I started smoking pot when I was 14. I didn’t think it was a big deal at all. All of my closest friends were smoking with me, so I didn’t see any concern. It was ‘fun’ to escape the pressures of reality, teen angst, and growing up gay in a strict Catholic household. It was actually easier to score some pot where I grew up, than to find someone over 21 buy you alcohol.
When I came out to my family at 16, my world changed. I felt shunned in my own house by my own family. I started running away from home, skipping school, and withdrawing from society. I felt pain. Looking back, I realize that this is when smoking pot went from recreational, to abusive.
After about a year of smoking pot to “numb the pain” it just wasn’t working anymore. I started hanging out with club kids and getting into the wrong group of friends, with an almost complete merger of new friends by 18. My new friends were into all kinds of drugs that I was very hesitant to try. Soon, though, I figured out that all these drugs were around me, and eventually gave into the temptation. I think my reasoning at the time was that all my friends were going off to college and I was destined to be a stay-at-home-loser.
I lost count of how many different drugs that I tried from age 18 to 19. To be honest, I have a lot of memories that I think I may have blocked out. Not only was I caught up every day abusing drugs (mainly cocaine), but also abusing pharmaceuticals. I never had a "problem" with any of the other drugs, but cocaine was my downfall. I started doing it all day -- everyday. I was stealing money from my parents, staying up for days on end, losing weight, and even stealing from my job -- which I was eventually fired from once I got caught.
My cocaine addiction started out small, just like every addiction does. But soon I discovered a practically endless supply of quality cocaine from someone who only lived 5 minutes away. And that's when things got bad. By this time I was 19, making a lot of money as a server and had no idea what to do with it...