They beat me up..and I didn’t even realize it

I explained in my last post how I progressed from marijuana to harder drugs and eventually landed on heroin. I quickly became addicted to heroin, and nothing else mattered except for getting enough of the drug into my system to be comfortably numb.

I was no longer able to hide my drug abuse from my family, but I no longer feared the consequences because I was always high.

It got to the point where I was sleeping most of the day and staying up and getting high at night because it was the only time I could be alone. I would sneak out to smoke outside and then come back to bed and play on my laptop until daybreak.

I was missing tons of school until I just stopped going altogether. My parents at first just thought I was sick or depressed until one of my brothers found my stash.

I had been keeping my pipe and heroin in a little box in my bedside drawer. When my family started realizing there was something seriously wrong with me, my brother went through my stuff searching for clues. He found the little box and showed my parents.

They lost their minds. It was everything they had feared about raising their children in America; the only thing worse would have been if I’d had a gun in that box, too. My mom cried as my dad screamed at me to get out of his house. They loved me, but they were scared and inexperienced with addiction and didn’t know what to do.

So I left. I grabbed a few of my things and my little box of drugs and shoved them in a backpack.

At first, I stayed at friends’ houses until they realized I was always on heroin and not getting any better. Their parents didn’t want me around. Eventually, I ended up on the streets, sleeping under a tent I shared with another guy about my age who was also hooked on heroin. We pawned some of my stuff for money to score more heroin, and when that ran out, we panhandled on the streets.

Then one day, I woke up in the hospital with no memory of how I’d gotten there. My body ached all over, both from injuries and form heroin cravings.

I had been begging on the streets when a gang of boys, bored and reckless, beat me up. I didn’t even remember it because I was so strung out. An onlooker called an ambulance, and that’s how I’d ended up in the hospital.

This was my rock bottom, and when I decided, at age 18, to finally get some help.