I would have sold my soul for my next shot, but the guy at the pawn shop didn't see any value in it.
I found heroin when I was 16. It provided me with the warmth and peace that I had been longing for my whole life. I remember seeing friends strung out and always thought to myself "that will never be me, I have a good head on my shoulders". For the first couple years, it wasn't me. I graduated highschool with a 3.5gpa and already had a couple of college classes completed. On the outside everything looked very good. Shortly after entering college I found the needle. I was too afraid to hit myself and ever since I was a little boy I was deathly afraid of needles. I put my right arm out and turned my head to the left, "God damn you have nice veins", I remember my friend saying as he pushed the plunger in. "3...2...1....", oh God, never in my life had I felt such a feeling. At that moment, heroin became the most important thing in my life. Nothing else mattered.
Things quickly progressed. My job no longer provided the money needed to keep my habit up. I began driving around dealers for small kick downs. I got deeper and deeper not only with my tolerance but in the underground community of Fresno's junkies. I met Gibbs, the man who supplied my supplier. I thought I hit the jackpot. I was now able to get heroin at half the price of what myself and everyone else I knew had been paying. At this point I had flunked out of school during my 4th semester and left my job. My life what once looked so promising, now appeared that I was destined to die with a needle in my arm.
"Son, please don't go! You have no idea how much I love you! You can make it through this, please let me and your mother help you!" my father pleaded with me as tears ran down his face. It didn't matter what he did or said, I couldn't feel anymore. His cries fell upon deaf ears. I drove away from my parents house in a car filled with all of my dreams that were headed straight for the pawn shop.
I walked of Dean's Pawn Shop with enough cash in hand to purchase a large amount of heroin to start dealing. I thought I'd be happy, but instead I never felt more empty. My childhood dreams of being a famous musician were gone, all my tools of the trade sold for a fix. I had tears coming down my face and instead of embracing my feelings I pushed them down and headed to Gibb's apartment. When I arrived, Gibbs was ranting "I don't understand why all these people keep trying to kick this shit. They ain't EVER going to kick this shit. Believe me, I've tried. I've been shooting this shit for 40 fucking years man! Nobody ever stops". Over the years I really grew to trust Gibbs, but this is one thing he was wrong about. I stopped.
I can honestly say I never thought I would get clean. I was fully convinced that I would die a junkie. It has been a long journey filled with many failed attempts at getting this. It was so difficult to not accept the defeat that I faced so many times. I only believe I'm here because of the support of others and the fact that I was willing to accept it. On April 18th I celebrated my first sobriety "birthday".