I’m from across the pond in England. It started when I was 12 years old.  I had known about drugs and became knowledgeable about them.  We were so young we really didn’t know where to buy the drugs.  But we did know some people that were using them.  So we made sure to start hanging around them.  The first drug for me was cannabis.  I remember smoking it in a bong.  My first time I felt really stoned but had gotten pretty sleepy.

I was constantly smoking cannabis.  I was smoking for around two or three years and was able to keep my use away from my parents so they had no idea.  I was hanging around in flats and houses with people from broken homes just getting high and listening to music.  

In the beginning, I didn’t smoke that much.  But I was constantly wanting to get on the level of other addicts who had been using for a long time.  I was always using more and more.  I just wanted to fit in and be the best addict I could.

Sometimes I feel I have different personalities inside myself fighting each other.  One wanting to just relax and the other wants to take over and go and use.  But I still had this urge to do the craziest shit I could think of.  Sometimes maybe I went to the extremes to fit in with the group of kids I was around.  But who knows.  Maybe it was my subconscious.  I was never good at school.  I would sit in the back of all my classes and just doodle.  School just rolled on by.

Than came a decision that would change my life.  My career choice.  I was a career criminal.  You name it I did it.  I stole ATM machines.  I stole high-performance cars.  It was all about the high.  It got to a point is wasn’t about the money.  It was the thrill of the chase.  

It was the feeling of knowing that at any moment your life could change.  It could change for the better or for the worse.  That leads to a high that I can’t explain.  Or the thrill of riding around on a bicycle as a kid with 10 kilos of cannabis in my backpack.  Or maybe the thrill of making twenty thousand pounds in a month.  I was only fifteen or sixteen when I started doing this.  I was making more money than my parents.

I was working doing errands for drug dealers, committing robberies, and working with con men.  My parents couldn’t control me anymore.  I had run away from home.  I eventually moved in with my grandmother.  As much as she would’ve liked to no one control me.

I eventually left and starting smoking crack and heroin.  I was about fifteen or sixteen during this time.  Even though I would be high while working doing illegal jobs I was able to switch over to “work mode” in my brain and get whatever job I was given and get it done.  Then I would hole up in a house for days and get high.  Nobody was able to find me if I didn’t want them to.  

Looking back I realized I had made a huge mistake in taking heroin.  It was way stronger and addictive than I could’ve imagined.  And I was hooked.  It wasn’t like the other drugs.  One way to describe it was it was a very “comforting” drug.  Like a friend wrapping his arm around you.  I always had a lot of bad shit going on inside my head but this seemed to soothe everything.  

It got to the point I was no longer just working for money.  Now I was working for money to feed my habit.  My main thing was feeding my heroin addiction.  One thing I remember is after smoking heroin I would vomit and the reason I mention this is for those who do not know this it is the best feeling vomit you’ll ever have.  It is something common with heroin addicts.

I first went to rehab at eighteen years old.  But I didn’t find any success in staying sober because I was still living around the same area I was when I was using.  So my access to the drugs didn’t change.

I met a girl and decided I wanted to move away from my area so I could get clean and off the drugs.  I stopped using drugs and just stuck to my methadone program.  I eventually went on a reduction and the next few years of my life were mostly uneventful.  I had a proper job for the first time.  No illegal activities of any kind.  

I was 21 and I wanted to get a job making furniture and I quickly got all my certifications for cabinet making.  I quickly moved through the company.  I got moved up off the shop floor and into a management position.  I had saved up enough money to buy my first house.  I redid a lot of the house and sold it for a sizeable profit.  I was able to purchase another property and then sell that one also.

By the time I was 27 the relationship was ending.  I went back on drugs.  I blew through almost all my money.  The reason being we had a delightful new import, cocaine.  I was one of the first people using it in my area and eventually one of the first people to sell it.  

I eventually broke off my relationsip and was dating some girls where I also was going into night clubs and part of the rave scene.  Where taking drugs was the norm.  I became part of that scene.

I went back to working as a career criminal.  I was just going from score to score making money for my next fix.    Although at one point I did own and run a pub.  Which was a license to drink as much alcohol as I wanted.  It was the worst place possible for an addict to be hanging around all day but at that time I didn’t think I had a problem.  I thought since I had kicked “the bad drugs” which were crack and heroine I was okay.  The drugs I was taking weren’t on that list.  

In 2012 both my brothers were in a car that had run into a tree and they were both killed.  This destroyed me.  If there was something that would keep me using it was that.  I continued on with selling drugs and going back to my old ways.  About two years after my brother died something triggered in me.  

I was having terrible stomach pains in which when I went into the hospital they would give me morphine.  Subconsciously this allowed me to reason “If they’re giving me morphine in the hospital why not go back to smoking heroin?”  

I believe that this was the result of my falling into a deep depression.  I think my drug use and mental health tie into each other.  I would get the feeling of just I have to do it.  I didn’t particularly like smoking crack and heroin.  But to silence these thoughts I needed to smoke them.  I actually would hear voices while smoking crack.  Then the moment I was done smoking I would be filled with guilt and regret.  

I had a relationship that ended up ending after 12 years.  She didn’t like that I was sneaking out to abuse drugs.  After all that time of being together, I was now all alone in the house.  I was suffering very badly from anxiety and depression.  I started having suicidal thoughts.

Then I started watching YouTube videos of people who turned their life around.  Then I decided one day I was just going to quit everything.  Today I only take medications prescribed to me by a doctor.  I started going for walks and started going to the gym.  That has made all the difference in my recovery.

The last thing I ever did was I relapsed and smoke cannabis eight months ago.  Since then I’ve been one hundred percent drug free.   

To keep my sobriety I keep in shape and also recently have started doing walks for charities.  One day I’m looking to open my own charity and help them recover from their active addictions.  

I hope this might reach someone and help them – I do this all to help as many as I could.