We had come back from our third date. I felt this tug, and I didn’t want her to leave. I knew that when she left, I was going to smoke a bowl of meth. But when she left, I couldn’t do it.
On that third date, Jazzie started asking me about my past, my childhood memories. I told her about things I had forgotten. Like how my favorite movie was always The Lion King, and how I did these Lion King impressions with my brothers and sisters.
Like the time that my sister had a big ‘ole dollhouse and took the kittens out, and my dad took a picture. And it was perfect timing, because right after he took the picture we fell through the dollhouse and completely broke it.
Like the time when I was sitting there mowing the grass, and my brother Peanut was jumping on the trampoline with a purple popsicle. He started choking and got off the trampoline. I jumped over the top of the riding lawnmower—which was still moving—and when I got to him, he had already turned purple. I immediately did the Heimlich maneuver on him, and out he spat a huge chunk of popsicle, covered in blood. If I hadn’t reached him when I did, he would have died. I had forgotten about that, but remembering that made me feel good about myself. I had I saved my brother. I remembered that I had done a good deed in my life.
She helped me to remember all that. She started seeing a little bit of light in me, and she helped me to see that same light. So sitting there with that bowl of meth, after our third date, I couldn’t do it. Instead, I called her up just to talk—so I wouldn’t smoke the meth—and we ended up talking for four hours.
What happened the next night is just as important. When I told her that I had been smoking meth, and showed her the meth that I had, she wasn’t mad or disappointed. She just looked at me and said, “All right, if you’re going to be with me, you’re going to quit.” Then she flushed it down the toilet—because I didn’t have the strength to do it.
She sat by me during the next week because I had to run back and forth to the bathroom, I was throwing up so much because of withdrawal. She tried to make me eat, even though everything I ate I threw up. When I got cold sweats, she got me soup. I couldn’t believe I only knew her for a week, and here I am, slooped on the bathroom floor and throwing up, and there she is, sitting there loving me. I never had any girl treat me the way she treated me—like I was the best man ever to walk the face of the earth.
That’s what killed me, what broke me down to tell her that I was taking meth: she just accepted me, she didn’t judge. Everybody in this world judges, but she accepted me for who I was. She thought I was a good guy, and all I needed was a little push. With her, I wanted to get better. I didn’t want to be that guy that does meth anymore. And when I found out she was pregnant with my baby, I said, “Watch this shit, I’m gonna be a good dad.”
I started seeing life through a father’s eyes, and I knew that I didn’t want to be like my father. See, my dad beat me until I was 14 years old. A girl that I loved committed suicide. And by the time I got to high school, I was just looking for an escape from everything that had happened. Next thing you know I’m in a basement smoking a whole bowl of meth. When I was high, I didn’t give a crap—and that’s what I was looking for, that feeling of “I don’t give a crap.” Instead of thinking about what I could’ve done to make me happier, I was focusing on my pain and doing what I could to take it away.
I didn’t care about life. I could’ve found out that a close friend had died, and I’d have said, “I don’t care. I’m just gonna smoke another whole bowl.” I had forgotten who I was. I was lost, and what it took was Jazzie helping me to realize who I was. She’s the one that pulled me out of the dark pit and showed me a little bit of light. And with time, that little bit of light expanded. I started remembering things, I started to let go of past hurts, I moved on.
If you know someone who is struggling with drug abuse, I have two thoughts.
1. Accept and love the person. Saying “I love you, but I want you to quit” means a lot more than “I’m not gonna have anything to do with you if you don’t stop.”
2. It’s usually better to have a group of people that accepts and loves you than just one person. For instance, if you’ve got a whole bunch of people, and they tell you some of the stuff that they’ve done and what they’ve done to get over it, that’s a big impact. When you’re high and you got all these people, they break you down, little by little. They help you to think clearly.
Don’t push people away when they need your help. I’m so glad that when I was screaming for help, Jazzie heard me and accepted me.
Editor’s Note: If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, please click here for resources and support.