I grew up in South Jersey around a bunch of punk rock kids who spent their time skateboarding and going to local shows in Philadelphia. We smoked weed, drank a lot, got in to fights, and chased around all the little punk rock girls. I started making art, playing music, and got heavily involved in the scene. As I continued to experiment with different drugs with my friends and bandmates, my shift slowly drifted away from creativity and having fun, to focusing on nothing else but how messed up could I get in a night. I had no idea the kind of fire I was playing with; I really thought I was just a kid having fun.
At some point I crossed a very serious line. I was doing hard drugs like heroin and completely lost touch with the passionate, outgoing kid I knew just years before. I never picked up my guitar, I never got back on a skateboard, I didn't care about anything. After coming home from a party, wasted as usual, I passed out on the floor of my bedroom. When I woke up my grandmother was going through my things and found my needles and a few bags of dope. The look of horror on her face, a woman who worked hard to give me a good life, is something I will never forget.
I was sent to a drug rehab in Florida called Recovery Unplugged. I was told they had a program that was based in music and art, and I could have a lot of fun and get better. I had never been to drug rehab, or even been clean, so I figured a drug rehab in Florida that was based around music would be better than anything I could find around home. I was sent to detox and then driven to Recovery Unplugged with no clue what to expect. Honestly I thought the whole thing was kind of a joke. After being there a few weeks I found myself connecting with people, enjoying listening to music, and even picking up my guitar again. I was really surprised by the feelings I was having, they felt so foreign at the time.
After leaving Recovery Unplugged I started to attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings regularly, found a sponsor, and took all the suggestions that I heard when I first came in to the program. That was almost a year ago. I have been able to keep the same job this entire time, and started playing music at local coffee shops in South Florida. I am so grateful for the events in my life, and the people who have been here for me along the way.
I felt compelled to share my story, after feeling like an outsider my entire life I was finally able to connect and relate with people in recovery, just like those who have shared their stories on this website as well. I just wanted to say I am grateful, happy, and free!