I THOUGHT I WAS THE MAN…

Memorial Day just came to an end.  While most people I know were partying, on vacation or at family barbecues, I spent my holiday weekend in jail…still waiting to be transferred to my next stop.  This is my second Memorial Day spent here…and quite frankly…it doesn’t get any easier.  To be perfectly honest…it pretty much sucks.  The central A/C is broken on my cell block, and considering the heat and humidity we’ve been having, it’s about 100 degrees in here.  Imagine, there’s 120 guys on this cell block…it’s not pleasant.  It’s not like we can go take a dip in the prison pool to cool off…lol.

My boy Sean came to see me over the holiday weekend.  It was a pleasant visit.  We had some laughs and a pretty good conversation.  We spoke of life, future plans and Memorial Days of the past.  I’m not gonna lie…thinking of the past Memorial Day weekends got me kinda down.  Other than this year and last year spent in jail, I’d usually be away on vacation.

That’s what has me thinking back…to where all this shit started.  If memory serves me correctly (considering I have done a lot of drugs over the past few years) I believe it was a Memorial Day weekend that I got my first taste of what it was like becoming an overnight D-list celebrity.  Basically, it led to a series of poor choices that ultimately landed me in Federal Prison.

Without going into too much detail, I was out in Vegas with a few of my friends from Boston, right after BB9 ended.  I had been to Vegas a few times prior to that, always having a fun time, but that time in particular was different.  It was the first time I was there as a reality TV personality.  It was crazy.  I mean, here I was, prior to all of this TV nonsense, a regular guy, working construction, going to college, then suddenly…overnight…I was recognized everywhere I went, signing autographs, taking pictures with fans, being paid to show up at places, women throwing themselves at me…it was pretty surreal.  Along with all of this new found fame, came all of the perks:  comped hotel rooms, free booze, parties and clubs….and being exposed to lots and lots of drugs.  A lot of doors opened up for me, and on that particular Memorial Day weekend, a lot of ropes opened up in Vegas.  It was the fast life…the life of a celebrity…the life I always wanted…or so I thought.

Nobody could have prepared me for any of that madness.  I was 24-years old…tossed in the deep end…way over my head…with no floaties…and sadly…I couldn’t swim.  But that didn’t stop me…I wanted it all…I wanted more.  In a world filled with so many people, I wanted to matter.  I got a taste of that life in Vegas…and that hunger came back to Boston with me.

I started going out all the time…partying like a maniac…like 6 or 7 days a week…doing all sorts of drugs.  I thought, “Hey, I’m a celebrity…I’m entitled…right?”  I was really soaking up my 15 minutes.  It had me up on a high in itself.  That fame was like a drug that I almost overdosed on.  When the show ends, you’re on this high…on top of the world…at least I was anyway.  I will admit it all went to my head.  I didn’t want to hear shit from anyone.  My head was so big…I probably could’ve floated away.  I thought I was the man…boy was I wrong.

Like all highs, eventually you come down.  I was becoming yesterday’s news…and I hated it.  To most, it probably wouldn’t be so bad. Like, “Hey…back to regular life…that was fun!”  But for me, it was awful.  It might sound crazy to you, but I yearned for that feeling again.  I couldn’t accept that the ride was coming to an end…or at least a pause….until I could make a move out west.  That’s when I got introduced to this little blue pill, a percocet 30mg, an oxycodone, a blueberry, whatever name familiarizes you with what I’m talking about, by my former friend in Florida…and my life would never be the same.

One pill…that’s all it took…and I was right back up there…I was the man again.  I started taking a pill on a Saturday night with a few cocktails, then on a Friday & Saturday, then on Thursday, Friday & Saturday, then on a Monday…to watch the game…then on a Wednesday…just because it was Wednesday.  Eventually, I started taking them every day…not realizing I was addicted.  Besides, I was back on Big Brother 10…as a guest this time around…so I was in the spotlight again…and these pills only enhanced it.  I was still trying to keep up with this pseudo-Hollywood lifestyle.  I was taking and sniffing a few pills per day.  I thought, “I’m in control.  Me…an addict?  Nah…I’m Matty from BB9.”

I racked up around $80,000 in debt.  My back was against the wall.  I had to keep up this facade.  I had to keep up appearances, this lifestyle, this image, and with my new found drug addiction…so I started selling these pills in bulk.  I took more trips, bought another car, another watch, sniffed more pills.  I was in control…wasn’t I?  I womanized, I lied, I was living a double life…and my habit only got worse.  I kept telling myself I was in control.  I sold more, lied more, sniffed and took more pills.  I won’t go into much detail of the drug dealing because in NO WAY am I trying to glamorize it.  However, I do have to mention it a little, to show how I kept getting deeper and deeper over my head.  I’m embarrassed and ashamed to even admit that at one point of my life, that was my profession–drug dealer.

My habit continued to get worse, as did my spending.  While I was selling drugs and making money, I became more of an asshole.  My own friends didn’t like the person I had become.  Addiction took over my life.  I was taking roughly 15 pills per day…and that was merely to feel normal…to not be sick.  No one knew how bad my addiction was.  I hid it well.  I went tanning, I abused steroids, I had money.  I didn’t think I was a drug addict.  I was in total denial.  People would ask me what I was doing with my life.  I didn’t care.  All I cared about was that I drove a Lexus and had a nice apartment.  I thought I was fine.  I needed help.  My life was spiraling out of control.  I was a mess.

I went back to working construction.  I needed some structure in my life…a paycheck.  I was fooling no one.

Thinking back, those pills that once made me a social butterfly turned me into a social recluse.  I worked all week, then flew down to Florida on the weekends to pick up more pills…just to allow me to function at work all week.  I was stuck in a pretty vicious cycle.  I used to ask myself, “When is this gonna end?”

I was lying to my family…lying to my friends.  I needed help.  I was probably a few weeks away from death…who knows?  I was no longer the man…not sure I ever really was.  It was time to take the first step…admitting I had a problem.

I reached out to the same family and friends I had been lying to.  I can still remember that one particular day, when I was getting out of the shower in mid-August 2009.  I looked in the mirror, and for the first time in my life, I hated the person staring back at me.  Who had I become?  What happened to my ambition…my drive?  My life had turned to drugs.  I wanted the Hollywood life…and all I got was the drug addiction.  I got the help I needed.  It wasn’t easy…but I did it.  I cleaned up my act and cut ties with all the negative influences in my life.  I was on my way.  That was in August 2009.  I got indicted in April 2010.  The past always catches up with you.

I have never felt better.  I have to admit this has probably been the most eye opening, humbling experience of my life.  I never truly realized how great my life was until I lost it all.  I may have been on the right path long before I got indicted, but in a way, I feel as though I needed to go through this in order to learn a life-long lesson…to fully understand the consequences of my actions.  It’s pretty ironic…a few years ago I was on the TV screen, being watched by the very same inmates, who I now sit next to while watching Big Brother.  Talk about a mind fuck, but just goes to show you it can happen to anyone.

I’ll write again soon to give you all a more detailed explanation of a typical day here.  For now, I’ll leave you with a piece of my story.  I’m not making excuses for my actions, nor am I saying that my drug addiction was caused from being on a reality show.  I made bad choices.  I chose to go down the wrong path.  I am not telling my story in the hopes of getting back in the limelight.  This is my way of giving back…and hoping that I may be able to reach out and help someone.  I am merely trying to give you an insight into how I went from Big Brother to the Big House.

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