulb decides to finally go off in my head) fuck… I was looking for oxys… did I find them? nah…. couldn’t be…. well the withdrawals are gone Matty (yes, I talk to myself frequently)…. fuck… I can’t remember….. shit. This can’t be good (guilt kicks in hardcore)……
Everything pretty much goes black after that… kind of anyways. I tried my best to remember more but couldn’t. I had random flashes (as I mentioned in my last blog entry) of me downing vodka and orange… mischievously hunting for pills… finding them… but beyond that I couldn’t (and still can’t) remember shit. However, I would fill in a few blanks (i.e. how much did I drink, did I sniff any pills–if so, how many, where was my girl, did she know what I did…and things of that nature) later on that day based upon some clues…or should I say evidence…that I left behind at the scene of the crime.
Truth be told, I’m pretty happy that I can’t remember much more than I already do of that morning. Because let’s face it, I clearly failed the whole staying sober thing. I didn’t even make it a full twenty-four hours without fucking up. It’s rather embarrassing if you ask me. So for once, in my many blackouts, that particular one was a blessing on my conscience. As the saying goes…if you can’t remember something…then it didn’t happen.
Frustrated, feeling guilty as sin and partially angry with myself, I gave up trying to remember what happened. I assumed the absolute worst. It’s pretty safe to say, that even to this very day, I still assume the worst. I mean…I had an obvious hangover and my withdrawal symptoms were magically gone. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (although there is one here in the room next to mine if you want me to confer with him) to figure out that I drank and sniffed a few pills. The only thing I could do that day was realize that I fucked up…pick myself up and try again….and that I did.
After a little while, I decided to get off of my lazy, hung the fuck over ass to finally start my day–or what was left of it anyways. Despite still being a tad bit fucked up (drunk..high..who knows), I managed to get some things done. I wolfed down a big breakfast. I drank an obscene amount of water along with a few Motrin for my headache. I cleaned up whatever remnants remained from earlier in the morning that I might have left behind. You know…bottles…powder residue from crushed up pills…things of that nature. I showered. I shaved. I got dressed. I looked in the mirror to check out the finished product. Once again, I didn’t particularly like the man I saw staring back at me.
The last time and coincidentally the first time I looked in the mirror and didn’t absolutely love who was staring back at me (sickening huh? mentioned in I THOUGHT I WAS THE MAN) was when I was really heavy on the drugs and deep into drug dealing. That was more guilt mixed with stress mixed with one too many nights of partying–causing me to literally break down from all ends. This time was different…kind of. This was more vanity than guilt. I looked…well…I looked different.
I was standing there, inspecting myself ever so carefully in my full length mirror, not pleased one bit as to what I saw. I realized that (while in rehab) I had definitely lost some weight and a lot of my size. I was pale…at least pale by my standards. I looked like Michael J. Fox in Teen Wolf…in dire need of a haircut. I looked tired and worn down. Damn you hangover…you ruined my life! In essence I looked like a fucking hot mess…minus the hot. I knew just what I needed…
So what do you do after you’ve flooded the city with pills, presumably ruined countless lives in the process, got high on your own supply, lied about it, cheated, partied, ended up in fucking rehab and once you got out–after making countless promises to stay clean and sober–you get drunk and high again? Shit…what else…you spoil yourself with a day all about you! What else would a selfish asshole like yours truly do? What? Were you expecting me to personally deliver thank you notes and apologies to all those who stuck by me? Then you clearly don’t realize what a fucking selfish person I was back then. Change takes time folks…not 24 hours and a hangover.
I hopped in my luxury sedan, lit up a cigarette (my new addiction after rehab…and in case you’re wondering I quit months later), called up my mother and headed out to start my day. It was great to talk to her. She was happy and seemingly relieved to hear from me, since I hadn’t spoken to her since a few hours prior to checking out of rehab. I’m sure she was worried, so I calmed her nerves by telling her that I was good, ready to be back in the world, and that I was planning on spending the day pampering myself. She was actually really supportive of my idea. She wished me well and told me to come visit her the following day to which I agreed. I didn’t mention what had happened earlier that morning since I didn’t want to worry her and I had truly planned on that being a one-time mistake.
As I made my rounds to various places around the city and beyond, I noticed that with every stop I made I started to feel better and better. Whether it was for a mani/pedi (don’t hate!), a haircut (at the Barber Shop in Everett courtesy of my boy Brian), a trip to the tanning salon, the massage parlor or wherever else, I noticed the same results. Perhaps a day of pampering is just what the doctor ordered…or perhaps as the hours passed my hangover was finally wearing off…who knows. Regardless, I was feeling brand fucking new. There was just one thing left…
The gym…my home away from home. I certainly couldn’t waltz in there after so much time away, especially after losing all my size and presumed strength, and think that I’d be right back to where I was. I needed some help so I did the next best thing. I went to ANC and bought a boat load of supplements (vitamins, proteins, sleep aids, pro hormones–you name it). I told the guy behind the counter that I had just gotten out of rehab for oxys, and before I stepped back into a gym of any kind, I needed to get my health right. I needed my size, strength and energy back ASAP. Needless to say, I walked out a happy man, smiling and ready to get back into the gym game. Little did I know my smile wouldn’t last too long.
As soon as I got back into my car, I noticed I had a couple of missed calls and texts from various people. The only one that stood out was a missed call from my former friend/connect in Florida. This immediately caused my stomach to knot up. Reality kicked in hardcore and I didn’t even know what he wanted yet. He left a message (something he rarely ever did) which I checked immediately. The message was something along the lines of–yo doggie, I just talked to your girl. She told me what was up and where you’ve been. Why didn’t you tell me dude?…yada yada…hope you’re all good. You ready for me or what? I’m sure you could use some sun…yada yada…end message.
I’m not one to read between the lines but in this case I did. I knew what was up. He knew I was all cleaned up and probably figured I’d want to pick back up where I left off…back in the game. Maybe he was right. The only thing was I didn’t really know how I felt at that moment. I was torn. I mean, I didn’t want to get back into selling drugs after all I’d been through and after all I’d put everybody through, did I? Could I? I made all those promises. I just couldn’t…could I? Shit. This was going to be a long day after all.
Some of you may be wondering where the hell I’ve been…or why I haven’t written anything since ONE YEAR LATER. Well…keep wondering…cause I’m on vacation!! LOL…I kid I kid!
Sadly, I haven’t gone anywhere. I’m still very much down here lampin’ (or should I say sweating my balls off) at good ol’ Ft. Dix Federal Correctional Institution–finishing up payment of my debt to society. I’m almost paid in full. Too bad this place doesn’t accept checks or credit cards instead of time…PFFFFF!
With this nearly unbearable heat and humidity situation that I’ve had to endure down here with no fans or a/c over the past month, I’ve honestly had no drive or motivation to write. I know, I know…I’m sorry! Hey…relax over there Gary! If you’re that mad call any Federal official and tell them to install some air conditioners down here…then we’ll be in business. I’m sure the other 5,200 inmates here would really appreciate it!! The natives are definitely getting restless down here with this heat and no relief in sight. Shit…I’m fucking sweating as I type this…lol.
Every time I sat down with my iced beverage in hand, headphones in my ears tuned in to my favorite station, in the frame of mind to write, I would immediately get hot, start sweating and then I’d get aggravated…which in turn caused me to put my pen and pad away until the next day. Rinse. Recycle. Repeat. Finally after multiple failed attempts at writing due to inclimate weather conditions and lack of interest in sweating my balls off more than necessary, I got to the point where I was like fuck this shit. I needed a break…so I decided to take one month off and come back fresh and motivated….so here I am. I’m still definitely hot as balls, but I’m fresh and ready to make miracles happen…LOL. So I’m all yours…at least until the next heat wave. Now… where the hell was I again? Oh yeah………
Some time between the early hours of three and four in the morning, I woke up from a coma-like sleep in a groggy haze…confused as to where the hell I was exactly. I was laying on a seemingly familiar and comfortable bed, engulfed in a plethora of sheets and down comforters, and I was ass naked. I glanced over and noticed that there was a woman sleeping soundly beside me, facing the opposite direction. Still confused, I partially sat up…quietly as to not wake her…and curiously looked around the dark room. As I slowly began to gather my bearings, it all came back to me in an instant. I was home…I was in my bed…I was out of rehab.
Even though I was still half asleep, I smiled to myself. I carefully sank back into my bed under the covers, rolled over, closed my eyes and tried to fall back asleep. The only problem was…I couldn’t…and believe me when I say I tried. It’s not that I wasn’t tired, because I was still very much so. It’s just that something didn’t feel right….not with the situation of me being back home in the comforts of my apartment, in my bed, with my lady no less….no…it was something else. It was me. I felt kind of shitty…and as the minutes passed, while trying to get comfortable enough to fall back asleep, I noticed it more and more.
For starters, despite the air conditioning clearly being on, it felt like the heat in my apartment was set to South Africa. I was sweating a little and laying in a large area of wetness….which might have also been sweat…presumably my own…or so I had hoped. Unless of course the woman sleeping ever so soundly next to me was dreaming of toilet bowls and oceans LOL…and in that case I was literally swimming in whatever the hell she had going on. Nope…thank God…lol…the wetness came from me. I was perspiring lightly all over. The sweat was just enough to make it really sticky and uncomfortable under the covers, making it impossible to fall back asleep.
Naturally, I removed the covers from my body to try and cool off–and did I ever. It felt as if I flipped a switch. The cool air felt really nice at first, almost refreshing. Then it got a little too cold for my liking, so I slid back under the covers to warm up a little, in yet another attempt to fall back asleep. Only thing is it didn’t work. Despite the abundance of covers I was swimming in, I still felt slight chills all over. I had goosebumps everywhere…and I’m talking everywhere. Places I didn’t think were possible to get them had goosebumps. Laying in the small area of wetness wasn’t helping my situation either. If anything, it only made me feel more cold and uncomfortable. I didn’t like where this was heading.
After a few minutes of tossing and turning, going from slightly hot to cold, I decided to get out of bed, towel off the sweat and put on some clothes to get my body temperature back to normal. That’s when I noticed how shitty I really felt. My body had mild aches all over…not sharp pain per se…but achy. I also noticed that I felt kind of drained. At first I chalked it up to lack of sleep, but dismissed that idea quickly since I had experienced all these symptoms together before. I was beginning to get a sense of deja vu. My body felt like it was going through a very mild version of what I went through before I had gone to rehab…. opiate withdrawals. Pffffffff! Fuck my life!
Yes…the withdrawals were back….the only thing is I had no idea how or why. I was really confused as to what the fuck was going on. I even went as far as pinching myself because I thought I was stuck in some sort of twisted dream–a nightmare even. I wasn’t. Sadly, it was real. Now all I had to do was find out how to fix my problem.
I realize this whole opiate withdrawals bullshit sounds rather redundant. It seems like every other blog I’m talking about hot flashes, chills and feeling like shit. Well…that’s because every time I looked…it felt like opiate withdrawals kept creeping back into my life somehow. So imagine how the fuck I must have felt. You have to sit through reading it over and over in my blogs, and here I was going through them over and over in real life….pffffff.
I mean, I went to rehab–dealt with all the nonsense there for however long–cleaned up my act and checked out. I thought I was well past the point of physical withdrawals. I definitely wasn’t expecting to go through them ever again. I guess I thought wrong.
I didn’t take into consideration that I was on pills for close to two years…along with whatever other party drugs I added to the mix. A few weeks away in a rehab isn’t the end all be all cure all as I thought it was. I guess my body still needed time to fully adjust to not having opiates in my system. They say the biggest reason that most people relapse after their first time getting out of rehab is because you leave there with a false sense of security. You leave there thinking you feel great and it’s all over…like Matty – 1, Blueberries – 0 …all the while not realizing that the medication they put you on to detox off of pills will eventually wear off and you’ll inevitably have to go through feeling like shit for at minimum a couple more days…and at worst several more weeks…depending how bad your habit was. Don’t get me wrong, I felt great compared to withdrawals before I checked into rehab, but it still sucked just enough for me to consider using pills again…as I almost did.
What happens next is a little cloudy in my memory–so bear with me. I’ll try my best to describe what happened the rest of that morning as far as I can remember…
Still feeling like shit, I decided to shrug it off and take action. After getting dressed, slipping into a pair of Jordan shorts and a loose fitting tank top, I prepared myself for a scavenger hunt around my apartment. Operation blueberries (or anything equivalent for that matter) was under way. I went on a fucking mission to make the shitty feeling go away…one way or another. I had several squirrel stash spots all around my apartment…for just such an occasion. Sad…I know…but also very true. The only thing I wasn’t sure of was which spots my girl had cleaned out in my absence.
I started my quest in the bathroom. Yes…the bathroom. I told you I hid shit everywhere…no pun intended…lol. I looked in the three places where I would’ve hidden pills….the linen closet…way back engulfed among old bath towels…nope. The medicine cabinet…mixed in with a bottle of Vitamin E capsules…nope. Finally I checked the box of wet wipes on the shelves next to the toilet. I mean who would look in there…right? Fucking nope. Either she got to all my hiding places while I was away or I sniffed them a while ago and forgot to replenish the stash. Regardless, the bathroom was all clear…no pills.
Next I ransacked my living room…and believe me when I say I looked everywhere…even in places where I normally wouldn’t have hid shit. I tried to convince myself that perhaps in a drugged-up haze, I must have found new hiding places. If I wasn’t sweating and going through mild chills, semi-feeling like death, this would’ve probably been a fun game…like an Easter egg hunt when I was a kid…lol. I looked in pillows, under pillows, in the couch, under the couch, under the coffee table, on shelves, in books, under the book case, in picture frames, on the window sills, in closets, in clothing in closets, in jacket pockets, in jean pockets, in shoes, in the DVD player, under the DVD player….you get the idea.
Shit, I almost wished I had someone there rooting me on saying, you’re getting colder… you’re getting warmer…lol. If you think about it, that part was kind of true. I was getting hotter and colder every few minutes…but like physically…not just in regard to finding my prize…lol. I was on a fucking mission, which as it appeared, I was failing miserably, finding nothing….
After rummaging through the remaining areas of my apartment–all of which while trying to be as quiet as possible–as to not wake up sleeping beauty in my bedroom, I hit up my kitchen…in a last ditch effort to soothe my pain and discomfort.
This took a little time…seeing there were so many fucking places where I could have possibly hid pills in a drugged-up frenzy. I literally emptied my cabinets…looked in glasses, bowls, cups, pots, pans, and all dinnerware was searched thoroughly to no avail. I even went as far as looking in the dishwasher–only to realize how stupid that was because even if I did have something in there at any point in time–it would’ve been ruined by a single wash…lol. I opened up my food closet. I tore open boxes of cereal, cookies, crackers…anything that was already open. I looked in a bottle of whey protein. I searched drawers, in the stove, under the stove, in the sink and under the sink. I even decided to move out my refrigerator to see if perhaps I might have dropped a pill under there at some point. Nothing. Not a fucking pill. I was clearly getting desperate.
Although I did find a few hundred bucks hidden in a box of Kashi GoLean cereal underneath the bag at the bottom that I must have forgotten about….so all was not lost…lol. Seriously though, I looked everywhere and found nothing. I failed miserably. If this were a real Easter egg hunt, all the other little kids would’ve been enjoying their prizes and I’d be off in a corner sulking. Fuck it. It seemed as if I was going to have to tough it out til the withdrawals passed. Who knew how long that was going to be? At least they weren’t that bad.
By this time, I’d say it was roughly four thirty in the morning, perhaps closer to five. This is where it gets cloudy. Feeling defeated, sweating lightly, I decided to look in my fridge for something to drink. I was in no mood to eat. I was drained. I had no energy whatsoever. I was overtired. All I wanted to do was replenish some fluids lost and lay down…not that I could sleep even if I tried. Did I mention that insomnia was a big factor after getting off pills? As I’d later learn, I wouldn’t be sleeping much in the next coming months. I’ll get to all that later down the line.
Upon looking in my refrigerator for a cold beverage, I grabbed a bottle of Simply Orange (no pulp) and cracked it open. Then I got a bright idea. I opened my freezer. What I found there kind of saved the day. Guess who forgot to get the alcohol out of the house? I found a few open bottles of random alcohol…mostly vodka…which is all I really used to drink. I made the executive decision to drink myself into a coma with high hopes of eventually waking up without withdrawals. I figured it may not have been the pills I was so desperately seeking, but it would do the trick. So I did just that…I drank…not even 24 hours out of rehab…and I was getting bombed at five in the morning. Nice…huh? Mom must be real proud…LOL.
After I finished off one bottle, which I’m assuming only gave me two or three glasses of vodka and OJ, I remember stumbling back into my kitchen to retrieve another bottle…figuring this would be the one to put me over the edge. I reached in my freezer for the bottle and I pulled it out…and low and behold…look what I find chilling (literally) behind it…. a mini ziploc baggie (picture one that could fit a nickel) containing five 30mg roxicodone pills. I was drunk. I smiled. This day was getting better by the minute. I won the Easter egg hunt after all! Yippieeeee!
To Be Continued….
Today is a very special day. Well…it is to me…for it is the one year anniversary of when I…along with the help of my editor and favorite Auntie Christine…started this blog. Wow…I must say that year went by in the blink of an eye. It has been quite a ride…both literally and figuratively…and I’m almost home. Well…not home-home as in Boston… but my soon to be new home…the sunny land of ….. =)
I have to admit when I first started this blog I was really fucking nervous. I’m talking waiting on an aids test–what’s the results–type of nervous. I mean it’s not every day that I wake up and decide to bear my soul–my inner most thoughts–to even my closest friends and family…and now here I was about to put my shit show of a life on blast for the general public to read…
Remember, this was the very first time since I had been arrested that I was going to publicly address all of the nonsense that had happened. The real story…not just some made up bullshit that the media got a hold of and ran with. It was pretty nerve-wracking for me. I didn’t really know how the public would react to what I had to say. Shit…I didn’t know if people would even take the time to read what I had to say for that matter.
The only thing that I did know for certain was that once I plead guilty and was sentenced to prison…all bets were off. I no longer had to bite my tongue regarding everything, as I had so patiently and unwillingly done at the request of my attorney. I had so many different thoughts and emotions bottled up inside at the time–for some 15 months–I just had to get them all out. I didn’t care who the fuck heard what I had to say…just as long as someone did. So I finally said fuck it…what have I got to lose? Here goes nothing.
Despite my fuck it attitude, it certainly wasn’t easy at first to put my life on blast by any means. Truth be told, I didn’t sleep one bit on the night of my first post. I remember laying there, on my pathetic excuse of a bed, imagining the absolute worst. I must have played through every negative outcome possible in my mind that night…it was awful. I even woke up my cellie in the middle of the night to ask him if he thought I made a mistake. I certainly had regrets…that’s for damn sure.
Imagine you have something you’ve been dying to get off your chest. So you decide to confide in a friend. Imagine putting yourself out there… I mean really out there–like butt-ass naked–to someone you know well and trust. You’re telling this person something about you that no one else knows. Your semi-embarrassed with a slight hint of shame–fearing the outcome. You have no idea how whatever it is you’re telling this person is being perceived…yet you continue to let it all hang out…then you suddenly realize that the very person who you just straight-up told your whole life to…now looks at you differently because of what you told him or her…judging your every word perhaps. How would that feel? Or even fucking worse….the person wasn’t even fucking listening to what you had to say at all….like you just poured your heart out to this person and they were preoccupied. Yeah…imagine that? Shit…that’s how I fucking felt that night. Except I didn’t bear my thoughts to just one mere person who I knew and trusted. I laid it out there for the world to read…think it over.
I will say as time passed, however, nothing was ever as bad as that first night. The more blog entries I wrote, I found that it became easier and easier to just let it all out…no longer fearing the consequences or the possible reactions of others. I just wrote what was on my mind–not giving a fuck. I found that as long as I kept what I had to say raw as hell…real…and most importantly honest…it was nothing to put my shit on blast. I guess I figured that if I just came clean with all of the nonsense that I had done over the years without implicating others (I’m no rat) then I’d truly be free. I’d have no more skeletons in my closet. I’d have nothing left to hide. So when I walk out of here…I’d be me…take it or leave it. I could carry my head held high, knowing I owned up to all my bullshit and I didn’t point the finger at anyone else. And maybe…just maybe…if I shared my story in a way that didn’t glamorize anything…it might prevent someone else from making the same poor choices that I had made along the way…and that would be the greatest reward of all.
So many people ask me how I’m able to put myself out there in the way that I do… BALLS!!! haha! … I tell em’ I have big fucking balls…that’s how! haha! … I kid, I kid…kind of. Truth be told, I honestly don’t know the answer to that question. If I had to guess I’d say (since I’m currently locked up) I find my freedom in writing. I’ve come to find out over the past year that writing has been very therapeutic for me. It’s given me an opportunity, not only to let out my skeletons, but to come to terms with how fucked up I was living when I was free.
They say that hindsight is always 20/20… I couldn’t agree more. It wasn’t until I started traveling down memory lane…writing these blogs and really soul searching…that I finally became honest with myself about everything. Not just with my addictions to drugs (both selling them and doing them), women and the fast life…but in the way I was living my life in general. The truth hurts…I’ll say that much. I was a real asshole…a selfish fucking asshole. They say that assholes finish first–pffffff! Whose first? I’m in fucking prison. Tell that one to Tucker Max. Sure I can say I was young and reckless, but it’s no excuse. I fucked up…plain and simple.
But all of that nonsense is in the past. Not to be forgotten of course…but to be used as a lesson learned….a major wake up call if you will. I’ve come a very long way from the person I once was…again both literally and figuratively. I can say that proudly…and it’s in part because of this blog…and the people who take the time out of their busy lives to read what’s on my mind. Without this blog and the people who read it, I may not have grown into the man that I’m fast becoming…and for that I’m grateful. Which is why I feel that this day is a special day to me….
With that being said…I want to take this opportunity to give thanks…to YOU…the reader…whomever you may be. THANK YOU!! Whether I know you personally or not…thank you…thank you all for taking the time out of your hectic lives to read my stories. To those out there who share, re-post, re-tweet, or re-anything having to do with what I write–THANKS! To those who comment on my thoughts, whether it’s positive or negative feedback…I thank you. Regardless of what you may think of me or how I’ve lived my life thus far, I owe you all a great deal of gratitude. Without all of you reading, posting, and/or commenting on what I have to say, this would be a blog with no audience… a tree falling in the woods with no one to hear it… so I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. As much as I’d love to sit here and thank everyone personally, I’d be here all day. I DO want to go home sometime soon LOL.
Also…the most important thanks of all…
I want to say thank you again to the person who makes this all possible for me. Without her time, effort and insight…this blog wouldn’t even exist…and I may not be the person I am today. I’ll keep this as brief as possible, for she has to edit for spelling and grammar errors and I certainly don’t want to add to her work load…lol.
I’ve grown a great deal over the course of this past year…moreso than in any one particular year of my life. I’ve had ups. I’ve had downs. I’ve learned so much about myself. You gave me the opportunity to help me to help myself grow as a person…if that makes any sense…lol. And…I know it wasn’t easy for you to overlook all my f-bombs (even though I know you deleted some…lol). I know that I’ve expressed my overwhelming gratitude and thanks to you for creating and running this blog on my behalf in my absence many times before, but I’ll say it again…and with pleasure I might add….THANK YOU SO MUCH.
I hope you realize just how much I truly appreciate everything that you’ve done for me…not just with this blog and over the course of this past year…but over the course of my life. You have helped and inspired me in a way that I could never repay…although someday I will surely try. Everyone tells me all the time how lucky I am and how my Auntie Christine is the best. I couldn’t agree more…you are the best and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Remember that….
Love ~ Matthew
A bomb of epic proportions exploded in my luxury sedan on that warm evening in late September. Just how much damage was caused exactly…I didn’t know. I really didn’t want to know. I didn’t even let my former flame get another word in before I absolutely lost it.
I immediately went into an all out panic. Full on, flip the fuck out mode. It was almost as if a real bomb did explode in my vehicle…instead of a metaphorical one…and I was the screaming, crying, raving lunatic of an innocent bystander that got his leg blown off. Yeah…I was that bad…lol.
Try and picture if you will….
Who the fuck got arrested? What happened? When? Tell me everything! What the fuck do you mean there’s more? Am I fucked? I’m fucked aren’t I?! Are the cops after me? Did they come by the house? Fuck! fuck! fuck!!… did you tell them anything? Shit. I knew I shouldn’t have left rehab. Fuck! Drive faster will ya! I need to get the fuck home right now! Where’s my phone? I’m getting the fuck outta here! Go around this guy! Can you fucking drive kid!? (I yelled to an innocent driver out of my passenger window). Fuck! Babe, how did this happen? Do you think I’m fucked? I can’t go to fucking jail! I’m alright, right?– I stopped. They’ve got nothing on me. What the fuck is up with this fucking phone like?! (as I started to slam my phone repeatedly on my dashboard as if that would help the situation). Why doesn’t my fucking password work!? Fuck it! (as I throw my phone off my windshield in disgust). Give me your phone! Where is it? I need to get in touch with so and so…fuck! I don’t know his number! Why is my fucking phone locked!? (as I throw her phone the same way I threw mine). This isn’t happening right now. I’m going to lose it. This is why I fucking sniff pills…for times like these! I’m fucking going to jail? fuck. my. life….worst day ever……………… and so forth.
Embarrassingly enough, that was just a small preview of what went down after I heard that news. My little tirade of non-stop questions, swearing, answering my own questions and accusations lasted a good fifteen minutes. Out of control I was… I was sweating. I was punching things. I was spitting. I was cursing as if I didn’t know any other words…awful. I probably looked like a fucking maniac. Yep… that was me, Matty the maniac. I was fresh out of rehab, but I’m pretty positive that my ex thought I was very much still on drugs that night.
If I would have just stopped and taken a breath…calmed the fuck down and let my ex continue on with whatever it was she still had to say…instead of acting like a drugged up maniac…I would have found out that I may have jumped to conclusions a wee bit too fast. Lesson learned. This is why I made those rules from my previous blog DO NOT PANIC…so no one else repeats my mistakes.
In my defense (and I don’t have much to go on here…lol) I had literally just gotten out of rehab. I was a nervous wreck to begin with before I even got into my car that night. I was due to snap about something. It was inevitable. But it’s not all my fault… OK…well it is my fault I mean…but I had been on those fucking pills every single minute of every day for two years. That’s not even counting the many other years of heavy recreational use of other party drugs. I was fucked up. Just because I went into rehab and was technically “clean” doesn’t mean I was fully back to normal by any means. In fact I wasn’t even close. That would take some time. My mind was still definitely all over the fucking place…clearly.
When I heard my ex mention “friends arrested”, I automatically assumed the worst and I panicked. I thought it had something to do with me and the business I had previously been involved in. Paranoid much?… you have no idea. Chalk that up to one of the many side effects of coming off of drugs…more of which I’ll explain later and in future blogs to come. This is why I can’t stress enough about how badly drugs fuck your whole shit up.
I ended up finding out (after my little episode) that I was way off in my assumptions…well kind of. Yes, two people (that will remain nameless–pffffff) that I know–not that I was friends with–did get arrested…and yes…it was for selling roxies–the very same drug that I had been selling in mass quantities before rehab. However, thankfully enough, I had nothing to do with either of those two guys. Therefore (at the time) no police, feds, or any other law enforcement agencies knew my name or what trade I had been involved in…so I knew I was good…at least for the time being.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all sunshine and butterflies once I realized I had been wrong in my assumptions. On the contrary, I was still slightly worried, but it wasn’t to the point where I was yelling obscenities out the window of my car to other vehicles on the highway. Sure…I was so relieved to hear that it wasn’t anyone I was close with…but deep down I knew that both of the jokers that had gotten pinched knew of what I used to deal in. So I was a little nervous that they may try and throw up a hail Mary to help save themselves by tossing my name around in conversations with law enforcement officials. The only solace I had was that I knew neither of them had any proof or credibility for that matter. But even still, I didn’t want my name out there like that.
As worried as I may have been, I tried my best to put the new information at hand in the back of my mind and try relaxing a little. One episode was certainly enough for that evening…and I didn’t see my ex holding up a lighter for an encore performance…so I played it cool. The two of us drove home in silence for the most part, enjoying the radio and the warm evening…until I asked her what she meant when she said “there’s more?”
After receiving what appeared to be a look of bewilderment…followed by a semi-smile from my ex…I came to find out a few more answers to some questions that I had…
While I was away, basking in the glory of drug rehab, my ex was hard at work. She took it upon herself to go through my blackberry (which is never a good thing) and make some adjustments to my social life. She decided it was in my–or her–best interest to call, text, and/or Facebook everyone and their mother who could possibly have any ties to roxies and all things drugs. I guess she told, or should I say threatened, all these randoms to stay the fuck away from me, to lose my number and to never give me drugs under any circumstances. I was fucking mortified to hear this.
I see now that her heart may have been the right place, but at the time I was not the least bit happy. I was trying to keep my drug addiction and my rehab stay under wraps and away from the general public…and here she was telling everyone in my phone. Her calling, texting, and fb messaging threats to an unknown…yet probably very large…amount of people really threw a wrench into my plans of secrecy. pffff.
Then, to add insult to injury, if that wasn’t bad enough…I came to find out that one of the people she called and messaged was none other than…YUP…you guessed it…one of the two newly arrested idiots that she had mentioned earlier…THAT was the “there’s more”. I can’t even begin to explain how badly I wanted to flip the fuck out when I heard this. I wanted to go home, pack a bag, and get as far away from Boston as possible…for good. It was if she turned on the panic switch. I was now certain that I was on the radar of the feds…and I was probably going to jail…awful.
I didn’t yell. I didn’t start to panic. I didn’t even show cause for concern when she told me what she had done. I honestly had no energy left to snap. I couldn’t argue even if I wanted to. All I really felt at that moment was a hopeless sense of despair. I just wanted to get home, eat, unwind and put the day behind me. That might have been the longest and most emotional roller coaster car ride in my life. Food and sleep–that’s all I wanted.
When we arrived back at my apartment I had kind of a fuck it attitude. I realized that everything was out of my hands and there was nothing that I could do. Tomorrow would be another day. I tried my hardest to forget what I had just heard and just enjoy the moment. Sure, I acted like a fucking lunatic, but I was free…I was with my girl…pfffff lol…and I had my favorite carrot cake. It wasn’t so bad after all.
The remainder of the night went off without hitch. We enjoyed our food and each others company. I’m pretty sure I ate the whole carrot cake myself. Then we showered and went to bed…yada yada wink…forty five to sixty seconds later I was on my roof smoking a cigarette while she slept…or laughed at how quick I lasted LOL!. Another side effect of coming off of pills…need I say more about how bad drugs can fuck your whole shit up? LOL
Finally I came back inside after enjoying my cigarette and I went to bed…or tried to anyways. I had a lot on my mind. So much had happened and I was pretty sure this was only the beginning. I didn’t know what the future held for me. It had definitely been a long day…one which I was extremely glad was over… I slept….
Only to be woken up about four hours later… I was in a pool of sweat… I had the chills… I felt like… like shit… it was almost as if…. wait… nah it couldn’t be…. it was almost as if the withdrawals were back….. FUCK.
To be continued……
When somebody–particularly someone that you’ve been dating for a while–tells you after a long absence from each other that they have news for you…don’t panic. That’s rule number one. Pay no mind to the fact that they just happened to leave out the word good in front of the word news. Relax…it still might not be bad news…well not that bad anyways. Maybe it’s just general news like the upcoming weather forecast for instance….nothing to lose sleep over…wishful thinking.
Rule two…if this person decides to ask you, after informing you of this impending news, if you prefer the good or bad news first–always…and I mean always…choose the bad news first. There’s nothing worse than getting all jacked up on euphoria from spectacular news, then all of a sudden being shot back down to earth feeling like oh woe is fucking me. The anxiety then depression from that alone could cause serious damage to your psyche. I’d much rather take the not so pleasant news first, get it out of the way, and perhaps end the conversation on a high note. Anyway…that’s just me…
Rule number three…quite possibly the most important rule of all…once you get the news–both good and bad–stay calm and think before you act. I can’t stress this point enough. Do not…I repeat do. not. fucking. panic…take a few minutes to digest the information at hand. Try and analyze the situation and think it all over before you flip the fuck out and end up saying or doing something you will regret later on. This type of behavior is not a good look. It leads to rash impulsive decisions. From what I’ve learned over the years, irrational behavior leads nowhere good…and fast. So please try and stay calm for Pete’s sake…or fuck it…flip the fuck out and throw shit…that’s what I did. I had to learn all of this the hard way………
I decided to let my girl drive us home. Well…she might have insisted that she was driving actually…I don’t really remember. Either way it was fine by me. I would have walked if that was my only option. I just wanted to get as far away from that place as possible…and fast.
The moment I got in the passenger side of my car, I immediately smiled again. I noticed a box with a clear top revealing my favorite carrot cake from Whole Foods resting comfortably on my seat. I forget what the frosting inscription said word for word…but I remember it was really nice.
*BTW…if you’ve never had the absolute pleasure of tasting this particular carrot cake that I speak of…you are seriously missing out. What the hell are you waiting for? Click the little X on your screen. Put down your handheld devices…and drop whatever nonsense it is that you might be doing and hightail it over to Whole Foods…like right now. Not later. Not tomorrow. Right fucking now. Yes, actually it is that good. Don’t worry…the blog will be here when you get back. In fact, you might enjoy it even more now that your taste buds have been fully satisfied. That cake is nothing short of spectacular…I promise you…why wouldn’t you trust the guy in prison?? GO!
Back to the story…….
I remember thinking….wow, this day can’t get any better…I’m finally free…it’s a beautiful night…I have my best girl with me…carting my ass around for a change…and I have my favorite carrot cake, which I may or may not share with her. Life is pretty fucking good. I should have done this whole rehab thing a long time ago. Shit, maybe I should play the lotto tonight…never know, if things are going this good I just might win.
Boy was I fucking right. The remainder of the day couldn’t and wouldn’t get any better. Just the opposite actually. It was about to take a turn for the worst…
She drove while I showered her with the expected thank you’s, the you’re so thoughtfuls, and the ever popular goo goo ga ga I love you’s. I make myself sick sometimes…they don’t call me loverboy for nothing. Hey, I really loved that carrot cake…don’t hate. I would have serenaded her with a song if it got me that cake.
The conversation soon shifted to my experiences in rehab. I told her about the different (and I use the term loosely) people I met and how I thought I discovered a new species that slept two beds over from me. I told her about all the crazy shit I saw and how the whole set up reminded me of a prison. Then I made it really dramatic and told her about what my mind and body went through while I came off drugs.
I laid it on really thick. I spared no details. I told her all of the good stuff. To be honest I was probably playing the sympathy card a little bit…like awwwww…poor Matthew…you get the idea. Anything to perhaps make her forget, or at the very least forgive me for all of the bullshit of the past. Works every time…lol.
I also informed her about the theft of my pants. I went on for about twenty minutes about guy code and how you just don’t steal another man’s pants. It’s fucking unethical and immoral. She laughed at me hysterically. Like it was some sort of twisted joke. Like my pants didn’t matter….whatever. I guess I got no sympathy there huh?
The two of us ended up stopping for food somewhere on Route One. It may have been Carrabba’s or the Kowloon. I honestly forget. It was take-out of course. I was in no mood to run into someone I knew…which around my way is very likely. Picture that convo…
Random: Hey Matty, long time no see…how are you?
Me: Hey what’s up…I just got out of rehab an hour ago. Those fucks stole my pants!
Random: (awkward blank stare) Oh…um…that’s too bad…um…well my table is ready…good (awkward pause) to see you..
Me: Yeah, you too…pfff
I definitely wasn’t ready for any public places or interactions, so me going in to grab the food…not so much. She ended up running in the restaurant. I figured then was as good a time as any to start hitting a few people up and telling them I was out…so I looked around my car for my phone…which I found chillin’ in the glove box.
The phone was off. So I powered it on. It was kind of weird to hold a phone. I hadn’t been gone that long, but it still felt strange. I was actually a little nervous to start hitting people up. Like what would I say? Remember, I said in rehab I was in this little bubble. Now it was like I’m back out there…it was real life again…and it was about to get real, really quick…
I had a little inconvenience when my phone powered on. My blackberry was password protected…just not with the password that I created. I remember thinking…fuck. This can’t be good. She must have found something and didn’t want to give me a chance to see it and come up with an elaborate defense as I normally would have done. I had a million thoughts running through my mind…all bad. I cursed myself for leaving my phone with her…mistake number one….
This is when drugs would have come in handy. I could have sniffed a pill or twelve and this lil’ problem would be nothing. I’d laugh it off. That is…if there even was a problem. I still didn’t know. My stomach was back in knots. Anxiety kicked in again. It’s not that I had a guilty conscience…cause at the time I had no conscience at all…I only cared about myself. I just think, looking back, that without drugs even the littlest type of conflict felt like it was epic. You have to realize I was on those pills for almost two years…numb…not giving a fuck. Now it was like a changed password was about to be the end of the world. Drugs are bad…
Instead of working myself into an absolute panic, I used some breathing exercises I had picked up a few years prior. Inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth, slowly, while counting back from five to one…repeat if necessary. I calmed myself down. I shut off my phone and stuck it back in the glove box as if I never took it out in the first place. Out of sight out of mind…at least for the moment.
I came to the realization that there might be a perfectly reasonable explanation for the password change…and if there wasn’t…fuck it. I would just make up some bogus excuse for whatever accusation was about to come my way. It worked so much in the past, I figured it would work then. Old habits are hard to break…
A few minutes later she got back in the car. She handed over the bags containing the take-out, which smelled amazing btw…and we started back on our journey home. More small talk ensued while I snuck bites of the carrot cake. Hey can ya blame me? That cake is awesome. She’s lucky I didn’t eat the whole thing while she ran in the restaurant.
I noticed the mood in my vehicle had kind of changed. No, it wasn’t because I was eating my cake. However, I’m sure that didn’t help. I couldn’t really put my finger on what was up. It wasn’t a hostile mood, it was something else. I looked over at her, she’d stopped conversing, and she had this expression on her face….not anger…perhaps deep thought. She looked as if she was contemplating telling me that the world as I knew it was about to come to an end…
I tried to pay it no mind. I certainly wasn’t about to play the whole what’s wrong/what’s on ya mind game. I had just left rehab…I honestly didn’t want to hear what might have been wrong. Selfish…sure…but it was sadly true. I was focused on me and my feelings alone. Notice how I didn’t mention that the ride home conversation had been about her or what she had been up to the whole time while I was in rehab. I kept it all light and all about me. For all I knew, she might have already gotten married to someone else while I was inside…or god knows what else…the possibilities were endless. But at that particular moment, I didn’t want to hear it. So I did as I always have done, I avoided the obvious problem on her mind.
I honestly don’t think I was ready for real life again. Relationship issues, problems, solutions, bills, family, shit like that. I didn’t really have the patience for any of it on that ride home. I almost longed to be back inside my bubble. That might sound fucked but it’s true. That’s how I felt at the time. If you saw the look on her face that night you might have longed to be anywhere but in that car….
There was what I call an awkward silence for what seemed like forever. You could have cut the tension in my car with a knife. I remember thinking what the fuck happened in a matter of 20 minutes? We were just talking and laughing about my pants and such, and now all of a sudden it’s like everything’s changed. I guess the closer and closer we got to my apartment…the more real it got…for both of us. That’s the only way I could rationalize it.
So then, out of nowhere…she looks at me with this look…it wasn’t anger…it was something different…and decides to break the silence and says….I have some news for you Matthew…
And before I could even muster up a word or an excuse or anything….
She hits me with–while you were gone….two of your friends were arrested…….
and there’s more…..
To Be Continued…
I remember the night I got released from rehab as if it were yesterday. I think it’s such a vivid memory because the overwhelming feeling of anxiety I had experienced that night was like no other. Don’t get me wrong, the moments right before I was about to be sentenced to an unknown amount of time in prison were pretty fucking nerve wracking as well, but that night was completely different. It was epic. It was the very first time in my entire life when I wasn’t absolutely sure of myself…or what I was going to do.
While I was stuck in rehab I was kind of in my own little world. A bubble…if that makes any sense. The real world went on without me…as it always does and will…but I didn’t have to pay it any mind. The only things I really had to worry about were getting clean from drugs and learning how to stay sober. Real life nonsense such as relationships, social life, bills, work and whatnot were probably the last things on my mind. Now as I was about to exit rehab…stage right…all those real life issues were about to hit me full force.
This usually isn’t such a big deal. I mean everyone has these things to deal with. It’s part of life. But for me it would be the first time in several years that I would have to deal with such life issues and make them priorities, without drugs to fall back on and help me cope with any stresses caused. It was like I was about to be tossed back into the deep end…this time with no floaties. Truth be told, the thought of this scared the fucking shit out of me. This is my story…….
It was a rather warm evening in September. Almost too warm…considering that October was just a few days away. The sweats and zip-up hoodie I was sporting were probably a little much, considering the weather, but I didn’t care. I was just happy as hell to finally be getting discharged from that hellhole once and for all. I was about to be a free man and I liked it…
Before I left…while I was waiting for the staff to draw up my release papers…I was sitting around with a few of the guys joking around and shooting the shit. One of them asked me innocently enough, “Yo Matty, so what are you going to do when you get outta’ here?” I paused and tried to play it coy. I responded with, “I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I’m going to do something.” Honestly, I really didn’t know what the hell I was going to do, but I played like it was nothing, like I had a ton of options when I got out of there. Perhaps I did, but I didn’t know. Until he asked I hadn’t even really given it any thought. Like I said before, I was in a controlled bubble world…no worries. Now this kid asks this simple question and I start stressing. That’s right about when the anxiety started to kick in.
Once I signed myself out of there, I said my goodbyes and good lucks to a few of the guys…then it really started to hit me. I was actually nervous…nervous fucking nervous. I was about to see the world through sober eyes for the very first time in God knows how long. No drugs. No alcohol. No steroids. Nothing…well nothing other than the short-lived cigarette habit I picked up while in rehab. That would have to do. I was practically shaking…not to mention I was sweating my balls off. I don’t know if it was because I was really nervous to go back out there or because I was dressed for January in September…
Regardless, I managed to push my nerves to the side. I tried to snap the fuck out of it. I remembered that I was free…I was still handsome…lol…and still had money. I’d be just fine…I hoped…so I strolled out of there with a smile on my face and my luggage in my hand. I was still short a pair of pants, but I didn’t give a fuck because I was a free man. This was my first taste of losing my freedom by the way, even though it was partially voluntary, so that’s why I was stoked when I was getting out of there. At that moment when I walked out the doors, I felt as if I was ten years wiser. At the very least, I knew I was about ten pounds lighter (hence me wearing a hoodie and not just a t-shirt).
Despite all of this anxiety that was building up inside of me, on the whole, I felt pretty fucking good…a little skinnier…but good. I was free. I can’t stress enough how good it feels to be released after being stuck somewhere for so long. There would be no more shitty food served on a tray. No more uncomfortable mattresses that hurt my back. No more random bodily sounds of patients to deal with…both human and wildebeest alike. No more being told when to eat, when to take my meds, and when to sleep by rude and obviously underpaid staff. I could go on…you get the point. Little did I know that several months later I would have to deal with the same shit in the same type of setting all over again…this time while wearing an orange jumpsuit…and I’d be behind bars. Life’s a trip huh?
And there she was…my then soon-to-be bride. She was leaning against my car which she had conveniently, yet illegally parked right out front of the rehab entrance. As soon as I laid eyes on her, my smile that I was forcing a few minutes prior became real…very real. Shit…I was probably beaming ear to ear…I was smitten.
She smiled back. I won’t get into the details of the lovey dovey dramatics of that evening outside of the rehab. Let’s just say that if this was a movie…this would be the scene where the cheesy music kicks in, the guy drops his luggage, the girl drops whatever she’s holding, and the two lovers sprint toward each other in slow motion until they reach each other in a loving embrace. Use your imagination if you must…that was us in a nutshell.
For a brief moment, it felt as if the world had stopped. All of the anxiety I was going through completely vanished, as if it were never there (but nothing like that lasts and it would be back, tenfold…). I felt truly happy for the first time in a while…actually it was the first time in the longest where I felt my own feelings of joy, and not the artificial feelings of happiness caused by the pills I was consuming. However, I can’t really pinpoint the cause of this new found feeling of happiness. Perhaps it was because I was free from what felt like prison…both from rehab and drugs in their own ways. Maybe it was because she was actually there like she said she would be. Despite all of the bullshit I had put her through during the time we were together, I mean with the drug dealing and the drug using among my many other pains caused, she was still there, on time, with a smile on her face as if she were actually happy to see me. Better yet…maybe…just maybe…I was happy for new beginnings…a fresh start with her…my family…and my friends. I could leave the past in the past and the pills in the rehab. I was 25 years old and I had gotten my life back.
At the time, despite all of my doubts and insecurities of what was to come, I guess you could say I was pretty optimistic about everything. The way I saw it, everything–the wedding, job, new lifestyle, etc–would just work itself out like it always has for me. Kind of like a cosmic reward for me getting off drugs. I honestly felt that since I was technically clean from drugs, I would be a completely changed person. Like it could happen overnight…as if the lies, the infidelities, and all the other bullshit would be over…I was dreaming apparently. I was wrong…so very wrong…yeah, life was going to change, damn sure of that…but little did I know that it wasn’t going to change in the ways I expected. I had no idea what I was in for…and it started on the ride home…….
To Be Continued…
Opiate withdrawals might be one of the worst experiences that a human mind and body can endure. Picture yourself…
You are sitting at home. Alone. On…let’s say…a January day. You have run out of pills. You don’t know what to expect. Your body suddenly gets a rush of warmth. It’s almost a nice feeling at first, considering the outside conditions. But then it turns to extreme heat. I’m talking Africa times Las Vegas in July type of heat. You start to perspire. It’s a light sweat at first. Then you’re sweating profusely. You are now literally dripping with sweat…out of every pore. Pores that you didn’t even know existed are now leaking. Attractive. It gets to the point where you think that you are going to literally melt from the inside out. You get a bright idea…one of many. You remove some clothing. You guzzle some refreshing ice water out of your bubbler. Nothing. You sweat even more. The heat builds up. You then decide to remove all of your clothing, which is now soaked from all of the sweat. Nothing. You are still hot as balls. You turn on an air conditioner (or central air when applicable)…in January. Sharp. Nope…you’re still melting away. Now you’re fresh out of ideas so you make a last ditch effort at cooling off. You jump in the shower. A cold shower. Ten minutes of that heat is almost unbearable, so you’ve resorted to taking an ice cold shower in January. Then the cold shower starts to work…but does it?
Now all of a sudden your body is consumed with chills. It’s fucking freezing. You’re covered in goosebumps. Your muscles are flexed. You’re almost curled up in a ball…in the shower mind you. Your jaw is chattering. It’s that cold. You get out of the shower and dry off. You sprint to the air conditioner (or central air if applicable) and immediately shut it off. Nothing is working…still freezing your ass off. I’m talking Boston in February…while outside at night naked type of cold. So, another bright idea hits you. You turn the heat up…all the way up. You begin to layer up with clothing again. Thermals. Winter hat. Sweats. Shit…even gloves. You are now dressed for a day in Alaska. Fuck it, right? It beats being cold. Only nothing is working…the chills remain…until…
That’s it, nice and warm all of a sudden. Ahhhh. It must have been the gloves…what a move. But wait, it’s getting hot again. Real hot. The hot flashes are back. This time it’s even worse. Much more intense heat. Maybe that glove and hat combo indoors wasn’t such a bright idea after all. The sweats are back…and soon will be the chills. Hot to cold. Hot to cold. Hot to cold. Hot to cold. Every ten minutes or so. Just long enough for you to get dressed, then undressed, and repeat. Long enough to drive you fucking crazy. The laundry piles up. The madness begins…
The hot and cold spells don’t stop…they only get worse. In the midst of all that nonsense, you start to feel completely weak all over. Your muscles…better yet…your whole body is aching. Fatigue. You’re too weak to even stand up. It’s too hot to try and lie down…wouldn’t want to sweat on those new sheets. While trying to maintain composure, the chills are back, so you need to curl up. Every bone in your entire body begins to ache…all at once. Every single muscle fiber feels pain. Not sharp pain, but aching pain. It feels like the day after you just worked out with weights for the very first time. It’s not pleasant by any means. Too weak to move, yet hot and cold kind of throws a wrench into those plans. The pains are constant. It doesn’t cycle like the hot and cold. It’s all day…so get used to it. It’s not enough pain for tears. It’s just enough to make you feel like death.
Speaking of death, while all of this is going on you begin to feel sick. Like nauseous-type of sick. Enough so that you have to muster up some energy to make it to the bathroom to vomit. Better hurry, the bathroom is downstairs. You make it…barely…and begin to throw up…which is weird because you haven’t eaten a thing. This also causes you great pain. I guess a lot more muscles than you thought are used when you throw up. Your abdominal muscles feel like someone ran over them in an armored truck…twice. The sweat is blinding your eyes as you hover over the almighty toilet bowl. The chills become so bad that you feel like turning on the fucking oven and taking up residence inside for the day. Throwing up didn’t make you feel the least bit better. Only worse. Muscles and bones that didn’t hurt as bad before now throb in pain. This isn’t alcohol poisoning or bad sushi…this is opiate withdrawal…and you’ve only just begun.
You’re probably beginning to question when this madness is going to end. Or better yet…if there is a God…why is he doing this to you. Well this isn’t ending anytime soon. Sorry.
You have been going through hell all fucking day–non stop. You haven’t eaten. You tried but it got thrown right up. You feel drained. You have nothing left to give. All your hopes, dreams, ambitions are in the toilet bowl. Seeing that it’s now nighttime, your usual time for bed, you decide to make an attempt at sleeping. You fail miserably. Even though you’re clearly tired, there will be no sleeping. Your legs are sore as shit. Yet they’re moving all over the place. It’s as if no position on that bed of yours is comfortable enough. That’s called restless leg syndrome. Get used to it. Maybe it’s the small pool of sweat you’re laying in that’s prohibiting you from sleeping. Maybe it’s the fact you feel like vomiting every time you turn to a new side. It might be. But probably not. Insomnia. No pills means no sleep. This begins to drive you crazy. So hopefully if you are fortunate enough, you have a working television for your entertainment seeing as it’s late and you can’t sleep. You turn on the TV. Once again your fucked. It’s all infomercials. There’s nothing on at 4AM. Get used to it.
The sun finally comes up. A new day. You barely notice. The symptoms have gotten so bad you’re contemplating suicide. You haven’t slept a wink. You haven’t eaten. You look and feel like absolute shit. That’s when the depression starts to kick in hard body. You begin to feel helpless. Alone. Lazy. You even might start hallucinating. Not fun. You don’t even have the energy to get out of that bed to switch the AC back on because the chills are over and it’s back to sweat city. If given the choice you would choose to die. Right then and there. This has only been 24 hours…not even close to feeling better. It’s only going to get worse…fuck.
Now I want you to picture going through what I just described…over and over…for let’s say…fourteen days. As each day passes, the symptoms get worse…more intense…brutal even. Hot flashes. Cold chills. Aches. Pains. Insomnia. Nausea. Depression. Fatigue. Hallucinations…over and over. Picture the worst flu that you’ve ever had. Now times that by a thousand. That was a day at the beach compared to opiate withdrawals. Yeah…it’s that bad.
I realize that there are numerous people out there that have never had to experience withdrawals from oxys, or any opiates for that matter. Consider yourselves lucky. I won’t sugarcoat it by any means…it’s fucking brutal. The whole experience really takes a toll on the body, especially the mind. Sure, the physical aspect sucks pretty bad, don’t get me wrong. But what your mind goes through during and after coming off opiates is the real bitch. Depression, hallucinations, insomnia, and the overall morbid feeling…all which can last several months after you stop using…are nothing compared to the cravings you get. It’s almost like a hunger sensation, but it’s not for food. It’s the little thought in your head of knowing that just one little pill can and will make everything all better again. It’s fucking torture. Day in and day out….and it doesn’t go away…ever. Even to this day I still get cravings. Not very often. Not like I used to…but they’re still there…and I haven’t used a drug in years. Over time they obviously get more and more faint, which makes it much easier to abstain. But at first…oh man it’s bad. It’s the biggest reason why people end up relapsing within the first few days, or even hours, after withdrawals begin. Shit is really no joke. Once the pills grab a hold of your balls in that vice grip, they usually don’t let go very easily.
Luckily for yours truly, I happen to be a genius. After suffering one too many times from withdrawals by trying to go cold turkey, I realized that wasn’t happening. I went to rehab. I didn’t really have to suffer too badly with symptoms. I was put on a certain combination of medications that made withdrawals from opiates bearable. Not completely absent by any means…but definitely bearable…that is until the morning after I checked out of there. Then it wasn’t so pleasant. I’ll get to that later…
I spent the majority of my time in rehab sleeping, especially at first. Well actually it was a drug induced coma…same difference. I guess the meds I was on really did the trick. I must have slept some 20 hours a day at first while my body adjusted to the opiates leaving my system. I wasn’t complaining by any means. I even slept through the wildebeest’s nightly symphony of bodily functions like it was nothing. The only time I woke up was for food, bathroom, or more meds. I was a walking zombie for the first few days no doubt. I can only imagine how handsome I must have looked. I’m sure it wasn’t pretty. Maybe it was good that there were no females after all…
Once my body finally got used to the new medication, I was awake much more. During that time, when I wasn’t in mandatory NA meetings or group therapy, there really weren’t many recreational options or things to do. For the most part, I stayed in my room and occupied my time by reading…which I didn’t mind one bit because I love to read. Occasionally I would come out of my chambers and shoot the shit or play cards with my boy Anthony and the other guys, but even that gets old. Remember, I was detoxing. I still had symptoms. They weren’t completely gone, so I wasn’t really my usual personable self. I just wanted to be alone while I went through it. Being around a bunch of people while having mild hot/cold flashes and whatnot didn’t really appeal to me…
Every now and again I would make some phone calls to the outside world. Probably not as much as I should’ve but oh well, I was detoxing. I mostly called my mother Laura, some family members, a few friends, and obviously the woman that I had been seeing at the time…considering I was still technically engaged and all. However, I’m not getting into that right now…maybe down the line. The calls were mostly pleasant in nature but I know how worried everyone was about me….I could tell in their tones. Shit, to tell you the truth I was more worried about myself than they were. Not so much about staying off of drugs really. I know I definitely didn’t want to have to end up in a shit hole rehab ever again. I was more worried about how I was living my life on the whole and how in the hell I was going to change. The whole being a drug dealer, all of the partying, not to mention the alleged upcoming wedding that I still had to finish planning…really ate at me while I was stuck in there. It wasn’t sitting too well with me at all. There were so many questions I had about my future. So many uncertainties…and all of this while coming off of drugs…well…it wasn’t fun…not one bit.
Rehab really opened my eyes to a lot of shit. I saw a whole side of the aftermath of drug abuse that I had never really been exposed to prior. I saw just how badly the road of drug addiction can and will end. I wanted absolutely no part of it. I met all sorts of different walks of life…with one common characteristic…they were all drug addicts. Homeless guys, wildebeest looking creatures, young kids, older guys, guys who were just in rehab for a place to stay and some free food…all with a story of how they let addiction get too far. Some guys were once just like me, but now they had nothing and no one left. All because of drugs. Their lives completely fucked up–beyond fixing. All of their bridges were burned and now they were left to live under a bridge. Waiting on the next scheme to get high, trying to survive. All they had left in life was a massive drug dependency and the clothes on their backs. Well one of them had my pants as well, so he’s clearly doing better than the rest. I knew for certain I didn’t want to end up like that. It was almost as if I got a glimpse of the future if I stayed down the path I was on…you know…using drugs, partying, selling drugs, all the lies, the bullshit I was putting everyone through. That future wasn’t for me. Truth be told, it scared the fucking shit out of me…
The remainder of my stay at rehab was uneventful in terms of anything interesting happening. I successfully finished the program and I was no longer physically dependent on oxycodone. That made me happy. But yet I was still scared at the same time. I now had to go back into the real world without the drug I had been relying on for the past two years or so. I hoped for the best. All in all I look at my stay in rehab as an overall success, considering I never had to go back again. I think I did just fine. I guess it’s pretty safe to say that aside from being a victim of grand pants larceny, rehab was probably the best decision I’ve ever made…
However…when I walked out of there on that warm September evening I had more questions than I did answers…and that’s when the madness began…to be continued…..
UPDATE: The search still continues for my missing pants; the culprit is still at large…
I don’t really know what’s worse…accidentally bringing illegal drugs into rehab with me, being overly happy about the fact that I found these accidentally placed pills in my hoodie pocket, or better yet…maybe the worst of all…the fact that I offered to share my new found surprise with the group of guys that I had been chilling with…like that was a perfectly okay and normal thing to do. As if a group of drug addicts, stuck in a shit hole for a rehab, bored out of their minds, would say no….
At the time I didn’t see a problem with any of these things. My high that I walked in there with was fading. It wasn’t completely gone, but it was definitely fading fast. I looked at my new found treasure as a sign from the powers above. As if to say, let’s keep this fucking party going…and shit, the way I saw it, I thought I was doing a good thing–being unselfish–by offering to share with everyone when I could have just kept them all for myself.
I would love to be able to tell you that we fought the good fight against drugs and we came out victorious…that we just said NO to drugs…that we were above the influence…or that we practiced any of those other cliche drug ads that you see on TV…I can’t. As soon as the smoke break was over with and we were let back inside the building, I led the brigades to my room and victory was ours, and ours alone. The pills were crushed and sniffed faster than I’d ever seen the process done. I was happy. I can’t speak for the other guys, but I’m sure they were pleased as well….
While still enjoying my new found high, I figured I’d hop on the ol’ payphone and call a few friends and family members. Well, I could only remember a select few phone numbers, so I figured I might as well call my mother Laura. We exchanged obvious pleasantries. I believe her first words and the gist of the conversation from her perspective, was something along the lines of just how proud she was of me for getting help, how much she loved me and supported me, and how I didn’t have to worry about anything while I was gone, other than getting the help I needed, cleaning myself up, and getting better. Guilt ensued. Shit…guilt is an understatement for how I felt on that first night during and after talking to my mother. Here I was, son of the fucking year already, admitted drug addict, admitted drug dealer, high as a fucking kite while sitting in a rehab, listening to my unsuspecting and supportive mother tell me how proud she was of me. I had hit a new low. I obviously lied to her. I told her that I was doing great. I told her of how I had run into an old friend and how my first day went by without a hitch…I was on my way. I told her how I was so eager to clean up, go back to working a regular job, and how I hadn’t even thought of ever touching another pill ever again (stories)…what was I supposed to do….rat myself out? “Oh yeah, hey Ma. I’m doing great. I love it here…listen to this…so I found a bunch of loose 30s in my sweatshirt. Pretty funny right? Oh yeah, crushed and sniffed faster than I found them, all gone. YES Ma, of COURSE I shared…what kind of man do you think I am? I DO have manners…ok, ok….love you too, call you tomorrow. Ciao….” Yeah, that would have went over really well…let me tell you. So…I did what I thought was necessary. I lied…at least I felt guilty about it.
After the phone call with my mother, I was pretty disgusted with myself. I made no more calls. I spent the remainder of my night all alone…high…but not enjoying it because of the overwhelming guilt and feeling sorry for myself. I ended up falling asleep fully clothed while reading one of my favorite books that I had brought in with me.
I realized I had really hit rock bottom when I woke up the next morning to a plethora of unpleasantness (if that’s even a word…lol). Let’s see… I was in a strange, unfamiliar bed, which normally might have been a good thing…lol…but that day…not so much. I was all alone and it was brutally uncomfortable. I was mildly soaked with presumably my own sweat. I had what appeared to be mild chills. “Fucking pissa…the withdrawals had begun.” I was no longer high. I was insanely hungry. I still felt guilty for the previous night’s debauchery and for lying (yet again) to my poor mother. To top it all off, when I opened my eyes, the first thing I saw (yes…I said thing) was what looked like a fucking wildebeest sprawled out in one of the other beds a few feet from mine. It was facing in my direction. It was presumably a male of its species, seeing there were no female patients in rehab. It was drooling or sweating, or perhaps both, definitely going through some major withdrawals. This creature was snoring and farting simultaneously in the most unpleasant melody I have ever heard….nice way to wake up and start my day huh? Yup, I had arrived in hell…oh yeah, if anyone sees Tucker Max, tell him they don’t serve beer…and if they do…I didn’t get any. All I got was drug withdrawals, a snore and farting symphony for the ages, and my first ever legitimate excuse for wanting to end my life….
After I woke up to that shit, I figured that my day could only get better…boy was I wrong…
I was told by the nurse, even though I was clearly going through some serious withdrawals, that I wouldn’t be placed on any medications to help me until later that night…or even worse…possibly the next morning. Which meant, since it was six in the morning at the time, I would have to suffer for possibly the next twenty four hours. “Fuck. My. Life…” Remember, withdrawals from opiates only get worse as the day progresses. Considering I felt like shit then, I could only imagine what was in store for me. As one would imagine, this didn’t please me. Once again, I thought of escaping…once again, I realized I was fucked. I’ll tell you one thing, I definitely regretted sharing the pills I had found the night before with everyone.
I tried to take my mind off of the fact that I felt like death, which was rapidly getting worse by the second…or so it seemed…by trying to wolf down a little breakfast. Bad idea. That hunger I felt upon waking up had subsided. The mere sight and smell of food made me nauseous. Anyone who knows what it’s like to withdraw from roxys, or any opiates for that matter, feels my pain. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t go back to sleep. My body ached in the worst way. I was cycling from hot to cold every ten minutes or so…it was fucking miserable. Especially considering I wasn’t withdrawing in the comforts of my own home, in my own bed, with my own TV. Nope…I was stuck in some shitty rehab, with an uncomfortable bed to lay in, with no TV anywhere close to where I laid my head (it was two rooms over). Not to mention, I was stuck in a room going through all this shit with a room full of strangers…good times…let me tell you.
However, I didn’t have to suffer for too long. One of my new friends, whom I had selflessly shared my pills with on the previous night, decided to return the favor. He had witnessed me arguing, more like begging and pleading, with the nurse in the AM pill line about how shitty I felt and how she held the key to making me feel all better. Then he witnessed me attempt to eat breakfast and fail miserably. After mid-day pill line, he gave me…well…to this day I’m not quite sure as I never asked…some pill-like object that he smuggled from the line. It could have been a fucking Tylenol for all I know. Regardless, I took it without question considering I thought I was on my death bed. I would have taken anything to make me feel better. It did the trick. Within ten minutes I felt so much better, as if I was never sick. Looking back, I’m pretty sure it was either a methadone wafer or some other sort of opiate that I took. Whatever it was…it worked. See folks, that’s karma for you… always share…lol.
Speaking of sharing, I have a little advice that I’d like to share with anyone that is thinking of checking into a rehab. First…DO IT…GO…don’t think about it any longer. If you have a problem…go get help now! It was by far the best thing I’ve ever done. Second…DO NOT…and I repeat…DO NOT bring anything valuable or expensive (clothing, jewelry, etc.) with you that you would mind losing. I didn’t know this considering I had never been to rehab before. I won’t get into too much detail here, but my wrist watch (that I thought nothing of wearing in there because it was my everyday watch) apparently caused a little bit of a frenzy among the more less fortunate patients. Allegedly, there was talk among a few of them that they were going to try and steal my watch from me somehow. I guess they figured that they would steal it, pawn it, and buy drugs and/or small used sedan with the proceeds. Well…they thought wrong. Nothing happened to my watch, or me for that matter. I actually almost laughed when I caught wind of that little nonsense plan because if you saw the caliber of people I was in there with (other than the few guys I became friendly with) you would know that neither I nor my wrist watch was ever in any danger. However, somehow word got to one of the staff members that my wrist wear was causing a distraction among the patients. When I say distraction, I mean two little pussies that were 100 lbs. combined challenged me for my watch. When I stepped up, they backed off and ran and told the nurse… so after hearing that, the nurse made me hand my watch over so someone could come and pick it up…or I had another choice…I could leave the rehab with it still on my wrist…if I refused. I reluctantly obliged. I handed it over and all went back to normal…whatever that meant in that place.
Even though I didn’t lose my watch (as if that was ever going to happen anyways…lol), I did end up losing a pair of pants later on in the day while I was at a group meeting. I remember laughing hysterically when I realized my pants were missing…as if to say… who the FUCK steals another man’s pants like?! shit are times THAT tough out there…PANTS!? I could understand stealing the watch…it’s worth money…it has value…but PANTS!? I actually had to laugh out loud to that one. Shit, if someone needed a pair of pants that badly, all they had to do was ask me nicely and I would have given them a pair. It just goes to show you the caliber of people I was dealing with in there. Aside from the few I kicked it with, and my pal Anthony, they were straight trash…
All in all it was a pretty fucked up day. I had woken up to what looked like a mutant creature a mere few feet from me withdrawing from god only knows how many drugs…don’t forget the fact it was playing a special musical for all who were there…I had to endure withdrawals of my own for the first six hours of my day…a possible plot to steal my watch was unfolded, and when the two idiots were confronted they told on me…and to top it all off…somebody went and stole my pants…I loved those pants…
TO BE CONTINUED….
Silence is pure bliss…well…it is in most circumstances anyway. Not when your stuck in a rehab while high on pills. Silence is pretty fucking depressing when your laying down on quite possibly the most uncomfortable bed ever invented, all alone, with nothing to fill the empty space of absolute silence, but thoughts of how miserable you are, how much you want another pill, and just how badly you fucked up your life. I didn’t think it could possibly get much worse than that. Then again, I hadn’t been to prison yet…had I?
I had a plethora of different emotions, thoughts, and memories going through my mind as I restlessly laid there. I thought of my friends and what they were possibly doing at that moment. I thought of my family, mostly my parents, and wondered if they were okay…I mean…since I was in rehab for drug addiction and all. I thought of the countless women from over the years…whatever ones I could remember anyway…lol…and smiled to myself. I thought of everything I had done thus far, the many places I’ve seen, the people I’ve met, and how it had been a wild ride. I smiled, I felt lucky. Then as I thought more and more of the good, I started to feel pretty shitty. I started to realize how I had thrown it all away. I had literally sniffed my life away. I began to grow sad, hopeless…like “Oh…woe is fucking me”…then I had a bright idea…I could do it again, I’d just start hustling again. I’d make some more money, and this time I’d do it right, I’d be smart. I’d stay clean, I wouldn’t sniff a single pill this time around. That was the key…right? Yeah, that’s what I would do…I’d get cleaned up at rehab and as soon as I got out of there I’d call my former friend and be on a flight to Florida. I closed my eyes and smiled. I remember falling asleep…or maybe it was all the pills I had sniffed and I was nodding off. Either way, I was out like a light.
After a short while, my nap…or my drug induced coma…whichever way you want to look at it…and the silence…was disrupted by what sounded like a small stampede. I remember thinking to myself…“Fucking pissa. It’s bad enough I’m stuck here in this miserable room, laying on these itchy ass sheets, and now I cant even nap?“ I heard all sorts of random voices, yelling, laughter and mixed conversations, and it grew louder as it presumably neared my room. It was either my new roommates or someone freed the animals from the zoo in the next town over. Sadly, I didn’t hear one female voice among the bunch. If there was one, she was silent, or had possibly the deepest voice I’ve ever heard. Now I’m not saying I was trying to pick up a woman in rehab or anything…I mean I was engaged and all…although that would have made for an interesting story…all I am saying is that I enjoy the company of women, and it would have been nice to have one, or several for that matter, around while I was stuck in fort detox.
As soon as I headed into the corridor to see what all the commotion was about, I was immediately let down. As I had assumed, there wasn’t a female in sight. The only females out there were the nurses I had mentioned before…whom…unless I was still paranoid…were still looking my way. All that occupied the hallway were a bunch of suspicious looking males of all different ages and ethnic backgrounds. My hopes of the rehab hookup were deflated…lol.
As I turned to head back to my room to avoid any awkward introductions or interactions, I heard someone call out my name. (I wasn’t trying to make friendly with anyone else just yet. As I mentioned before, I wasn’t in a good mood being there, and truth be told, I was just awoken from my drug induced slumber by these people, so I didn’t go out there with open arms ready to make friends). The only thing I can remember thinking was…“Fuck!! I guess this whole little trip to rehab isn’t going to be a secret for much longer.“ Then I realized, “Wait…who the fuck knows me all the way up here? This cant be good…”
When I turned around ever so slowly, not knowing what to expect, I was surprised to see my old friend Anthony heading my way. Let me tell you, I have never been so happy to see a familiar face in an unfamiliar place in my entire life. I practically ran over to him, all smiles, to give him dap and a hug. Now I won’t get too into how I know Anthony. Let’s just say that I met him through an old flame of mine’s little brother. We had hung out and partied together in both Boston and LA. I hadn’t seen him in a few years. If memory serves me correctly, the last time was out in LA, right before I went on BB9. It had indeed been a while. Seeing him changed my whole mood and my outlook on being there. As if to say, “Fuck it, it’s all good now. Now I won’t have to be stuck in here all alone…I have a friend to kick it with while I kick drugs…this could be alright after all.”
Anthony and I played catch up for the next few hours while he showed me around my new digs. He had gotten there a day or two before I did, so he pretty much knew the ins and outs already. He basically gave me a rundown on how the joint was run…how the other inmates…or should I say patients were…how the food was…the schedule…meetings…the staff…you know…all that good stuff.
In talking with Anthony, I learned that the staff members (nurses, counselors, case managers, etc) were pretty laid back for the most part, which pleased me. The last thing I wanted while I was detoxing was to be around unfriendly or aggravating people. I knew how bad withdrawals sucked and how they were going to fuck with my emotional and mental state. What if a nurse decided to be super nurse on a bitchy power trip, while I was mid-withdrawal…well let’s just say it wouldn’t have been pleasant for either of us. So…it was really a relief to hear that they were all chill. He did tell me however, that the one thing that they were extremely strict about was the med line. I was told that I had to be on time and there was to be absolutely no talking. By the way, for those who don’t know what the hell a med line is…it’s a line formed by the patients, three times daily, to receive whatever type of meds that the clinic put them on to help detoxify from whatever type of street drug(s) they were abusing. For example…heroin users typically got methadone at a high dose, oxy users (such as myself) had the choice of the clonidine and librium cocktail or a low dose methadone taper. Cocaine users got librium, etc. You get the idea. The reason they were so strict about med line, as I would learn, is because patients would try to pull such moves as hitting the line up twice for double the fun, or better yet, they would go up, pretend to take their meds but really cheek them, and then in turn sell them to other patients later on… so unless I tried to pull any stunts, I wouldn’t be bothered. I could detox in peace.
I also learned the rest of the ins and outs of the place…there were to be daily NA meetings, in which an outside guest would come in and speak…there were to be other daily group therapy sessions, and better yet, one-on-one sessions with whoever my case manager was…there were smoke breaks every 15-20 minutes in the backyard…to make outgoing phone calls, there were two payphones in the corridor…there were two vending machines, a TV room, ping-pong table, and two random tables that were used by the patients for illegal poker tournaments at night time…right up my alley…the food was edible and they even served coffee every morning. Truth be told, after walking around and talking with my friend, I had a whole new outlook on the whole rehab thing. It still sucked being there…don’t get me wrong…but I guess I was starting to feel like it wasn’t THAT bad.
After I got the grand tour and the rundown on how the place operated, I got introduced to a few of the normal guys there. There weren’t many, let me tell you. Now, I’m not one to pass judgement on others. I realize I’m no prize myself, but some of the dudes in there were straight up trash, well beyond fixing…however, I actually met a few cool guys during my time spent there. There were these two brothers from Woburn that I ended up kicking it with hard body until I got out. There was a younger kid from Stoneham that Anthony knew from before, so he chilled with us. There were a few others from around the Boston area that I also became friendly with. All in all, even though I was in a shitty place, it didn’t mean I was surrounded by shitty people. These were guys like me who had just made a few poor choices along the way. I wasn’t alone in battling addiction after all. I met dudes from all walks of life and I came to the realization that addiction can really happen to anybody, regardless of social or economic status, and that scared the fuck out of me. Shit, what scared me even more was when I told some of the patients that I was friendly with, what drugs I was there for and that it was my first (and hopefully last) time in rehab…they laughed, as if to say…that’s it??! That really fucked me up. Now mind you, I was sniffing like 20 pills a day and a bunch of cocaine sporadically during the course of a week up until I walked up in there. For them to say “THAT’S IT” made me really start to think a lot about life and where mine was heading. It also almost made me thankful that there may still have been hope for me after all….
When the evening was coming to an end and it was time for a smoke break, I told the guys that I was chilling with that I’d be right back so I could go grab a hoodie out of my luggage, since it was nighttime and getting a little chilly outside. When I came back to join in on the conversation and smoke a cigarette with my new compadres, I remember reaching in my hoodie pocket and feeling something very familiar, more like a few somethings that were very familiar. To my new friends and my surprise, I pulled out a few blueberries. Yes, I guess I was one of the idiots who smuggled drugs INTO a rehab. Now I didn’t do this on purpose. Remember, I used to have so many of these things…and I had them everywhere. All I can remember saying, while smiling yet struggling with conflict, was….”What you fellas tryin’ to do?!……
(To be continued)…