Archive for the ‘Addiction’ Tag

THE LONGEST WALK OF MY LIFE…

I’m not quite sure of what I’m allowed and not allowed to talk about in regard to why I had abruptly stopped blogging about a month or so ago, so I’ll keep this as brief as possible.  They tried to shut me down…they failed.  So now I’m back and I’m going hard on this until I’m out of here…which just so happens to be pretty soon (sometime in 2012)…

Also, please try and bear with me on this blog topic specifically.  Traveling down memory lane isn’t always easy, especially when it concerns me thinking back to my time spent in rehab.  I was in a pretty fucked up place in my life at the time.  I guess you could say I’m still pretty ashamed that my drug use and my actions ultimately landed me there for an extended stay.  Until recently, I had kept my time spent there a secret from a lot of people for fear of being judged.  Shit, most people had no idea that I even had a drug problem of any kind until I started this blog.  But now I’m in prison…all the fear and embarrassment is out the window.  I’m not too concerned with how others view me anymore.  I am only focused on how I view myself.  I realize I’ve done some crazy, stupid, and fucked up shit in my life…some of which I’m not too proud of.  Rehab is the exception.  I am proud to be able to say that I’ve been..that I made it through (and only once)…and managed to stay clean after.  Not many in the position I was once in can truly say that.  So follow me if you will.  Down the long, lonely corridors of rehab, while I describe what it’s like to detox from drugs in a room full of complete strangers…what it’s like to be forced into group meetings to share feelings and experiences…and what it’s like to finally convince myself to give up the life that I was leading…the life of a hustler…the life of a drug addict…this is my moment of clarity……..

Walking into rehab (which for now will remain nameless) on that particularly sunny mid-September day back in ’09, I didn’t really know what to expect.  For the most part, it was an entirely new experience for me.  Sure, I’ve watched guilty pleasures such as Celebrity Rehab and Intervention before, who hasn’t, but going to rehab is sort of like prison–unless you’ve been there before and experienced it first hand, you truly don’t know what it’s like.  All I did know for certain as I walked in there high (like I owned the place) was that I was a drug addict and I needed help.  Supposedly, rehab was the place that could help me safely flush all the different shit I’d been slowly killing myself with out of my body for good.

I was originally going to write, while I was checking in at the front desk that day, I had all of these hopes that while I was there I could learn how to stay clean and sober once I left…how I was so eager to get my old life back and how I was ready to do everything and anything to make that happen…how I didn’t want to wind up a news clipping or a cautionary take…how from the moment I walked in I was a changed man who finally saw the light…I was going to sound righteous, profound and motivated…inspirational perhaps……it would have all been complete and utter bullshit.  Sure, it would have sounded good, but not a single word of that would have been true.

Truth be told, I hadn’t changed…not even close.  I walked in there high on pills and I was itchin’ for more.  I certainly wasn’t concerned with staying sober.  That didn’t even cross my mind at that point.  I could not have cared any less if I was going to wind up as a cautionary tale.  I just didn’t want to be there.  It was nice out.  I was high.  I should have been enjoying my life, yet I was there, checking into a hotel that would take my high away for good.  I was really only there to please my family and friends, to pacify my girl at the time, and for financial convenience.  Sure, I was pretty sick of pills having my balls in a vice grip.  I was sick of how my entire life revolved around drugs.  I was sick of the mood swings, the ups and downs, the lies, and the lacking social life and family relationships that ensued.  But to tell you the truth, I was REALLY sick of almost two grand a week going from my safe to right up my nose.  That’s just not good business.  That was my main motivation for going through with it.  All those other reasons came in a distant second.

I had thoughts of pulling some Jason Bourne type shit and hopping over the counter, slipping past the guard at the entrance, and bolting through the door to freedom shortly after my mother left.  However, I realized I had zero cash on me.  Nor did I have my key fob or a phone…I forgot I had given them to my mom so conveniently a little while before.  So in other words, I was fucked.  Even if I made it to the parking lot, I wouldn’t have made it very far.  Whether I liked it or not, I was going to go through with it.  Rehab was going to be my residence until I was free from drugs.

Now it may seem that my blogs are a constant contradiction.  In one blog I’m having epiphanies because I meet this little boy with cancer and I realize how bad I’m fucking up, so I vow to quit selling drugs and quit doing them.  Then I’m talking about how I want to escape rehab to sniff pills and go back to hustlin’.  It seems as if I’m all over the place.  Welcome to the mind of a drug addict.  I only write about how I felt at each particular time.  If your confused, imagine how I must have been.  I had a devil on one shoulder telling me, “Fuck rehab, go cop some more pills and let’s get this money.”  Then I’d think of my family and how I had already put them through enough of my shit, and I’d snap out of it and realize I had to get my act together.

So, if at any point it sounds like I regret going that day, that is not the case.  Going to rehab is BY FAR the BEST decision I’ve ever made.  Shit, I wish it didn’t take me so long to get my ass there.  Maybe I wouldn’t be sitting in Federal Prison right now.  OK, where was I?

Once I finally convinced myself that I was indeed stuck there, I was commanded by the ever so pleasant woman checking me in that I had to hand over my luggage so it could be searched for drugs and other contraband.  This still baffles me to this day.  Sure, I can see maybe smuggling in a cell phone or an iPod for recreational purposes, but c’mon, who the fuck would bring drugs INTO rehab?  You would have to be a real idiot…or better yet…a real asshole to pull that kind of move.  I mean isn’t that counterproductive?  That’s like smuggling fudge brownies into a Weight Watchers meeting.  It kind of defeats the whole purpose.  But, as I would later learn, there are more idiots out there than one would guess…and I’m one of them.

While my luggage was being thoroughly searched, I was given an interview and a piss test from the same pleasant woman who had checked me in.  The interview was pretty basic.  They wanted to evaluate how bad of a drug addict I was, what drugs I was then using, how much and for how long.   The whole time I was secretly praying that I didn’t have any loose blueberries or god knows what else floating around in my luggage.  That’s ALL I needed…to get kicked out of rehab before I even made it to my room.  The piss test went pretty smoothly, no pun intended.  I studied really hard for that test and it showed.  I had three different drugs in my system.  The fucking trifecta.  Yippie!  Well, not really.  All that meant was that they wouldn’t start helping me detox with medication until withdrawals from the shit I was on started to happen.  You remember…the sweats, chills, aches, pains, nausea…yeah, all that good stuff I mentioned before.  In other words, since I sniffed and swallowed a handful of pills a mere half hour before that intake interview and piss test, I wouldn’t start to withdraw for 24-48 hours…I was fucked yet again.  The first two days I had to spend there would be for nothing…I was already batting a thousand.

When the whole intake ordeal was through and my luggage was cleared by security, I was given a fresh bed roll and pointed toward my room down the hall.  I can still remember that moment as clear as day.  I passed a few nurses as I walked down the white walled corridor alone…all of which were blatantly staring at me…or at least it felt that way.  It was almost eerie.  I mean I know I’m devilishly handsome…lol…but this was different.  I almost felt as if I was being judged as I walked by dragging my suitcase.  I remember feeling my face start to flush with embarrassment.  All my confidence, my ego, my male bravado…out the window.  I must have left it in my car.  I was nervous.  No, it was more than mere nerves.  It was a cross between a panic attack and shame…if that makes sense.  Like I had some sort of sign on me that read, “I am a drug addict”.  It almost felt like a walk of shame or what I would imagine that would feel like.  I remember thinking, “Now I know how my one night stands must have felt…leaving my apartment the next morning as I walked them quickly to their car, my car, or to their awaiting cab…wearing their clothes from the previous night, usually something provocative,  hair all over the place, shades on, barefoot, carrying their heels so they could keep up with me as I hurried them along…as we passed neighbors who greeted me and smiled at my guest as if to say (without saying) that she’s not the first and certainly not the last woman they’ve seen do that very same walk from my place, but yet they were still trying to be somewhat polite.”…yeah…I felt like that when I did my lil’ walk of shame by those nurses that day.  I felt low.  It was brutal.  Quite possibly the longest walk of my life….

I was hoping for a single room with my own private bathroom, TV, and possibly a window with a nice view.  Something to perhaps make detoxing a little more comfortable for me.  What I got was an eight man room with a bunch of single beds evenly arranged along the walls.  There was a bathroom, but it certainly wasn’t private by any means.  There was no TV and the only window appeared to be sealed shut with a view of the parking lot.  If I had one word to describe the ambiance of the room I stayed in, I’d say miserable works nicely.  The walls were bare, off white.  The floors were tile, dirty beige.  The beds were small, metal, with mattresses that didn’t appear too cozy, lumpy.  It almost looked like what I would picture a mental ward to look like, minus the padded walls.  It would have been a perfect setting for a horror film and I was there to get off drugs, just great.   The only upside to the misery of the room upon me entering…there was no one there.  That pleased me.  I took that as a chance to make my bed and unpack some of my shit without being bothered by anyone.  After I did all of that, I remember lying there…high, still feeling judged, staring at the ceiling thinking…“So this is where my life has ended up?  I’m in fucking rehab?  Like really Matty…rehab??”  I vividly remember yearning for another blueberry, anything for that matter, to help take my mind off the fact that I had fucked up my life to the point where I was in some dingy room at an overpriced understaffed rehab trying to get off of drugs.  I never felt so disgusted with myself as I did at that moment.  I almost teared up, but I held back.  I think the drugs I was on played a small part in that, or maybe I didn’t want one of my new roommates to walk in on me crying on my first day.  Tears or not, I was sad.  I felt like a complete failure.  I felt like history repeated itself.  I ended up just like my deceased father……addicted to drugs….

(To be continued)…

Posted 11/08/2011 by Matty McDonald in Uncategorized

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THE ROAD TO REHAB…

Hey Ma.  Hey Mike.  How ya doin?  Oh me, I’m good thanks.  Well, sort of…um…yeah…so….um……I’m a drug dealer.  Pills.  Oxys.  Yup, have been for quite some time now.  Explains a lot huh?  No, don’t ask who.  Definitely don’t ask where.  There will be none of that.  Why?  Oh money of course, and well….I’m telling you because I’ve decided to stop….oh yeah….I’m hooked on drugs.  Pills mostly.  Lately it’s been a lot more though.  I mean…with life and work, and this wedding shit, everything is happening so fast.  I know…no excuse.  Yeah, I’m pretty bad.  OK…OK…I’m really bad.  Yeah, I’m high right now.  I sniffed a few in the driveway before I came in.  See…that’s why I’m here…because I have no control anymore…I can’t stop…because I desperately need your help…will you help me?

I played all sorts of conversations and possible outcomes over and over in my head on the drive over to my mom’s house.  I went alone.  It was probably the longest ride of my life, even though I lived but five minutes away in Charlestown…right over the Tobin Bridge.  I didn’t know where to begin, or how to begin for that matter.  I was about to tell the two people who I loved and respected more than anyone else in the world that their son was an epic failure.  I was not only a drug dealer, but I was hooked on pills.  I’m not going to lie…I was scared shitless.  Looking back, other than the day I was sentenced in Federal Court, and had to stand up in front of Judge Wolf and practically beg for him not to smoke me with too much time, telling my parents about my drug dealing/drug using lifestyle was probably the hardest day of my life.  Now mind you, I’ve been to rehab, I’ve been to prison, I’ve survived both motorcycle and automobile accidents, I’ve lost loved ones, I’ve lost a parent, I’ve had bad break-ups, you get it…so that says a lot when I say it was the hardest day of my life…

I went over there to my mom’s, high as ever on drugs, with my hat in hand, with my tail between my legs.  I don’t really remember too many details of the conversation.  I know I told my mother Laura and Mike about all the drugs that I’d been doing.  How I was sniffing more 30s in one day than most pain patients get prescribed for the month.  How I was sniffing the pedico everyday like a fucking crackhead.  I told them how the drugs were making me lose my mind, how I was very depressed most days, paranoid, up and down, and how I had absolutely no control anymore.  I was an addict.  I finally admitted to them that I was a drug dealer and had been for a while.  They weren’t stupid, they had their suspicions.  They noticed how well off I was and how good I lived, considering I didn’t have a job for a long time.  They knew something was up but didn’t want to believe it.  I mean who wants to actually believe that their son is a drug dealer?

I told my parents everything…well everything I could with out implicating anyone else.  I spoke of my many Florida trips and my wild times, again without mentioning names.  I’d say “my boy” or “my girl”…I wasn’t there to blame others for my wrongdoings.  Every choice, both good and bad, that I’ve ever made was mine…and mine alone.  I made the choice to smuggle drugs from Florida and take them back to Boston to sell them in mass quantities.  I made the choice to literally party my life away by sniffing even more pills than I sold.  I made the choice to lead the life that I was living.  No one forced pills down my throat or up my nose.  No one put a gun to my head and said “let’s make this money…sell pills.”  Nope, all these poor choices were mine unfortunately.  Now I was standing in front of my parents, owning up to what I had done, coming clean.  I needed to rid my body and mind of these drugs once and for all.  I asked for their help…

I won’t get into details about the reactions that I got from my mother Laura and Mike…or what else ensued that day…some things are better left unsaid.  Maybe that and all the other shit I can’t or choose not to talk about will be in the book…lol.  I will say that I am surprised at how well they both took the news of the life that I’d been leading…especially my mom.  You see, my father Stephen died when I was just a young kid…9 years old.  He died from a drug overdose, mixing an upper with a downer, ironically.  Then there I was, admitting that I was a drug addict…history just about repeating itself right in front of my mother’s eyes.  I’m sure it wasn’t easy on her, or Mike for that matter.  In Boston it’s much more than a cautionary tale about the oxy dealer getting hooked on his own supply and then…well let’s just say that I’m certainly not the first person around my way that this has happened to.  Like I said before, where I’m from these pills are an epidemic.  Oxys usually lead to two places: prison or dead in the ground.  They’re known to break up homes, ruin lives, fuck up friendships, etc…there aren’t too many success stories of drug dealers.  I’m really surprised at how well my parents took the news…grateful even.

My mother Laura was on the phone and the computer within minutes of me breaking the news to them, looking for inpatient rehabs and detox centers in Mass and out of state.  If you knew my mother, you wouldn’t expect any less.  After many searches, she finally found one in Mass that would take my health insurance.  Damn, I guess I wasn’t going to Florida or Cali to clean up after all…lol.  The only downside is that a bed wouldn’t open up for 5 days from the day that I told her.  I agreed, gave them my info, and that was that…

5 days…..now that posed somewhat of a problem.  That’s a lifetime to a drug addict.  Remember…with the amount of pills I was doing per day, the withdrawals would be brutal.  They would start within 12 hours, maybe even less, from the last time I had taken or sniffed one.  5 days……shit I might be dead by then.  So against the will of my parents who wanted me to stay at their place until I was set to go, I left.  There was NO way I was going to go through withdrawals for that long…that’s fucking torture…especially when I still had to go to work and function socially.  I had other plans.  Life didn’t stop because I was an addict…it definitely wasn’t going to stop because I was dope sick.  For 5 days I bought pills from a local street dealer at street prices.  Not exactly cheap if you take into account how many pills I was doing per day.  Not even close to how cheap I was getting them in Florida.  I’m not going to lie, I thought about taking one last trip down there, to grab some pills, make some more cash, but I made promises.  I was sick of hurting the ones I loved.  So instead, I shopped at the local hustler and sniffed away for five whole days.  I sniffed away like shit was sweet, went to work and life went back to normal.  Though in the back of my mind I knew where I was headed…good ole rehab.  No, not the Vegas pool party…DJ Prefanna wouldn’t be spinning, shutting down the pool party (stories lol), there would be no sexy girls, no big rehab cups filled with my favorite mixed drink, none of that…I was headed to a real rehab.  A place I had only seen on TV and heard rumors about.  I won’t lie, I had second thoughts during those 5 days, with me being high and all.  Shit, I had third, fourth, and fifth thoughts…then one night I got a call from my boy Alessandro.  I still remember that call to this day. “Matty, whats up kid?”  We exchanged pleasantries…then, “Are you doing okay palzy? Someone told me they saw you the other day…said you looked like shit…”  That was all I needed to hear.  I lied.  Told him I was great, looked great, felt great, started this new workout, just got back from Florida last week, looking at wedding venues.  I lied…not about Florida and the wedding thing…that was true…but about how I looked and felt.  I remember getting off the phone with him and thinking, “fuck it…I’m getting my life back.”  His call may have been the final kick in the ass that I needed…

As luck would have it, the Dana Farber job I was working on was ending for my company.  My cousin Jackie told me I was going to be laid off for a month until the next job was going to be set up to start.  I was thrilled.  I could use this time to clean up my act, then get right back to work as if nothing ever happened.  It also saved me a pretty embarrassing conversation with my cousin and union foreman, Jackie.  He didn’t know of my drug use, not until much later.  Things were falling into place…

The day I was to go to rehab was like any other.  I woke up.  I sniffed some pills.  Did some laundry. PLR (pills, laundry, rehab) haha…. I packed my suitcase for my stay at hotel detox.  I ran some errands…the usual.  I had to be at the rehab by 3pm, so I used the beginning of my day to get as high as I possibly could…my last hurrah if you will.  I sniffed an obscene amount of pills on that warm September day.  I was so high that I started to have doubts again.  I thought about blowing off rehab and hopping on a plane to Florida for a few weeks to stay with my former friend.  I could clean up down there, and I could come back with a boatload of pills, and stack up some more money.  Yeah, I didn’t need work.  It was like it was starting all over again.  Cold feet isn’t the word for what I had.  I just simply didn’t want to go.  I was back on my “I don’t need fucking rehab shit.”  That was obviously the pills talking.  Luckily for me, my mother thought otherwise.  She was hip to my plans.  She was outside my apartment in Charlestown in the early afternoon, blocking my driveway, beeping like a madwoman for me to get my ass downstairs and on the way.  Shit, I guess that was it.  I was going…not like I didn’t put up a fight.  Once again, I’ll spare the specifics, but I screamed, argued, cursed, you name it.  My mother wouldn’t budge.  There was NO getting out of this lil’ vacation.  I finally caved in once my mother said I could drive myself in my own car and she would follow.  I had some calls to make and I really wanted some privacy.  That…and I had a pocket full of pills I wanted to sniff on the ride.  So she moved and I pulled by…I was speeding like a madman…to call my trip to rehab a high speed chase would be an understatement.  I flew over the Tobin Bridge, all the way up Route 1, driving like a real asshole.  I was in and out of traffic, speeding, doing about a buck, while still managing to crush up some pills and sniff them while talking on the phone at the same time.  I didn’t know how long rehab would last and I was told that I couldn’t bring my phone in with me, so I had a lot of goodbyes and loose ends I had to tie up that I had to handle via phone, some of which weren’t pretty.  Again, I’ll spare details.  I still have NO idea how my mother kept up with me the whole way.  I was really putting my car to the test with the speeds I was hitting.  God I miss that car.  At first I was trying to lose her…I had visions of Florida, pills, money, and warm fun in the sun.  Then…as soon as I would see her in my rear view, I knew she was determined, and if I fucked this up, I probably wouldn’t get any second chances, so I kept on driving til I hit the rehab.  After the long chase, I finally pulled up to my new home for the next some odd days.  It was a big brick building with a fenced in backyard of some sort.  I noticed there were some people playing wiffle ball in the backyard as I pulled up, and they were all looking at me, probably cause I pulled in there like a madman.  I parked my car, grabbed my suitcase and walked over to my mom.  I gave her a huge hug…my last hug I ever gave while high on pills.  She was crying…I wasn’t.  I was more aggravated…like this was some sort of chore for me…like I had somewhere better to be.  In all reality, it was the BEST choice I ever made.  I tossed her my keys, handed her my phone and walked inside with her…like fuck it…here goes nothing…

“Hi, I’m Matthew McDonald…I have a 3 o’clock reservation…..”

(To be continued)….

Posted 09/21/2011 by Matty McDonald in Uncategorized

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THE ULTIMATUM (Part 2)

Did I just make the right decision?  I mean, did I really just get engaged? What the hell am I doing?  Is this woman even the one?  Or am I just stuck in some blueberried-up love cloud?  Speaking of blueberries…think I’ll have one…yeah that will help me think.  OK…where was I?  Am I really ready to give this all up…this life….. for a woman? C’mon Matty get a hold of yourself…what’s the worst that could happen?

My mind was literally clouded with all sorts of unanswered questions.  I had so many thoughts…both good and bad going through my mind all at once…that I couldn’t really think clearly.  I’d see a future me…a family man…wife, dog, couple of kids running around in the backyard while I was cheffin’ on the grille.  I seemed genuinely happy.  Then in a flash, I’d see another possible future me…skinny and pale, passed out in some dark hotel room, empty bottles all over the place, table full of drugs and powder residue, two women in the room putting on their clothes and rummaging through my pockets at the same time.  Then in an instant I’d flash back to another possible decent future, then back to another shit show.  You get the idea.  I was losing my mind.  I had either just made the best decision of my life, or quite possibly the worst.  You know how they say everyone hits a crossroads in their life at some point or another…well looking back…I feel that this was mine.  Did I want the simple, wholesome life of a family man, or did I want to continue on thinking I was some sort of wannabe rock star drug dealer for the rest of my life?  At the time, I honestly didn’t know the answer to that question.  So, as usual when life got hectic, I did what I normally did… I sniffed oxys like they were going out of style.  And at this point, cocaine was no longer an occasional thing.  I was sniffing the white lady just about every day after work, along with the berries to try and escape reality.  Work, engagement, hustling, friends, family, this that and a third…it was all getting to me.  I thought I was running away from my problems.  I was actually running toward them full speed…with no brakes.  I was a walking disaster at this point.  This was probably the darkest time of my life…the climax of my drug use if you will.  Drugs, not only blueberries, pretty much had me by the balls.  And now I was engaged to top it all off.  Nice.

Not too long after I began to literally drown myself in drugs on a daily basis…something…or should I say someone…threw me a life jacket.  One day, when I just got off of work, I noticed a little boy and his mother walking toward the elevator in the parking garage that I was in right next to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  The mother was holding her son’s hand.  The boy had to be about 5 or 6 years old…tops.  I can still see his face as clear as day.  He had big, bright blue eyes, a round handsome face, and a big smile but with really little teeth.  He had on a red Boston Red Sox hat, a Dana Farber Red Sox t-shirt, shorts, and those croc sandals.  I remember thinking, “cute kid, he’s going to be a hit with the ladies someday with those eyes.”  I guess he reminded me of myself when I was a kid.  I even began to wonder what my future son would look like.  As they got on the elevator, I took a break from playing on my phone momentarily.  The mom and I smiled politely at each other and I continued on.  She and her son were talking about God only knows.  Then all of a sudden out of nowhere, the lil’ man lifts his hat completely off his head, holding it up in both hands in triumph, revealing a completely bald head while smiling from ear to ear, and asks,  “Mom…why am I like this..?” in quite possibly the cutest, most innocent, inquisitive/curious voice I’ve ever heard in my life…while continuing to smile like it was funny.  I’m almost choking up as I write this.  I literally froze.  I almost dropped my phone.  The mother and I looked at each other instantly.  She had somewhat half of a smile with semi-sad eyes…a look of embarrassment/fear/sorrow all rolled into one…knowing that there was no good truthful answer to the boy’s question.  Then there was me with a half smile as well…along with a look of shame/sadness.  I didn’t really know what to do or say at that moment.

All I did know was that in an instant, that little boy’s question broke my heart right on the spot.  I knew the answer to his question.  I mean the Dana Farber t-shirt and the bald head made it pretty obvious.  That 5 year old boy had cancer.  Now to tell you the truth, I don’t really remember what the mother said back to the kid.  I was in that much shock from the question itself.  I guess it really struck something in me, maybe because I saw some of myself in him, maybe because I felt that mother’s pain, maybe I had done too many blueberries that day and I was all emotional.  Whatever reason, it was one of those moments in my life that I will never forget.

I got off the elevator and hurried quickly to my car.  I sat in the driver’s seat, crushed up a bunch of pills, sniffed away, and thought for a while.  I’m not going to lie…I’m pretty sure I shed a tear or two.  I started to think…here I was young and healthy…had the world by the balls…yet miserable…and I’m literally pissing my life away to drugs.  Then here’s this cute lil’ man, with a huge grin on his face, just wondering why his head is bald.  He didn’t know the truth.  He was 5 years old.  For all I know, he probably wasn’t going to make it to 6.  I was literally crushed.  I guess my conscience was starting to come back after being gone for so long.  For the first time in a very long time, I could actually see that I was doing wrong.  It was like I woke the fuck up.

I went home and literally dove face first into a pile of pills and cocaine.  I was trying to sniff the image of that kid’s face out of my brain.  I can still see his face today.  I still wonder what happened to him.  He didn’t choose cancer.  He seemed like a happy-go-lucky 5 year old boy… a Red Sox fan…just happy to be there with his mom.  He’s supposed to have his whole life ahead of him.  Here I was, literally killing myself slowly with drugs…and choosing to do so.  With every sniff, I was loathing in self pity, self hate, almost wishing I could trade places with that kid.

I showered.  I figured that would help.  I was still trying to wash off the image of that lil’ kid’s face and the thoughts of his probable fate.  I tried to scrub off the fact that I’d been a lying to everyone for so long about my drug use and my drug dealing.  I couldn’t.  No body wash could cleanse my conscience.  There was no shampoo for my soul.  This was no AXE commercial.  This was me bugging the fuck out on drugs.

I remember getting out of the shower that day and looking in the mirror.  I was disgusted with the person staring back at me.  There I was…Matty the drug addict.  I had dark circles under my eyes.  Despite the tanning, my face and lips looked pale.  I looked really tired and worn out.  I was  muscular, yet skinny at the same time (if that makes any sense).  I didn’t look healthy…that’s for sure.  It looked as if I’d been partying for two years straight.  All the drugs were finally starting to take a toll on my looks.  It was the first time in my entire life that I can actually say I hated myself…and that’s a lot coming from me.  I hated everything…who I was, how awful I looked, the life I’d been leading, the lies, the secrecy, the man I’d become.  I hated my place in the world.  Addiction had won.  I lost myself to drugs.  I wanted to die.

I splashed water on my face and tried to snap out of it.  I decided right then and there that it was time for a major life change.  Maybe it was the mass amount of cocaine I sniffed that afternoon, maybe it was the little boy on the elevator, maybe it was the weight from all the other shit I was going through, from the headaches of drug dealing to my new engagement.  Whatever the reason, I finally saw the light and decided to really quit drugs and quit selling them altogether.

I took the first step.  I went to my then fiance and finally told her the truth…about everything.  I didn’t leave out a single detail.  I told her the whole story…about my Florida trips and how I was a drug dealer…and had been for quite some time.  I told her about all the drugs I’d been doing, about all the money, and how it was going up my nose at a rapid pace.  Every little lie, every little excuse, I spared no detail.  I can’t sit here and say she took it too well.  Can you blame her?  I mean it was almost unbelievable.  For the past however long, I was a drug dealer, I had a secret life, and to add insult to injury, I was hooked on the very pills that I was selling, and in a very bad way.

I told her about the little boy…and how I had this cocaine fueled epiphany when I got out of the shower.  I was ready to make a life change.  I was at a crossroads and I made my choice.  I no longer wanted to be a slave to drugs.  No more breaking the law, no more sniffing pills, no more lies.  I wanted a new life…a clean life…a life I could be proud of.  I’d love to sit and tell you that it was all smiles and hugs after I admitted all this shit, but it wasn’t.  I’ll spare the details for now, but lets just say it was epic.  The little word…trust…well that went out the window…and she almost went running out the door.  Luckily for me, I was actually being genuine and sincere in my countless apologies and my desire to quit.  So instead of me having to chase after a runaway bride, I got a new ultimatum.  I had to prove that I was done with pills and all other drugs once and for all.  I had to give up my phones…all of them.  I had to cut ties with anyone associated with my drug dealing…no exceptions.  I had to hand over every single pill, every gram of cocaine, every vial of steroids, and any other drug paraphernalia that I may have had stashed around my apartment…or wherever else.  I had to check into a rehab and clean up my act.  I couldn’t do an outpatient program…oh no…I had to do an inpatient rehab to ensure that I actually got help.  There would be no excuses, no more lies.  This was it.  If I didn’t complete all demands, every single one, not only would I no longer be engaged and newly single, but my parents would be getting a nice telephone call, followed by the authorities.  At the time, prison wasn’t even on my radar.  This was before anyone in my conspiracy was arrested, indicted, or decided to flip.  Needless to say, this woman meant business.  I have to admit, I was impressed.  I mean she could…and probably should have…just cut me off right then and there after I admitted all that to her.  I mean it probably wasn’t easy hearing that I was a drug dealing, lying, drug addict.  At least I can’t imagine it was anyways.  If I hid all of this for so long, what else had I been lying about?  So…I have to give credit where credit is due…this person played a role in helping save my life.  Whether her and I worked out or not is irrelevant, because I am forever grateful for at least this one thing.  I guess it’s true what they say…certain people may not come into your life for a lifetime…but they do come into your life for a reason.

It felt better than anything I’ve ever done to get everything off my chest that day.  It was a high like no other.  I felt free…which is ironic because a mere eight months later…I’d lose my freedom.  Regardless of what the reaction was in me telling her what was really going on and how bad I really was on these drugs…it was the first step.  I admitted I had a problem, no small problem at that, and that was a huge step for me.  It was something I was never able to do before.  It was like I was starting to get myself back.  Now all I had to do was break the news to my parents and get my ass in a rehab.  That might be a little difficult…

(To be continued)…

THE ULTIMATUM

I guess you could say I was stuck in a pretty vicious cycle at this point.  My life was spiraling out of control at a rapid pace.  I sniffed more and more pills.  I was a full time union construction worker, putting in roughly 45-50 hours per week for the company I was working for.  I was a full time drug trafficker.  Sure…it was less hours and way more money…but it involved a lot of traveling on short notice…and even more headaches.  So, between my two jobs, all the drugs I was doing, and my steadily declining social and family life, I actually managed to date a woman exclusively, full time as well.  At least it was supposed to be full time.  Because of the madness I created in my life, I guess you could say my relationship was more part time.

My typical week now went from the previous party mode…all day every day…to me working…breaking my balls all day…sweating for a week’s pay…which I truly didn’t mind.  I enjoyed working and having a purpose other than smuggling and selling drugs.  Then I’d make moves after work, distributing and collecting, spending the majority of my afternoons in my car while on the phone.  I’d hit up the gym if and when I had a free hour.  Then I’d play the relationship game at night time with the woman I was seeing.  I did all of this while on massive amounts of pills…and occasionally cocaine or some other drug…just to spice things up a bit.  Oh yeah, don’t forget steroids too.  Needless to say, my weekdays were always very hectic…never a dull moment…put it that way.

On the weekends, it didn’t get any better.  I had even less time or control over things.  I thought I was some sort of drug dealing James Bond.  I’d drive the woman I was seeing to work early on Saturday morning, wearing my construction clothes.  I’d tell her that I either had a side job or that I was working Saturday overtime, which isn’t uncommon in the union.  More lies.  Meanwhile, I really had an early flight to Florida that I desperately had to catch.  I’d hightail it to Logan Airport, sniffing a few pills on the way, while breaking records and most state traffic laws with my speed and lane changes.  I’d get there just in time to change out of my work clothes and into a nice suit and tie or a light travel outfit, depending on which story I would be using, in case I needed one that day.

I’d usually get to Florida by mid-morning.  Right after I landed, I’d either call or text my girl to let her know I was on coffee break or lunch, depending on the time.  She’d think I was working 10 minutes up the road in Boston.  I was 1000 miles away.  I’d meet up with my former friend/connect.  We’d make moves.  Then I’d either grab lunch with him or with one of my lady friends down there, depending on how much time I had of course.  I’d sniff a few more pills to calm my nerves before getting on the flight back to Boston.  No matter how many times I did it, I always got butterflies smuggling pills.  I’d be home within a matter of hours, always in time to pick up the woman I was seeing from work that night.  I’d change first, of course.  I’m sure if I rolled up in a suit, it might look a little suspect.  I’d even throw the construction clothes in my hamper, just in case she checked.  You can never be too careful.  I’d sniff a few more pills, then I’d pick her up.  She would ask how my day was, and I’d lie of course.  I used to always say, “tough day at the office.”  Then I’d make up some story about my day.  She was utterly clueless of where I was, who I was with, and what I really did all day.  Double life.  I did this little Saturday adventure more times than I care to mention.  Little did I know…those same day trips back and forth to Florida would ultimately be my demise…and be the one piece of evidence needed to convict me of conspiracy.  I thought I was being smooth.  I wasn’t fooling anyone.  There’s NO excuse for flying to Florida for a few hours.  It was pretty crazy…I’ll admit…it was stupid as well.  At the time…I wasn’t thinking rationally…I was on all sorts of drugs remember?

Sometimes, I’d even see the same flight attendant on the way down and then again on the way back.  Occasionally they recognized me from the show.  Other times, if they remembered seeing me on the AM flight, I’d have to come up with some sort of tall tale, depending on which ensemble I was wearing.  I’d be a businessman trying to close a deal on a Saturday…I’d be a reality star who was doing an AM appearance for a small fee…I had a side chick in FL that I was seeing…I left the keys to my business down in FL while visiting a friend and had no spare set…I definitely came up with some stories, that’s for sure.  They didn’t call me Walt Disney for nothing.

Other times, I would literally have drugs or large amounts of cash on me, depending on which way I was traveling, and I’d run into a “Big Brother” fan.  They’d want to talk about the show, who I still talked to and what it was all like.  They’d usually want a picture with me or occasionally an autograph…of which I’d always say yes.  Little did they know where I was really going or coming from, or what I was truly doing in the airport…or how many drugs I was on for that matter.  It’s actually sad to think about it.  Even TSA people recognized me occasionally as I was going through security.  Here I am, scared shitless, with a smile on my face, trying to be Matty from BB9 and drug trafficker at the same time.  It was pure stupidity and pure madness at the same time.  Even more sad, when I got home, I couldn’t tell anyone.  It’s like here I am, all day doing all this, and I have no one to vent to about my run-ins with BB fans or my close encounters.  It’s not like I could just say, “Oh hey babe, I went to FL to pick up drugs today and I ran into a few BB fans…they were really nice”…LOL.

This type of living could only last for so long.  I was doing an awful lot of drugs…too many at this point.  I had constant sweats or shakes at all times.  I felt empty inside.  I felt like I had absolutely no time in the world for myself…let alone anyone else I held dear to me.  I guess that’s why I used more and more…it was kind of my release at the time.  I thought I was too busy for everyone before I had a “real job”…now I literally saw no one.  My life was spent on a construction site, in the air, or on a cell phone.  My existence was consumed with pills.  I was living that life.  I secretly loved it all.  The lies, the secrecy, the rush, the money.  I mean here I was, living a fucking crazy double life for a long time, and no one knew.  I was making some serious cash, spending and sniffing it faster than it came in.  I was famous.  I was a drug dealer.  I had a beautiful woman on my arm at all times.  My life felt like I was in a movie and I absolutely loved every second of it…I’ll admit it now…as I’m in prison.  It was fucking wild…that’s for sure… yet stupid.  I had everything I could have ever wanted at that point…just no free time…easy trade off.  I much rathered that than to live a monotonous existence.  You only live once right?  I was a drug addict with no control…I barely saw anyone anymore…and I was breaking more laws than I care to mention…but I didn’t care.  My life was definitely far from average, and that’s why it was so god damned hard to quit.

Then things started to change.  I began to get sloppy with my secrecy and my double life.  The woman that I was seeing would find airplane ticket stubs from my one-day Florida travels in my apartment.  She’d find lunch receipts from various restaurants in Florida in the center console in my car.  I had a bunch of phones at this point.  She’d find them, seeing a plethora of Florida numbers in the call logs.  I got a little careless, you could say that.  I’d always lie.  Not to mention…with all the drugs I was on…my mood was always up and down.  I’d be on cloud nine one day, the next I’d be legit miserable to be around.  My relationship, or lack thereof, was on the rocks.  I was out of control and didn’t give a fuck…there would always be other women…besides I loved my pills more.  She’d threaten to leave me.  She assumed I was cheating.  My travel and attitude suggested infidelity.  I’d tell more lies and make more false promises to change.  I never attributed drugs to my problems.

I even attempted to see a therapist for a little while…mainly to keep my girl quiet about me trying to change my ways…to bring some sort of calmness and order to my life…and because I was still partly depressed half the time.  I needed answers or better drugs.  I was still blaming everyone but myself and drugs for my problems.  Sadly, I cut my therapist off after only a couple of months.  I was lying to my therapist more than I lied to my girl or my friends and family.  I guess that’s kind of counter productive.  So, I self diagnosed myself with seasonal depression (it was the summer) and took more pills.  I didn’t tell the woman I was seeing that I had stopped going to therapy.  More lies.  I just didn’t feel like hearing it…not from her…not from anybody.  I was definitely a piece of work back then huh?

I got engaged in Las Vegas about a month later.  Yes, I realize that statement of my engagement came out of left field.  So did my actual engagement.  I pretty much shocked everyone with that move…including myself…lol.  I got the ring on a whim and proposed even more out of nowhere.  That was my life at the time…fast, wild and spontaneous.  Don’t get me wrong, I was indeed in love with this woman, or at least I thought I was, but I was in NO way, shape, size or form ready to be married.  For one, I was a fucking drug dealer.  Even more importantly, I was hooked on pills, as well as other illegal substances.  I don’t think I was really ready for a life of monogamy at that point.  I was young…and wasn’t in the right frame of mind at the time…plus her and I were like oil and vinegar…tastes great together…but doesn’t mix well.  She’s a great girl and I have nothing bad to say about her…nor will I ever…we just weren’t right for each other.  To be honest, now that I’ve had time to really sit and think it all over, I should have never asked her to marry me if I wasn’t truly ready to commit.  It was very selfish on my part…and it certainly wasn’t fair to her or her family for that matter.  I should have let her go… and that’s all I’ll say about that…

The morning after I got engaged, she caught me sniffing pills in the hotel bathroom.  I won’t get into specific details…but let’s just say that didn’t go over well.  It wasn’t pretty that’s for sure.  Now add that to the fact that the night before, while celebrating our engagement over a nice dinner and champagne at a restaurant in Vegas, an ex of mine happens to walk in with some friends and ends up sitting two tables over from us.  Out of all the restaurants in all of Las Vegas, on all of the nights…I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried…I told you…one big movie…lol.  Anyway, that didn’t go over well either.  First the ex, then she catches me ripping lines of pills in the bathroom, right after she agreed to be my wife…one might say we were fucked from the start.

I panicked.  I didn’t know what to say or do.  The jig was up.  My secret was out.  The woman I just asked to marry me watched me crush up a pill…or six…and sniff them up my nose like it was common practice.  There would be no lying my way out of this pickle…I should know…I tried desperately.  I tried everything.  I tried to explain.  I told a mass amount of lies.  I was acting like a real drug addict.  I couldn’t admit it.  I tried reversing the blame, throwing it all on her.  I called her delusional.  I didn’t sniff anything.  She was clearly seeing things.  Nothing worked.  I was caught…I feared the worst…

She searched my luggage and found a stash of blueberries.  I told even more lies while crying for my pills.  I flipped out.  I threw out every Hail Mary I could think of.  Nothing worked.  She gave me the ultimatum.  It was the pills or her…I couldn’t have both.  “Matthew, you can have these pills back and I walk out of this hotel room and out of your life forever…or you can have me.”

Needless to say, she walked out of that hotel balling her eyes out crying, while I was happy as a kid in a candy store with my pills…I KID…I KID!!  Damn…do I really seem like THAT much of an idiot LOL?  The pills got flushed.  That was tough to watch…I almost wanted to dive in after them, but I held back.  Promises were made.  I FINALLY admitted that I had a slight problem with these pills, but I downplayed it.  Hey, it was a start.  She didn’t know that I had been on pills since the first date, and I surely wasn’t going to tell her that, not after the chain of events that took place over the past couple of days.  I asked her for help and I mostly meant it.  Problem solved…for now.  I still pondered that offer, pills or her, until I got back to Boston.  Of course I SAID that I’d quit and that I chose her over pills any day, but I had a lot to think about.  I mean I had a 17 month love affair with perc 30s.  Could I really just give it all up for a woman?

I ended up sniffing pills during the rest of the trip.  What, you didn’t quite possibly think that I just quit “cold turkey” there in Vegas did you?  Oh, helllll no…Vegas is like 105 degrees, and I wasn’t trying to have chills, sweats, and all those other fun withdrawal symptoms while I vacationed.  I had a squirrel stash of pills in another pocket of my luggage…in case of emergencies…thank God.  If I had gone “cold turkey” that day, I may have died or went into some sort of seizure.  Remember, I was doing about 20 pills a day at the time.  I was bad.  As usual, I hid it from her and told more lies.  Look, I may have got caught and said I was willing to quit…and I partly believed it to be true…but when you’re on something for so long…as I was…it wasn’t like I could just shut the need off.  I needed professional help…that was for sure….and until I got it…I was going to stay hustling…and stay sniffing.  Shit…I just got engaged…I deserved it….that’s how it was with me back then…always balls to the wall…sniffing pills, lying about it, and acting like I was living this wholesome life.

The flight home was rather tough for me.  Sure, I may have been on cloud nine from the blueberries, but I couldn’t relax at all.  I had a lot on my mind.  My mind was literally racing a mile a minute.  I had so many questions that I needed to answer…

(To be continued)…

Posted 08/24/2011 by Matty McDonald in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

HOW ADDICTION TOOK OVER MY LIFE (Part 2)

A normal person would have gotten help immediately, right then and there, or stopped cold turkey while it was still relatively early enough to safely do so.  I wasn’t normal.  I didn’t think I had a problem.  If anything, I just merely chaulked it up to another weekly expense, like buying groceries or getting a haircut.  I could afford it.  What’s a few pills a day compared to how many I was moving?  Plus, to be brutally honest, I didn’t want to stop.  I absolutely LOVED how I felt on those pills.  They made me feel like…well…fantastic.  One pill crushed up…that’s all it took…sniff…wow…they made me feel warm all over, energetic, ready to take on the world, they gave me an overall sense of well being, almost euphoric…I was literally on cloud nine…24 hours a day…it was love at first sniff.  When something makes me feel so fuckin’ good, why in the world would I ever want to quit?  Not with my personality…I was like…I want MORE!

I thought the berries enhanced everything that I did.  I never went anywhere and couldn’t do anything without them.  It was almost like a fucked up version of those credit card ads… “Blueberries….Matty never leaves home without them.”

Say I was going to take a trip to the mall or head downtown for some shopping, I’d sniff a few pills to get nice and right to shop.  Those pills really helped me spend…that’s for sure.  When it was time to hit the gym, I’d down a few pills.  I had this idiotic idea that pain pills could actually enhance my workouts.  I thought that I wouldn’t be able to feel the burn, so I’d be able to bang out more reps.  Mind you, at the time, I was also heavy on the steroids.  Nice mix.  Yes, I was a moron…I’m well aware.  If I had a hot date or was going out with some friends, I’d sniff a few pills beforehand, while I was getting ready.  Then I’d down a few more later on in the evening, with some cocktails of course.  Yup, I was going to be the life of that party, that’s for sure.  If my mother was having us all over her house for Sunday dinner, I’d take pills for that too…pills go great with Italian cooking…lol.  Whether it be to see the dentist, the doctor, my tattoo artist, a haircut appointment, well…you get the idea…I was “blueberried up” at all times…sadly.

I was convinced that I didn’t have a problem of any kind.  I was even more convinced that no one had a clue of what was going on.  I’d show up in another new vehicle, have on another new watch, I’d switch apartments, have new clothes, yet I was unemployed.  I was on drugs, thinking shit was sweet…I didn’t realize that addiction had truly taken over my life.  I got deeper and deeper in the drug trade.  I was addicted to both the pills and the money.  I took so many pills and thought nothing of it.  It all happened so fast.  It’s like one day I’m taking half of a blueberry with a few cocktails and I’m Mr.Social, Matty from BB9, absolutely loving my life, and the next I’m taking pills just to get out of bed, so I can function throughout the upcoming day…and I STILL wouldn’t quit.  Addiction is a motherfucker huh?

I thought I was making my great life even greater.  I didn’t think I was hurting anyone.  I especially wasn’t thinking about where all of those pills I was moving were going.  To be honest, that was the LAST thing on my mind.  I was more focused on me.  It’s not like anyone knew…right…except the few I dealt with.  I enjoyed those pills, I’ll admit it. I enjoyed every second of it.  My plan was to save up enough dough to move out west.  I kept setting the limit higher and higher every time I reached the goal.  I didn’t want to quit…I kept telling myself I’d quit when I was ready.  I was powerless to those lil’ guys…that’s for sure.  I guess I wasn’t ready until 17 months later…cause that’s when I finally quit the life.

I was still mixing the now more than occasional party drug or two with the pills when I went out.  Whether it be on vacation, a club, lounge, bar, home…any excuse to party.  Now add in a whole boat load of alcohol…then take into consideration I was always on anabolic steroids to stay in shape so it wouldn’t appear as if I were on drugs.  I had an image to uphold, remember?  I was mildly delusional…as you can see.  As I mentioned in the previous post…I only used to party on the weekends.  Well… not at that point in my life.  Everyday was Friday in my eyes.  I wasn’t working.  I was a reality TV star who just happened to be a drug trafficker.

I was in all out party mode for the better part of those 17 months.  I thought I was a rock star.  Shit…I think at the end I started to even look like one too…sadly.  I’d sleep all day long.  I’d hit the gym.  I’d shop.  I’d party at night.  I’d take trips bi-weekly to FL to re-up on pills.  Rinse, recycle, repeat.  I’d take vacations as if I deserved it.  I dated a few different women during this time period, but right now I don’t feel that my love life is really relevant to this…however I did mention that I had an addiction to toxic women, so I guess I gotta throw this in.  I used to confuse jealousy, madness, and craziness with passion and love…the more crazy a woman was over me the more I thought she loved me…it turned me on….I think I just truly thrived on the attention.  Don’t get me wrong…I was no angel either.  I can say that during this time, with all my drug use and all that was going on with my double life… I probably wasn’t exactly the best boyfriend in the world…sure I made many mistakes, and I was an asshole at times (emotionally NOT physically) but it wasn’t ALL bad…c’mon even my friends call me lover boy…lol.  Sure I have regrets, but who doesn’t…right?  Every woman I’ve ever loved, I really wish them nothing but the best…that’s truth…besides if they had to deal with my nonsense and way of living…they deserve to be happy.  Maybe I’ll go into details about my love life in another blog…or with my track record another several blogs… but for now back to the story…

All the partying, trips, drugs and whatnot may sound glamorous to some of you.  It wasn’t.  All the drugs, booze and steroids I put in my system really threw a dent in the plans.  I had many hospital visits during that time…even while on vacation.  To tell you the truth, it still boggles my mind to see how much the human body can really withstand.  I’m surprised I am not dead…

From the day that I realized that I needed the pills to function, things only got worse.  Maybe not financially, but definitely my physical and mental state for sure.  As time went on, my tolerance built up.  It no longer took me only a few pills to be on cloud nine, I had to take 5…then 10…then 15.  I was now taking 15 a day to feel normal…just to not feel sick. Those withdrawals are fuckin’ brutal…let me tell you.  Luckily, I usually always had them on hand, either around the house, or in my car, or wherever else I would stash them in case of emergency.  There were a few times when I had to hop on a plane to FL on a moment’s notice because I had run out and the withdrawals started.  I’d be on the plane…literally shaking cold then sweating…the person next to me would always look at me funny. Hey I felt like shit…I didn’t care… 3 hours from Boston and I’d feel like a champ again.  Shit, I would have flown to friggin’ China to not feel sick…that’s the truth!

Now one would think that when I needed THAT many pills in order to function, and even more to feel the way I loved feeling, that I would quit, or at least get some professional help.  Well, that wasn’t happening any time soon.  I still enjoyed the pills…I just happened to need a lot per day.  I loved that life.  I loved the rush of the hustle, the rush of getting on a plane going to make money, the rush I felt as soon as I sniffed one. I knew I’d have to quit hustling if I truly wanted to quit.  There would be none of that.  I got used to living a certain way, I wasn’t going back to a regular life with a regular honest job.  Besides, I wasn’t a drug addict, remember?  Those pills were just a hobby of mine.  Addicts are on corners asking for nickel rocks.  Not me, I was living in a nice apartment, driving a new Lexus.  I had money.  I was no addict.  NA meetings?  I don’t need those…only crackheads need those…the shit I used to tell myself to rationalize my drug use…out of control…

Then things started to change.  See, when I started out, I had the world by the balls.  I thought I had it all…money, a little taste of fame, a great social life.  Life was but a beach chair.  But it wasn’t all fun and games.  All the different shit I was putting in my system, along with all this money I had, turned me into a completely different person. I went from an outgoing, likable, respectful human being to a complete dickhead.  Hey, I’ll admit it.  I thought I was above everything and everyone. You couldn’t tell me shit.  Everyone was on MY time…not the other way around.  The more and more pills I took, the more lies I told.  I’d be telling my poor mother, who just spent all day cooking dinner, that I was 5 minutes away…everyone would be waiting on me to eat.  I was already late.  She would go and make my plate for me…and all that…and in reality I was in FL boarding a plane…coming home from picking up pills.  Five minutes my ass.  I was a disgrace.  That happened on more than one occasion.  I was living such a double life.  I thought nothing of it.  It still sickens me now to think of how many times I chose drugs over friends and my family.  Now as I’m typing this (I have email…FINALLY), I’d give ANYTHING to really be five minutes away for dinner at my moms.

Drugs really distorted my values and my views of the world.  Before I was on these 30s,  I’ve always been gainfully employed.  I’ve always been pretty responsible in that department.  I’ve always been a hard worker, and I’m proud to be able to say that.  There’s NOTHING wrong with an honest day’s work.  I even briefly had a job right after BB9…selling cars.  I didn’t want to go back to construction after the show, so my boy Kevin hooked me up with a nice lil’ gig.  I was pretty good at it…so I’m told.  I was even better at first when I was on the blueberries.  I could sell fire in hell on those things.  Then as I started to really make money with them and really get addicted, I became really lax with work, which was so unlike me.  I stopped caring.  I was let go.  I used to think,  “who needs work when I can take a trip to FL and make a month’s salary in a few hours…”  My way of thinking was definitely warped…that’s for sure.

My personality continued to change dramatically.  I began to shut everyone out.  I barely saw my friends.  I always had some bogus excuse of why I wasn’t going out…some lie.  I hardly even saw my parents.  Any time I went over there, it was “hi…bye”…five minutes in and out.  I had places to go, people to see.  No time for anyone.  I became very moody. On more than one occasion, I would lash out on a friend or a family member, for no reason at all…which was very out of character for me.  The drugs were changing me…I just couldn’t see it.  I was in my own little world.  My emotions were up and down…like a rollercoaster.  When the littlest thing would go wrong, it felt like the end of the world.  I remember one night I misplaced my wallet.  I hadn’t even been out, so I knew it had to be somewhere.  I was on the phone with my aunt, literally crying over a lost wallet.  In between my tears, I was sniffing pills…like that’s gonna solve anything.  It was almost as if someone had died…it was crazy…all over a wallet…which I ended up finding the next morning…by the way.  Those pills really fuck with your emotions.  One minute I’d be so happy, ready to go out, up for anything, outgoing…then the next minute…boom! …I’d be utterly depressed, thinking life was over.  Life was no beach chair…it was all rain and clouds.  It was like that on a daily basis for me…up and down….STILL wouldn’t quit.

Regardless of how much money I had and how much I was making, my life was spiraling out of control.  Nothing made me happy anymore.  Some days, I had really wished that I was dead.  It would be easier than dealing with life.  I literally wanted to die…though I never tried anything crazy.  I was just strait up depressed.  I began to be reckless with my spending.  I was living ridiculous.  I spent foolishly.  I tried to literally buy my happiness…nothing worked.

There were a few times where I half-assed tried to reach out to a few people, saying I needed help.  One person had been through what I was going through, not too long before me.  The other had a friend who died from what I was taking.  But like I said, it was a half-ass attempt.  I was vague.  I didn’t want to admit I had a problem.  Matthew McDonald is no fucking drug addict.  I’m just depressed…that’s all.  I still wasn’t ready to quit.  I was in denial. I felt so alone.  No one had a clue what was going on (I shut everyone out…remember).  From the outside looking in, I had it made in the shade.  I wasn’t working, I was pretty well off, but if you were to scratch the surface, you would’ve seen that I was broken.  I was no longer myself.  I couldn’t quit though.  I couldn’t dare go through those withdrawals, and “hell no” to rehab…people would find out.  I kept on sniffing!

I figured I was depressed cause I wasn’t employed…like I had all this free time to do absolutely nothing.  So my cousin Jackie got me back in the union.  We were working on building the new Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.  It DID feel great to be back to work…to have some purpose…but I was still really heavy on the pills.  I’d be doing pills in the porta-potty at work, before work, right when I got out of work…you get it.  I STILL busted my ass at work though, can’t take that away from me.  I realized I couldn’t continue on this trend forever…. time was running out… if I didn’t stop now, I’d either be doing 50 pills a day or I’d be dead… that’s when the ultimatum came…

(To be continued)…

Posted 08/10/2011 by Matty McDonald in Uncategorized

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HOW ADDICTION TOOK OVER MY LIFE

It’s Sunday…yet again.  It was bright and sunny today.  To tell you the truth, it ain’t so emotional ’round here in Wyatt…lol.  It’s actually pretty chill here.  I guess everyone was right when they told me that the hardest part of my bid was over.  I’m talking about my time spent pretrial, being held without bond in county jail.  Granted, I’ve only been here for a few weeks.  I’m sure there are guys who’ve spent months…or even years here pretrial…who might have a different opinion on the matter.  But…this isn’t their blog…lol…it’s mine.  So, as far as I’m concerned, Wyatt is pretty decent (for a jail anyway).

I’m NOT recommending that anyone should commit a crime and join me for an extended stay.  I’m just saying that compared to my last accommodations, this place is like night and day.  Shit…I should probably put some disclaimer on this page…considering the traffic it’s been getting.  With my luck, some braniac will try to slap me with a lawsuit, blaming yours truly, saying that I said prison wasn’t too bad.  Remember, we live in the country that allowed someone to sue McDonald’s for the coffee being too hot…without a warning label.  We allowed them to sue and they won.  So on that note:  I am NOT prompting prison, crimes, doing or selling any drugs or illegal substances.  Anything I say is for educational purposes…DON’T do drugs…and to the kids…stay in school!

Anyway, now that that’s settled, I had a pretty good day today.  My mind state is currently on “the glass is half full” mode.  Optimism is the only way to do time right without stressin’…as I’ve mentioned before.  I just keep telling myself that every day is but one day closer…

I worked out in the early AM and again later in the afternoon…doing mostly cardio and calisthenics.  I used to never workout on Sundays back in Middleton…trying something new!  I have temporarily stopped my AM yoga.  I’ll start again when I get to the camp.

I watched the Women’s World Cup Championship game.  I’m pretty bummed that USA lost, but hey, Japan definitely needed a morale boost after the year they’ve had over there, so it wasn’t too bad (see…”half full”).

I finished reading my latest book, Bridget Jones’s Diary.  I really enjoyed it.  It was rather funny to get inside the mind of a single woman in a comic manner.  Now if only every woman I date would just let me inside their mind, we’d be in business…lol.

I wrote a few letters to a few friends.  With my luck, I’ll get shipped outta here on Friday and I won’t get any of their responses…lol.  By the way, every Friday, there’s a bus from RI to MDC Brooklyn NY…which is my next stop…so I can move once again at a moment’s notice.  I don’t get to choose when I go, they just randomly wake you up at 4AM and say “pack it up”.  Maybe this Friday…who knows?

Oh yeah, I got a visit from my parents today.  That was a pleasant surprise since they didn’t tell me they were coming.  They even remarked that I seemed happier.  I guess I am…well…considering I’m locked up.  It’s crazy how one’s surroundings can totally change your outlook on things.  So…needless to say…I feel pretty good.  I’ve certainly come a long way, that’s for sure.

My friend Stephanie recently asked me via letter to go more in depth with these blog entries.  She asked me to really dig into my addictions.  I wrote her back today, and to that I responded, “which one?”…lol.  So, I sat for a while, trying to analyze my addictive behavior and why I felt that I needed those pills…among my many other vices…to function socially.  That’s what got me to thinking…how addiction took over my life.

I can’t really pinpoint the exact day I realized that I was addicted to the “blueberries”.  It kind of just happened.  At first, I absolutely loved the way they made me feel, and when something can alter my mood or enhance how I feel, I go balls to the wall.  I don’t stop.  I’ve never been able to have just ONE drink, sniff just ONE line, or bet on just ONE game.  I always go for broke.  I don’t want the feeling to end…that rush.  See, I was NO angel before I got hooked on the 30’s.  I’ve done my share of partying.  Shit…I’ve probably done your share too…but I always had limitations.  I never really let drugs or alcohol dictate my life…well…not too much.  If I was in school or working, I wouldn’t touch shit during the week.  I’d only party on the weekends or on vacations.  That’s pretty normal, I guess.  I mean, don’t most young people work all week just to get wasted and loose on the weekends?  Well I did…for a long time.  I’ve done it all…well…all your party drugs anyways.  You got your E, GHB, K, cocaine…you get the idea.  By the way, I am in NO way bragging about my drug use.  In fact, as I look back on it, I’m quite disgusted with myself.  I was an absolute mess.  I was an addict LONG before the pills…I just didn’t realize it…or I just didn’t care either way.  Maybe I was in some sort of denial.  Like, I didn’t fit the stereotypical drug addict description.  I had a full-time job, I was in great shape, had no criminal record, I had a great social life, and I had a really close relationship with my family.  I was what they call a “functioning addict”.  I used to always say, “I hate cocaine…I just love how it smells.”  See, I still don’t know specifically why I thought I needed drugs.  I mean, it wasn’t to “fit in” or anything.  It’s not like I was socially awkward.  I just loved how they made me feel…I guess.  In fact, I’ve been told in the past that I was a fucking weirdo when I did coke…really anti-social.  Wait…isn’t that the opposite of why I did it in the first place?  Then why did I do it so much?  Addiction.  That’s why.  I guess I have been addicted to more than merely drugs over the years.  Money, fame, women, steroids, gambling…all the things that alter my mind and enhance my mood in one way or another.  But…it was those pills…those magical blue pills (no…not Viagra…lol…although these are quite magical)…those 30’s…that actually got me more than mentally addicted.  I became physically dependent on them.  It became more than just a poor choice, it became a necessity.

I remember waking up one morning in my Boston apartment.  The girl I was with woke me up, semi-grossed out, because apparently I was soaked in a small pool of cold sweat.  I laughed it off to the steroids I was on at the time, or that I might be coming down with the flu.  Blueberries never even crossed my mind.  At that time, I was only taking a few pills a day…for recreational purposes.  Yeah, I said “only”.  That day, for some reason, I didn’t take them as I normally would’ve.  So then, all of a sudden, after being awake for an hour, I started to burn up.  I was sweating profusely, as if I were in a sauna.  It lasted about 15 hot minutes, so I hopped in the shower and then…boom!  I was freezing my balls off…even under hot water.  I had the worst chills I’ve ever had in my life.  That lasted about 15 minutes.  Then…you guessed it…back to sauna mode…sweating bullets.  OK, that lasted ALL day like that, going back and forth from hot to cold intervals.  Talk about mild insanity…so I figured I was sick.  I must have come down with something.  Then, out of nowhere, I felt completely weak.  I was too weak to even walk.  It was as if all my strength had been drained out of my body.  So, I tried to eat something…soup…I think.  Bad idea.  Well…good idea…but it wasn’t happening.  I was nauseous.  I couldn’t eat or drink.  I was so sick to my stomach that I began dry heaving uncontrollably.  I was sprawled out on my bathroom floor, hugging the toilet bowl.  Marvelous, I had the flu.  I hate the flu, it sucks, but this seemed worse, maybe it was H1N1.  Shit.  Didn’t I get my flu shot?  So, I figured I’d try to crawl to my room to lay down.  Now mind you, I still have the “hot/cold” thing going on and I’m sick to my stomach, so lying down wasn’t exactly easy.  It was really uncomfortable, I was blasting my A/C when hot, then cranking the heat and hiding under the covers when the chills came on.  I couldn’t sleep.  My legs ached as if I had just ran a marathon, and they wouldn’t stop moving, like they had a mind of their own.  It’s called Restless Leg Syndrome…or so I’m told.  In fact, ALL of my muscles ached…badly.  I felt like I just took a beatin’  from Randy Couture.  I tried to sleep…I couldn’t.  Now all this is occurring over the course of the day, so the symptoms I’m describing are just getting worse and worse.  This was it.  I was dying.  A slow painful death…all alone (the girl I was seeing at the time was now at work).  I wouldn’t wish that pain on my worst enemy.

Then I had a bright idea.  I decided to take a few 30’s.  I figured I was in real pain and I had pain pills…made sense.  Since I was getting rid of them in an abundance, I always had a squirrel stash of them around my apartment (for recreational use obviously).  I took two…actually had to force ’em down.  It wasn’t easy since I was on the verge of death.  It wasn’t instant gratification, but about 15-20 minutes later, I felt considerably better.  Wow, these pills are the best.  I sniffed another.  No way was I gonna try and force another down my throat…with the dry heaves and all.  I felt…wonderful…all symptoms gone.  I felt as if I could actually run a marathon.  I was a genius.  I cured the flu!  Wait…shit…then it all hit me.  I was sick because I didn’t take the percs that morning, not because I had the flu.  I’m such an idiot.  How did this happen?  When?  Nah…can’t be.  I’m no drug addict.  Purely coincidence.  Denial…it’s a funny thing…huh?  But I knew what was up…I just didn’t know what was to come.  I didn’t only want the pills now…I needed them.  I loved them…

(To be continued…)

Posted 07/27/2011 by Matty McDonald in Uncategorized

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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.

MY FIRST BLOG FROM FEDERAL PRISON

My name is Matthew McDonald, Federal Inmate #92254-038.  You may or may not remember me, most notably as Matty from Big Brother.  Yes, I am one of the idiots from the show who got caught up in a large-scale drug conspiracy.  If that doesn’t refresh your memory, let me tell you a little bit about myself.  I was on Season 9 of Big Brother and appeared as a guest on Season 10.  I’ve also been on Fear Factor and had a few other guest spots, but that was a few years ago and not really relevant to this.

I was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on April 27, 2010 and arrested by the DEA that very same day for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute a whole boat load of oxycodone pills.  That day wasn’t fun…let me tell you…but I’ll talk more about that down the line.  I had no absolutely no criminal record prior to that, but was denied bail/bond by the Feds due to the fact I was accused of a domestic assault a few days prior to my indictment and because I was supposedly a flight risk?  I really can’t talk about the domestic charges because the case is still pending, but I want to firmly maintain my innocence.  Listen, I may have been a drug dealer at one point in my life, but I DO NOT hit women.  I love women.  I may have been an asshole when it came to matters of the heart, but I don’t hit–it’s just not who I am.

Anyway, as far as the drug charges are concerned, I pled guilty in January of 2011, and I was recently sentenced by Chief US Judge Mark Wolf in Federal Court on May 11, 2011.  He imposed a sentence of 36 months in Federal prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release, with mandatory drug testing and a hefty $50,000 fine.  The judge was quoted saying, “Mr. Mcdonald, you’ll probably end up back on TV after this is all said and done, so you’ll be able to pay this fine off in one lump sum.”  Umm…does anyone have 50K I can borrow?  lol

I could have taken my case to trial, and made the government prove its case against me, but I didn’t.  Even though there was NO physical evidence against me–all they had was a couple of cooperating witnesses (aka rats), some bank records and transactions, and my travel records–during the period of which I was accused.  I knew I had to look inside myself, “man up”, and admit what I did.  It was time to start taking responsibility for my actions and stop blaming others for my wrongdoings.  It was the only way to truly move past this, so I pled guilty.  However, it still hurts like hell to know who cooperated against me.  For someone to throw away a lifelong friendship in return for a couple of years shaved off of a prison sentence…I don’t know…that’s not something I would do.  I’m not mad…just hurt.  It is what it is.

Here I am today, blogging my journey through Federal Prison.  While most people who are or were in the limelight usually shy away and hide when they get in trouble or sent to prison, I am doing the exact opposite.   I want to use this as a chance to share my experience with the world.  I realize I have made MANY mistakes and have lacked good judgment, to say the least.  I am using my time now as my opportunity to maybe reach out if only to one person.  To use my errors as an example of what not to do…or to anyone who is currently addicted…look at my story.  I overcame addiction.  Yes, I still landed in prison, but that’s not the point.  America is inundated with people addicted to these pills.  I myself was once addicted…and in a bad way.  It is an epidemic…but it can be beaten.

The judge said something to me at my sentencing that really had an impact on me.  He said, “Mr. McDonald, you stood here before me today and told me how you got swept up in the fast life and how these pills ruined your life.  Mr. McDonald, you sold thousands and thousands of pills.  You had a lucrative business, which you did quit in August of 2009, but you could have stopped a year prior.  Let me ask you, how many people’s lives do you think you ruined in that time period?”  He was so right.  I had never looked at it like that before.

Let me get something straight before I go on.  I sold pills in bulk from roughly May 2008 to about August 2009.  I am not denying that.  However, I did quit selling and using drugs on my own.  I did this long before any of my other co-conspirators got in any trouble.  I realized I wasn’t living right and straightened out my life.  They kept on going until they got caught.  This is partly the reason why the judge sentenced me to 36 months, instead of the 70 months the DA was asking for.

As far as what the judge said to me, those are words that really opened my eyes.  I mean, I’ve always looked at it as being all about me.  I sold drugs, I got addicted, I cleaned up, I got in trouble.  I got so addicted to the whole “fast life” after the show:  money, cars, trips, women, drugs, and my then new found fame…faster than I got addicted to those pills.  I never took into account where all these pills were going and whose lives I was ruining while I was making money.  It sickens me to even think about it.  For that, I truly apologize.  Unfortunately, I can’t change the past.  I am paying for it now…but I can change my future.  So here I am.  Just as others helped me through my recovery, I hope to pay it forward.  As time goes on, I will be here via third party to blog about my experience through the Federal Prison System…until my release.  I don’t have internet access, only e-mail, hence the third party.  Also, for anyone who wants to write me, my address will be changing frequently, as I move from prison to prison, around the US.   I will update my address as I move.  For now, here is my current mailing address:

Essex County Correctional Facility

P.O. Box 807

Matthew McDonald – MSA #0686127

Unit 240C – Cell 702

Middleton, MA 01949-2807

Posted 05/28/2011 by Matty McDonald in Uncategorized

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