‘I Want My Life Back’

Crack was a mind shattering experi- ence. All my problems went away. It was like a jolt, a sensation that was unbelievable. It took me on a cloud and made real life disappear. It only lasted for about five minutes, but then I wanted to go again and again.

Soon I realized I couldn’t stop when I wanted to. I was afraid of who I was becoming. I started running out of money and couldn’t always get enough for my kids to eat. And crack made me isolate myself from every- one. I just wanted to be in the house by myself, smoking.

Finally, I decided my drug use was out of hand. I told the judge in fam- ily court that I needed help with my drug addiction. The court sent me to the Family Treatment Program, where I joined a group for fathers

who had drug problems. It helped to see other men going through the same things I was going through. I also went to a program called Trinity House. There I talked about my innermost feelings.

At the time I was feeling the lowest about myself that I’ve ever felt in my life. I felt like a failure, an irresponsible parent. I felt suicidal. It seemed like life had no meaning anymore. I felt lonely, abandoned, lost.

I told the group how I got there, how

my drug use took over my life, how I lost my kids and my apartment. I shared about my childhood, my love life, my job. The things I shared with them I had never shared with any- one. Sharing my feelings helped me see that I wanted my life back, espe- cially my kids, and helped me make a plan for my future.

Trinity House taught me how to stay away from the people, places and situations that triggered me to use. They made me feel like part of something—a family—again. I loved

the program and the people who gave me confidence in myself.

I feel proud of myself when I look back at how I hit my bottom in life and rose back up to stand tall and be strong in times of desperation and adversity.