Archive for the ‘Life Before Prison’ Tag

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

Tagged with , ,

THE INDICTMENT

The United States of America v. Matthew McDonald…

Even today as I write this, those very words still give me the chills.  I mean…try it for yourself…put your name in place of mine…anything?  Thought so.

It’s not like I’m not used to it.  I’ve heard it said aloud over half a dozen times at the beginning of each and every one of my Federal Court appearances…but this shit still fucks me up to think about.  Like, the United States of America…all 50 states…versus l’il old me?  That’s a lot of people against me considering I’m only one man.  The odds were obviously against me…cause in the end they won…they got their conviction.  I’m told the Feds have something like a 97% conviction rate…pfff!

I can still remember the very first time I heard that phrase said aloud…my life would never be the same…

Before I tell this little story…I need go back to the day before.  It’s not like I just woke up one morning in a Federal Courtroom to some clerk telling me my life was about to be over.  I had to be arrested first.

It was a Tuesday…my last true day of freedom.  I remember that day like it was only yesterday.  That’s relatively easy considering all the days after my arrest spent in jail were pretty much the same day over and over….until I was moved recently.  I did my regular Tuesday things…as I always have.  I woke up around 11AM, went to the gym, ate, came home, had a quick visit with my Grandpa (he lives on the first floor of my apartment building), showered and got ready for work.  By getting ready, I mean I threw on sweats and a tee (I always change at work).  Normally, I wouldn’t have to be in work until 6PM, but on this particular Tuesday, I had to be in a little early.  The entire staff at the W Hotel in Boston did.  There was a mandatory talent rally (aka staff meeting) that even I had to attend.  Now usually I would have opted out since I had worked the night before, but there was no way around it.  All 300 members of the hotel staff had to be there…so I went.  I punched in…never punched out.  Come to think of it, I’m probably STILL on the clock as you read this…lol.

I won’t bore you with the talent rally…and all that took place during it…because I can’t really.  I lasted a full 10 minutes there before all pandemonium broke loose.  All I know is that just as it was starting, it was ending for me.  Everyone was there…friends, co-workers, managers, DEA agents…WAIT…DEA agents?  I guess they liked the hotel’s benefits package…maybe they were applying?  lol

When the two agents came in and walked towards me, wearing their blue jackets with DEA written in yellow and their badges around their necks, I knew what was up.  They were there for me…unless maybe there was some other drug dealer working there…couldn’t hurt to hope.  Nope, this meeting was mine…and mine alone.  I remember the first thing I thought was, “Am I in some sort of fucking nightmare right now…you gotta be shittin’ me…like…really!?!…fuck my life .  This can’t be happening.  I quit selling pills months ago.  I went to rehab.  I cleaned up my act.  I got a good job.  I was turning my life around.  I got rid of all the negative influences in my life.”  But as I said before…the past ALWAYS catches up with you.

If you remember that a mere few days prior, I was arrested for that other nonsense…worst week of my life!  I was ALREADY the subject of a hundred rumors around the hotel…thanks to our good friends at TMZ and various other media outlets…now this?  I’ll admit I was scared at first…better yet…in shock.  For the first time in my life I felt helpless.  I couldn’t sweet-talk my way out of this one.  Nope…this was serious!

I still had positive thoughts while all this was all happening…being cuffed and read my rights…“I’ll get bail/bond.  I’ll be home in an hour.  I’ll get a good attorney…he’ll get me out.  I’ll be right back to work.  Shit…did I leave my iron on?  Fuck…my car’s parked in the garage…that’s gonna really cost me overnight!  This better not make the news…one bad mugshot was enough.  Hey, at least I have a fresh haircut (thanks to Brian).  I wonder who snitched on me?  I wonder what the Feds know?  Fuck…these cuffs hurt!  I hate being cuffed.”  My mind was racing faster than my heart as I got led out of my work.

I used to think I was untouchable.  No pills…no case.  Now I was whistling a different tune.  I was served a Federal indictment.  Add it to the pile of shit I was already in.  This shit was turning into a Lifetime movie…and fast.  Where were the low budget B-list actors?  Nope…it was real…and I was about to find out how real.  “Goodbye W”, I thought as I was hauled off in some government-issued DEA SUV…

I spent the night in some holding cell in a city outside of Boston.  I guess it was too late in the day to arraign me.  It was nothing special.  They were actually pretty nice to me…the cops there…not the DEA.  They gave me the Boston Herald to read, some extra blankets, a cheeseburger, fries and a soda.  Not bad…a ray of hope…perhaps?  My emotions were on a rollercoaster in there…and I was completely sober.  I went from sad to angry, fear to aggravation, doubt to certainty, embarrassment back to anger again.  At that time, I was STILL blaming others for my circumstances.  I remember calling my mom then my aunt, while in the cell, saying first, “that lawyer better get me out”, then again 20 minutes later, “do you think I even have a chance of getting out?”, then 20 minutes later, “get me out of this shit.”  I was all over the place.  I barely slept.

The next day I was arraigned.  I was still in the clothes I was arrested in:  white v-neck t-shirt, black sweats, black & white Nike Air Max 95’s (wonder if I’ll ever get them back…lol).  Not exactly my Sunday’s best…but I’m sure the judge would understand…I hope.  I remember looking around the courtroom…looking over at my parents.  They had fear and sorrow in their eyes.  They smiled.  What else could they do…right?

The courtroom was immense, like you see in the movies.  “So this is the Federal Courtroom…huh?”  There was a ginormous United States seal over by where the judge sits, touch-screen computers, all sorts of clerks and other workers.  Oh yeah…and two heavily armed US Marshalls…only a mere few feet behind me.  I can still remember thinking while looking around, “You really did it this time Matty.  You got yourself in some serious shit.”  I greeted my attorney, James Cipoletta.  I told him to get me out of this.  He said he’d fight for me…and he certainly did…but there was no guarantee.  Feds are different with bond than State.  They do not like to give it…especially to drug dealers of the level they thought I was.  Then, out of nowhere, I heard it…“The United States of America versus Matthew McDonald.  Please rise for the Honorable…”  Everything went silent in my head.  My heart was in my throat.  My stomach was in knots.  Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion.  I was shaking.  The United States of America versus me?  Like…what the fuck?  I’m one man.  The United States has me outnumbered by like…well…a lot…lol.  I might be “lol” now, but I surely wasn’t then…I was shaken.

The hearing lasted an hour or so.  The District Attorney went over the charges.  They had a few witnesses (yes…even at a bail hearing), a cop and a narcotics agent…or something like that.  They went over what they thought they knew to be true.  How many pills I had then allegedly sold and transported from Florida via airplane, and how much money I had then allegedly made.  They went over briefly what their “cooperating witnesses” had told them via Grand Jury testimony.  Shit…by the end…they even had ME convinced I was fucking guilty.  They made me out to be a monster and I needed to be kept off the streets.  They said I was an extreme flight risk and a danger to the community.  I was like, “Huh…me?”  I don’t even have a record, and besides I stopped selling eight (8) months prior to that.  What did they want with me?  All I had to say for myself was, “Not guilty, Your Honor.”

In the end, I was denied bond.  My lawyer fought for me…I’ll give him that…but the charge I got a few days prior conveniently played a part in my being denied bond.  Guess it wasn’t “nonsense” in their eyes.  Just a reason to hold me…

So that was it.  Sure…I’d appeal bond.  But that took time…time I’d have to spend in jail or wherever I’d be held.  Round One:  Feds 1 – Matty 0.  “So, this is it…huh?  I’m going to jail?”  I remember saying that to my attorney.  I was cuffed by the U.S. Marshalls and I nodded at my parents.  They had the same look of sadness in their eyes.  Their son was going to a place they knew nothing about, only from what they heard and what they saw in movies and on TV.  I heard, “Love you Matt…stay strong.”  That was it…

Funny thing is…I wasn’t scared to go to jail…well not of jail itself.  I was more afraid of losing my entire life while stuck in there.  Like…my apartment, my car…shit…my job!  I later realized that all those things can be replaced.  All material possessions can…time can’t though…that’s for sure.  I was on my way to prison, and at the time all I could think about was this frivolous shit.  I wasn’t thinking of how my family must feel…especially my mom.  She must have been a wreck.  I wondered what my friends were thinking…or if they even knew yet.  Oh they knew…apparently everyone did.

I saw some of the shit the media had to say about yours truly.  They were worse on me than the DA…in making me out to be a monster.  “The Bad Boy of Big Brother”…fuck them.  I wanted to lash out…to defend myself.  Actually, it was for my family’s sake.  I can take it, but it was probably tough on them to read and hear all that negative shit about me…and there was a lot!!  Hey, at least they called me a D-list hunk (LMAO) in some NY paper.  I couldn’t defend myself to the press.  My lawyer told me to keep my mouth shut.  I’d later find out why…

I was locked up and haven’t felt freedom since.  It sucks.  It was difficult at first.  They say the first few months are the hardest.  But now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel…it’s close…

As I sit here and write this, a lot of those old feelings flash across my mind…those painful memories.  It’s crazy to see how much I’ve grown since then…even in terms of coping with being on the sidelines for a few years…while everyone I know and love goes on and lives their lives.  I had to really cope.  It’s the only way to survive in here without stress.  I have two choices, basically.  “One”, I can use this time being away to reflect on all my mistakes (not only criminal) and how I can become a better man…to work on myself physically and mentally…so that when I am released (soon…by the way) I can live life the way I should have the first time around.  Or “two”, I can sit around feeling sorry for myself…stressing out over the so many “what ifs” that plague my mind…the regrets (I have a few)…and worry about what everyone has going on in the outside world.  I choose “one”.  It is what it is.  That’s all in here…you either man the fuck up and do the time…or you stress and let the time do you.  Let’s just say I’m not losing any hair in here.  Sure, I have my days, but who doesn’t?  I’d be lying if I said I NEVER stress, but I surely don’t dwell on it.  I now use it to my advantage.  When I’m sad…I write.  When I’m pissed off…I write.  When I’m gassed up…I write.

When I was free, three years seemed like a lifetime, especially if it meant being locked up.  Like…three years?  That’s (3) birthdays and (3) Christmases.  Shit.  Nah…fuck that.  When you have no choice (like me) you just gotta do it.  Well…I had a choice.  Mine was to hustle (sell drugs)…obviously the WRONG choice…one of plenty.  So here I am.  I allowed pills to put me in a cell.

So that’s a little taste of how I got indicted by the U.S. Government.  It wasn’t pleasant.  What if I never went to that meeting at my work?  How would my arrest have played out differently?  See…so many “what ifs”.  Fuck it.  I went.  I’m here.  I’m on my way…

To Becky from North Carolina, I got your letter.  Thanks for the words of encouragement…means a lot…even though you said you’d never let me date your daughter…lol!  Best wishes…Matty

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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