Do you know what it’s like to be raised in poverty and as a person of color? Instead of comparing yourself and looking down on those who aren’t blessed enough to have a trust fund or go to college with a full ride, educate yourself in the many issues POC face. Although you could never understand a “hood” person’s mentality, maybe reading some of our many talented writer’s posts could help enlighten you on this issue.
We’re raised in an environment where we have to tear each other down and/or kill each other in order to reach a certain level of “success.” We all dream that one day we can reach a social status in which we aren’t judged based on the color of our skin. We hope to reach a level of success where we don’t have to rely on feeding off of addicts’ cravings or relying on a gun to somehow make enough money for essentials such as diapers. It seems that our pain only feeds White America.
“Don’t commit crimes and then the police won’t react as they do.” Of course that’s the idea but how is that possible when we’re cursed to live a life where crime is the only way to even survive? We need a license to get a job, need to pay child support to get a license but still need a job to pay for those debts. How does that make sense? Our parents are struggling just as much as us. Our kids will face the same struggles. Our ancestors barely even survived their era. So tell me again how easy it is to make it out the hood. Tell me again how I won’t get killed if I don’t do what I can to make money. Tell me again how my people aren’t put into this position from the second they reach “the land of the free.” If they knew that “free” actually meant “free to live on the streets” then maybe you wouldn’t have to worry about us “border hoppers,” “wet backs,” and “n-words.” This self proclaimed land of opportunity only gives us the “opportunity” to kill ourselves in our on going war against each other.
Goals? Yeah we have goals. From our youth we are shown throughout media, and any other sources of entertainment or inspiration that being rich, having women and enough money to fill a room is what should capture our attention. Being rich enough to buy our mothers’ a house or to have a six figure vehicle is portrayed as true success. By any means necessary. Whether it be from being talented enough to entertain our White “Masters”, gambling until you hit big or even sell enough drugs to have power, respect AND everything else “promised” above, we a given that diluted depiction.
Sometimes it seems like we’re only given any “opportunity” because we’re entertaining the white masses with our various and mixed cultures. We’re giving opportunists the knowledge they need to take our heritage and white wash and profit from it as they please.
We live in a time period where certain kids barely 18 are richer than adults who have six figures in college debt, that “by any means necessary” mentality has been normalized. Now what does that say about us a whole? The fact that recording a three minute song about living in poverty or selling your town’s favorite drugs makes you more money than 8+ years of sleepless nights to become a doctor and MAYBE make a fraction of an artist’s income. There are easily double, triple, quadruple, (even more) times more aspiring musicians, drug dealers, and other jobs we’re looked down for having than those who could make an actual difference in the world. Intellectual, creative young people of color trying to “make it” in industries that show no love.
I’ve met people who’ve made well over $100k in a year selling drugs with the only “debt” being a short time period in jail rather than spending years in a more institutionalized “jail” known as college.
Imagine being raised in an environment where hood royalty and ones “crown” symbolizes “success” and “respect.” But realistically, that Crown is made from the blood and tears of your family’s and your enemy’s loved ones.
Disappointment and pain are the feelings we grow up understanding better than we understand anything else. Hate is what we feel from people who could never live our life. Envy is what we get when we try to aspire how White America expects us to live our lives. We succeed in our own backgrounds and we’re hated. We succeed in college and 9-5 jobs and are still hated.
We know why, but what we don’t know is when we’ll be able to live in peace. We don’t know when we’ll be able to become the kings and queens our parents hoped we’d become by chasing this “American Dream”. A colored individual with the lifestyle and opportunities that only white Americans are blessed enough to experience.
Hi everyone! Like always, I apologize for the lack of consistency. There’s always something new distracting me from life. I’m happy to say that ever since I finally sold my house, I’m not dealing with the negativity and toxicity of anyone who would stay at or come over. Those people being from my Kids’ mother’s side, that is. But this wasn’t meant to be a negative post, from one recovering addict to another/ one individual looking for peace to others who want the same; let’s take a moment to discuss the positive aspects of our lives while we’re stuck at home in quarantine, shall we? It’s no secret that we all have some sort of guilty (hopefully not too guilty) pleasure that keeps us moving forward being an aspect of our lives that we want to pursue and enjoy. Personally, I have several activities that help me keep my peace and keep me from feeling depressed while I’m stuck at home and in recovery all day, whether it be something I do daily or something I manage to receive or take once in a while. No matter the case, I’m sure many of you can agree with my list of “inner peace” cultivating activities meant to stimulate our feelings/senses and give us a taste ya euphoria. No, I’m not talking about drugs or alcohol by the way!
A common issue those of us in recovery face is keeping our minds distracted to avoid wavering and ruining our sobriety. Throughout my many years as a drug addict, I’ve attempted to self rehabilitate and keep myself clean. The lack of motivation and mental strength I faced kept me from keeping sober so I relapsed more times than I can count.
So how is now any different than before? The love of my life left me, I have a source of income with my dealer constantly trying to contact me, so why am I more successful now? It’s 2020 and being quarantined is NOT making it easy to stay clean, I can guarantee that. So I should might as well introduce the topic of this post.
Blogging, Book writing.
So the main reason to my sobriety revolves around writing. I started blogs, social media accounts and even wrote a book on my experiences as a drug addict. Of course, my overall goal was to reach out to those who face similar struggles and hopefully enlighten them to follow their own paths of sobriety and positivity. Throughout my time preaching sobriety and trying to be the voice of positivity through my work and online presence, I’ve managed to reach a few people and developed an audience (on twitter specifically @FruitsOfAddictn) and have been fortunate enough to guide those who were in need. I have an “Open Direct Message” policy for anyone who needs a safe space or even someone to confide in. Whether it be to ask for advice or even just vent about what they’re going through, I’ve been blessed to play the role of “counselor,” per say. Of course I’m am far from perfect and don’t have the experience of a professional, being able to help anyone at-risk has been a huge motivation for me to stay sober. Even though this plays a huge role in my journey to stay sober, I’ve had a few dry spells where my work and engagement dwindled so I had to find other ventures to keep my mind and spirit busy.
2. Online E-Commerce.
Like I stated before, it’s 2020 and we are currently facing a vile pandemic by the name of COVID-19. Most of us were unlucky and now have no jobs nor any source of income. This is were e-commerce comes in. I learned about shopify when I looked up “how to make money easily” when I was broke trying to make easy money to buy dope back when I was an addict and the topics that caught my eye were “write an ebook,” “start a blog” and “open an e-commerce store.”
Yes, these caught my eye (at the time) but I never acted upon them because when you’re an active drug user, our definition of “easy money” means us LITERALLY being handed $40 for our next fix. I didn’t want to think, I didn’t want to do research, and I sure as hell didn’t want to spend hours creating websites and developing a brand.
This was something I could only do when my mind was clear and I was willing to spend the time. Luckily for me, when I finally decided to stop doing drugs, and my online blog/social media presence wasn’t as explosive as it was the first few months, I reread that article and the lightbulb above my head that was turned off for so long had finally been replaced and was shinning brighter than ever.
My first week Of e-commerce and using Shopify as a platform was a success. Throughout 3 different online stores I had made close to $10,000. The goal of my writing and blogging was to become an icon for addicts, while my goal for my online stores was just to make as much money as I could in the shortest period of time. Which I did but just like my blogging, this had died down. I spent hundreds on influencer marketing on Instagram for each account I had created for my stores and I continued to create stores just to expand my reach. I had an online pet store, a women’s leggings/apparel store, a store for wireless headphones, a Valentine’s Day store, etc. At one point I was dividing my time between 9 different websites which kept me unbelievably busy. I had completely stopped thinking about drugs and I even stopped blogging and checking in on those who reached out to me for advice on their addiction. I quickly spent even more money on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google ads which left me with less money than I had anticipated and because I was still an amateur at the whole aspect of running an online business, I stopped making as much money, I went from making 10k in 8 days to making maybe $100 in a month. Another failed venture. Unfortunately for me, I have a weak mentality and when I fail at something I set my heart to, I become unbearable depressed. I began thinking about drugs almost immediately. But hey, I was still needed in my sober living community so I began to write once again. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still running an online store, but this time it’s just one that I’m focusing on. Plus I already paid for a domain name, so might as well use it right?
3. Working Out.
I am unbelievably self conscious. I always have been, even as a kid. I’ve never been the type of person to have girls all over him and the type to post selfies and shirtless pictures. Some may say I’m attractive while most would say I’m not. Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion but the opinion I’ve always had for myself is that I’m too skinny or too fat. Let’s get one thing straight before I continue. I have no issue with anyone being overweight. The mother of my children is quite heavy herself but she is EASILY the sexiest and most beautiful woman I have EVER laid eyes on (part of the reason why I’m so distraught that she decided to leave me). I loved every inch of her and I could NEVER have enough of her. Just thinking about her would get me hot and I saw her as a goddess. Of course she was self conscious as well but to me she was perfection. Enough about the love of my life/the one who got away, I’m talking about my own insecurities.
I used to be an athlete throughout high school and college and later I began to lift weights and went through a bulking phase where I gained a drastic amount of muscle. Of course this was before my addiction began. Either way I was at a point where I finally felt good and I could feel eyes on me and people (of both genders) undressing me with those eyes. A lot of people have a problem with others staring but not me! That’s how I knew I looked good! Although, it didn’t last. Through the many years as an addict I lost my progress and was unbelievably skinny once again from lack of eating and sleep and once I reached sobriety, I gained an unbelievable amount of weight. I am 70 pounds heavier now (although I have been working out), but at the start of my sobriety it was mostly fat. I made up for the years I didn’t eat by stuffing my face and filling my stomach with my favorite foods.
So this is where working out gets reintroduced. Again, because of this pandemic we are quarantined and yes we hate it, but please just stay home and make the best of it. I know I am! I invested in weights, a benching/squat rack, resistance bands and other equipment in order to maximize my overall transformation. My goal is to have a six pack again. No, not a “junkie who doesn’t eat” six pack, I’m talking about a “sex icon/Greek God” six pack. I want my fat turned into muscle and the motivation I have at the moment is watching OTHER people go through their transformations.
You know how I hope that my book and blogging can motivate others to walk the path of sobriety? Yeah well I’m doing that but instead of being the one who posts, I’m the audience. Youtube provides us with the ability to research other people’s successes and with that being said, if I ever feel unmotivated or get triggered and want to feel the euphoric effects of opiates, I go on YouTube and watch videos of people transforming their LIVES. Yes I know, it’s their bodies, but let’s be realistic. Eating is a form of addiction. Once the person decides to develop a healthy diet, routine and lifestyle, they change their lives for the best. Similar to those who chase sobriety.
I may not be rich and successful but I’m definitely not in the same position I was in last year. Yes I lost the one person who mattered more to me than my own life (not including my kids) BUT I’m not the same physically and mentally abusive, suicidal drug addict who’d get high and commit crimes just to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Also, I am finally not living with people who take advantage of any inch I’d give. Being separated from such negativity worked wonders on my being. My motto through out all my personal accounts has been “If the shoe fits, wear it,” and it looks like every opinion, complaint and FACT I have relates to A LOT of people who used to be part of my life. It seems like these few things were my only worry at the time, which makes me so happy so be writing this post.
So there you have it. 3 things I did and am still doing to keep my mind and my body away from the dastardly effects of drugs. I’m happier, my bank account is happier, my kids are happy they have their dad and God knows that these small hobbies played a huge role in my sobriety. I hope those who read this post can find the answers they are looking for and maybe this will help give some ideas. Thanks guys!
PS My first book/memoir! Available free on #kindleunlimitied, 99¢ as #ebook and also #paperback
Greetings to all! I’m sorry for being MIA for a while, I haven’t been making any type of posts nor have I been active in writing. Though, I have been sober! I hope many of you can say the same! But for those of you who can’t, I’ve been keeping you in my thoughts.
Thats the main topic of today’s post. Being an addict during this unfortunate time. It’s hard enough being a drug addict when their ISN’T a virus threatening the world but since their is, things only get THAT much tougher. Of course, their are so many other things that we should be worried about; our kids, our finances, being able to provide for those who depend on us and our health overall. But when you need a drug or drugs to function in order to do what you usually do, its becomes a whole other worry.
For this past week, many of us have been put on leave or have been laid off from work. My job has been closed until April so I can only imagine what others are going through.
See, the main reason why I started thinking about this topic is because, as a recovering addict I’m still going to the methadone clinic to receive treatment. The goal is to eventually leave the program but I still don’t feel strong enough to stay clean without some kind of help. 2020 has been good but the negative aspects of my life this year will always out weigh the positives. From losing my house to losing my family, I don’t think I have the right state of mind to follow sobriety’s path alone.
On Monday I visited the clinic only to find the dosing line wrapped around the building instead on being wrapped around the hallways. Why were we all standing outside in the rain? Well because THIS was Brockton’s answer to the virus. Keeping addicts and their kids outside in the rain while only letting 2 to 3 of us in at a time as if we were dogs. Theres times where I HAVE to bring my son with me to the clinic and unfortunately thats what I had to do this day in particular. My solution? I waited in my car with until the line died down and was the LAST person to be dosed just so I didn’t have to wait with my son in the rain. Driving around seeing single mothers hold their babies, toddlers and young children without any umbrellas broke my heart. My concern is my son’s health and I was not going to put him through it. We were not allowed in the building for anything in the world.
So what happens when drug dealers decide that they don’t want to risk getting sick so they stop serving people? What will those addicts do? Those people who don’t receive treatment, those who walk the streets and have no where to go, what’s their solution? Does the government have a solution for our fellow addicts who don’t have the money, insurance or resources to move forward and receive treatment?
Imagine being sick from withdrawals and being sick from this virus. Personally, I wouldn’t last. I just wanted us to think about this issue. Okay, okay, those who have never experienced addiction and don’t have loved ones who suffer from this issue really could care less about our well being.
Let me remind you of those individuals who lived in my house BEFORE I lost it. I’ve been thinking, if any of those individuals lived in my house during this pandemic, would they have decided to be GOOD PEOPLE for once and actually pay rent? You know, would they have stopped being selfish scum and said “Hey, its been long enough, thank you for being patient and keeping us from being homeless, its time we contribute and ACTUALLY pay for your services as we should have, instead of looking for our own interests. Here’s the rent we owe.”WOULD THEY??? Doubtful, but Lily (my love) and I already knew how certain individuals were from the beginning. We let our helpful nature get the best of us. Honestly, if we still had that house, we would have gotten sick this first day of lock down. There was no respect by any of the tenants we had, hence the fact that we never even got a thank you by anyone.
But back to the issue I was addressing. What options do addicts have during this crisis? Are we still going to be treated like dogs during this pandemic at the methadone clinic? Does anybody care about my fellow addicts/recovering addicts?
Realistically, we all know the answers. So we’re going to have to come up with our own. Self quarantine, NEVER SHARE NEEDLES, Don’t share drugs (which I’m sure you’re HAPPY to hear) and start planning for the worst. Maybe you’ll have a dealer who will see you but be prepared incase you don’t. We all need a plan B, whether it be starting treatment before its too late or weening yourself off of drugs on your own, just stay safe, stay clean and stay healthy.. well as healthy as possible.
Now another issue i recently thought of that every addict goes through that may not want to admit, isolation. Heres the thing, we’re expected to keep away from others during this pandemic which, with my current state of mind, I have no issue doing. Because I already experienced the whole ” I need dope to function, I need my girl to feel whole” phase, I can understand why this pandemic can negatively affect an addicts mental state as well. In 2019 I had contemplated suicide on many occasions because of my isolation and due to my lack of funds/drugs, so put my previous point into consideration for a second, please.
My dealer isn’t coming to see me because he decided to quarantine himself with his family, and either way I’m out of work from the virus spreading so I don’t have money to buy anything. What else can I do? Stay at home because technically WE ALL are on lock down. My actions from my addiction pushed everyone I love away from me, nobody trusts me, nobody wants to let me borrow money, and I’m alone. This isolation is going to be the death of me…
See what I mean? I’ve been there. No money, burnt bridges, destroyed relationships, and a one sided depressing mentality from the lack of drugs. My withdrawals would make me emotional, angry, sad and have me regretting every decision that led me to rock bottom. THAT is what addicts in this pandemic are feeling. Is it any different from everyday life? For some “yes,” for others “no.” Some rely on working to get their fix, some rely on the freedom to drive around with out the fear of contracting a virus, while the remaining few would be in this position regardless. Like I said, I’m just speaking from personal experience and from my own curiosity. I hope addicts have a plan B or just detox themselves/find a way to reach out for help, but then again, thats my wish for every day life. With or without this pandemic.
Now for the homeless, I’m sorry for your predicament. Technically I am too but I have my own back up plans and contingency plans and I will do as much research as I can to inform any readers who are going through those issues. I will be more active so help me HELP YOU!! And keep in mind, Addicts are people too although other people don’t feel the same.
Addicts are a minority, and we all know how minorities are treated in this country.
Hi everyone, I’m so proud and happy to let everyone know that my FIRST BOOK is finally available for purchase on Amazon!! Thank you so much for your support! Even if you read my posts (and liked or didn’t like it), seeing that many people were even keeping up with my content made me unbelievably happy and helped me strive to stay sober and keep spreading my message. Although I haven’t been too active because of other time taking ventures. THIS MISSION is by far my most important and most rewarding!! No not financially, rewarding in a sense that I am helping, even if it’s just one person. I want people to read my story and feel like they can do better and will hopefully never resort to drug use. Anyone who is already using, then I hope my books is a source of motivation to QUIT!!!