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Cold Heart In Peril

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Cold Heart In Peril

I was 19 months old when my father died. I was blamed for his death by my grandmother and as a result I shut my emotions down. At 5 years old I was prescribed Ritalin. By 6, I was hanging at the commune with my babysitter after school. I was used as an experiment and given doses of LSD. The sixties were a blur of concerts and drugs -- THC, LSD and weed predominantly.

In the seventies I started to deal to support my habit. I entered my first recovery meeting at 13 years old because I was bleeding to death behind a McDonalds from 3 ulcers.

I graduated in 1977 and went to college were I majored in dealing and using. I reentered the program and my first treatment center that year as well. I quit drinking and substituted weed. Life became getting and finding ways and means to get more. I re-entered college in 1980 and studied and partied. I left college in 1983 and proceeded into my career as a dealer. I started to mule it around for anyone willing to pay. My drug of choice was anything that got me a buzz.

I lied, stole, cheated, conned and sold myself to get whatever I could. My existence became one of living on the streets and I was reduced to the animal level. In 1989 I almost killed my family just to get one more.

I was done and I attempted to try and get into a treatment center. At 15 days clean I was finally accepted. I was 96 pound, my hair was down to my backside. My checks were sunken in and I looked like a skeleton. They told me that if I wanted to stay clean I had to do the program. I was determined to do the program the way they told me to prove it did not work. Darn if it did though. It took 6 months of clean time to come out of denial. In that 6 months I went through that treatment center, 2 psych wards, a mental institution, 2 halfway houses, a suicide attempt.

At 6 months clean after attempting to work a program (mine) I was kicked out and living on the street again clean. I wanted to die but I was afraid to fail again by taking my own life and so I walked down the expressway hoping to get hit until I reached a bar where I promptly picked a fight with a bigger dude. I blacked out from rage and ended up in jail.

It was there that I realized I was done fighting and I dropped to my knees and surrendered. I have not used any mind altering substance since 9/10/1989. It is a one-day-a-time recovery process, but if I can do it so can you.

Today I am almost done with my Masters of substance abuse counseling degree. Our dreams can become a reality and the sky is the limit

This Story of Hope was created in celebration of recovery and to let families know that there are pathways to hope and healing. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families who are struggling with their son or daughter's substance use. Please consider sharing this page so that families know where to turn to for help, and that there is always hope.

Guest Book


1. Julie
Congratulations on 26 years today!
2. Julie
Congratulations on 25 years today!
3. Julie
Congratulations on 26 years today!
4. Julie
Congratulations on 25 years today!