I finally got involved in a Methadone treatment program when I was 22 years old, but retrospectively my only concern was having a safe guard in case I didn’t have any Oxy. My older brother, Larry, to this day, is the best friend I have ever had. My dad died when I was younger so Larry was left with the responsibility of teaching me how to be a man since I am 5 years younger. The problem is, nobody taught Larry how to do it properly in the first place. My father (who is not Larry’s biological father) treated him and my mother like a punching bag instead. It was of no surprise to me that Larry turned out the way he did. My brother was a certified fucking bad ass, but he had a mean streak. Regardless, I loved him anyway, I idolized him in fact. I still do. Larry committed suicide the summer of 2010, and to this day I am convinced that a part of me died with him that day. Shortly after this time period, as I was desperate to relieve some of the pain, I discovered heroin. Heroin worked a lot faster than the pills did, and it was significantly cheaper. Ironic, isn’t it? We always crushed the Oxys up into powder and snorted them, and for a short time this was how I was ingesting my heroin as well, but this was a period of discovery for me because I quickly graduated to injecting it. It was decidedly more efficient. And I am a fucking sucker for efficiency. Shooting heroin did as good of a job as you might think at helping me cope with my brother’s death. That is to say, it was just a very expensive, very disgusting, and detrimental distraction. Somehow I managed to survive for 3 more years as a functioning heroin addict. Well, somewhat functioning. I’m sure I thought I looked better than I was, and I’m sure I thought that nobody at work suspected that I was the one stealing tips off of other peoples’ tables at work. In retrospect, I don’t think I was doing as good of a job of hiding it as I thought. In the summer of 2013 I was charged, and subsequently convicted, of two counts of 1st degree aggravated robbery, illegal possession of a fire arm, kidnapping to facilitate a felony or flight, 1st degree burglary, and aggravated assault. I was sentenced to 88 months in prison, and I was released just this last January from one of Minnesota’s maximum security prisons after spending about 5 years straight inside. I got my GED out of boredom while I was in county jail going through my trial, but it wasn’t until a few years, and more than a few more mistakes later that I began thinking about how I could use my experience to maybe help someone some day. I got out, I enrolled in school, and now I plan to do just that. I am still a little rough around the edges, I am still more than my fair share of brash and arrogant, and sometimes a little intense even. But if you don’t like it – go fuck yourself. Haha, no, I’m kidding. The only thing I ask to anyone reading any of this is to not take anything personally.