Life presents us with things on a semi-regular basis that are deemed both fun and dangerous. The biggest problem with these situations is that we never think the dangerous part will happen to us….until it does.

By the time I had entered 8th-grade health class I knew the downside to most drugs and alcohol. By this point, smoking weed and cigarettes was something I did pretty regularly. Drinking had no appeal to me as I had alcoholic family members and knew I didn’t want to be like that. Never realizing what I was about to become was just as bad.

I remember the whole thing so clearly, even all these years later. It started out just like any other day. Off to school, back home, outside to play with friends. Only I didn’t really have friends and the ones I did have were not the kind of kids you wanted your kid hanging out with. Per the norm, I was with people I wasn’t supposed to be within places we weren’t supposed to be in. I remember smoking the joint and talking about all the things in life that pissed us off at the time and how one day we were gonna leave this place and have epic adventures. In a very nonchalant moment, everything changed the course of all those dreams in a way I never expected.

I can still hear the step by step explanation of what and how. I remember being so nervous but excited too. There were new bags on the table but all the same faces around it, so how bad could it be…? One by one we took our turn. The moment the needle enter my arm my whole life changed I just didn’t know it at the time. I was taken to a place of numbing bliss I had never felt before. I closed my eyes and just let the hot feeling consume me.

The next day I was fine. I felt completely normal and went about my day as such. That was the first lie Heroin told me. The lack of “side effects” made it that much more appealing to my young and broken self. I mean come on how bad could it really be I woke up just fine and that high is perfection. Before I knew it I was shooting up regularly. Once a day at least. not yet a teenager and I was consumed. Still very much convinced there was no downside to any of this.

A few months later it happened for the first time I woke up and I wasn’t okay. I felt like I was dying. I had cold sweats and my stomach hurt worse than I had ever felt. Being so young and let’s face it dumb I just thought I was sick. So I did what sick kids do and went on. I didn’t find it strange that the moment the dope hit my veins I started to feel better….to fell normal. I was just over whatever made me sick. Eventually, I realized on the mornings I would wake up and feel like death were connected to the amount of time I went without using. The problem I saw was that I couldn’t use it as often as I would have liked. Being so young and living with my mother there was no way I could hide that like I did the weed and cigarettes. I quickly discovered alternate ways of use which would be much easier to my situation then my desired method.

I was very quickly heading down a very long and dark dead-end road, still completely unaware of the damage this one choice was about to inflict not only on myself but those around me.

I will kidnap you, raise you and then return you to your family, so they can bury you.