- Friends & Family
- Mental Health
To my brothers and sisters who are caught in the struggle…
I am a survivor of substance abuse (Cocaine, Marijuana), and mental illness (PTSD, Depression, Abandonment Issues).
I hope my story gives others hope and inspiration to live a happier and healthier life. “You have to want it; it’s not MAGIC”!
I grew up in a very diverse-upper middle class, dysfunctional family in Southwest Michigan. My father is 100% Mexican and my mother is Caucasian with blonde hair and blue eyes; “Hence, I’m a taco with sour cream.” My mother is a very loving, codependent-gullible woman, who worked an office job at a pharmaceutical company; she is now retired.
My father was the owner of one the largest asphalt companies in Southwest Michigan. He is a very wise businessman who compromised his freedom and family by creating money and fortune through drug trafficking, conspiracy and lies.
As a youth, I was oblivious and blind to any type of drugs and was not educated at all in drug trafficking. I spent my time playing baseball and just being a typical adolescent.
During the summer of my 9th grade year, my family was abruptly dismantled with my father being federally charged with conspiracy with intent to distribute marijuana and cocaine across state lines. This tore our family apart and was the start of a very troublesome and dark time in my life. His arrest revealed secrets and shocked the entire family. It explained a lot about how my father funded his asphalt company and provided us with a nice house and a cushy life.
Sentenced to 45 years; my father was to be released after serving 5 years due to winning an appeal. During his time in prison, his citizenship expired. United States INS had planned to deport him upon release back to Mexico; for Life! But he accidentally released from prison without being deported. Instead of being grateful, he started dealing, even harder. He even included me and my younger sister as well; keeping everything a secret from my mother.
At 16 years old, I quickly became educated to the drug game. I was quickly connected with my father’s contacts and connections. Within a year, I had full knowledge of marijuana and cocaine. I was moving pounds of marijuana and cocaine on a weekly basis; going back and forth to Southwest Detroit and Southwest Chicago. “My first time using cocaine occurred in my own basement when a simple game of pool revealed hidden ounces of cocaine in each pocket of the pool table. (Jackpot)
My mother had lost all control as a parent. I was now following in my father’s footsteps by dealing and using. I quickly spiraled into a no-conscience and fearless lifestyle. Not worrying at all about going to prison or dying.
I made thousands of dollars but I also used and gave away thousands of dollars. Anything I obtained with drug money, I lost. The saying easy-come-easy-go is very real!
In the early 2000’s, I had a son and daughter with my childhood girlfriend. Even though we had two children, we were bad for each other in so many ways. We got high and partied together on a daily basis. This quickly destroyed our relationship, caused us to separate and created an emotional rollercoaster for our son and daughter. It didn’t seem to matter because I was committed to living a reckless life. “I didn’t have respect for anything, including my own life!”
On a sunny summer day in 2001, I was pulled over by the police for having an expired sticker on my license plate. As the officer approached my window, I quickly saw my life come to an instant halt. In the passenger floor board of my car, sitting out in the open was a paper grocery bag with 2 kilos of cocaine (1200 grams). Michigan had a 600 gram lifer law in place and I knew right then and there my life was over.
However, I remained calm and remembered how my father had once coached me on how to react around police officers. To be cautious of my body language and talking too much or by making excessive conversation for no reason. Thankfully I was only given a warning for the expired sticker and the police officer let me go.
That was my first break in life. “I should still be in prison to this day!”
My life continued to spiral out of control. I became severely depressed with no will to live. At one point in time, I sat in my condo with a loaded Glock 45 doing cocaine and drinking heavily. After having a deep, ghostly conversation with my neighbor that day, I called my best friend over and gave him all my dope, scales, guns, etc. for free. I packed up a duffle bag full of clothes and drove straight to my cousin’s in West Palm Beach, Florida. I stayed there for three weeks and tried out a treatment facility, but immediately went ACA/AMA.
When I returned home, I wanted to thank my neighbor who had talked with me the day I was having suicidal thoughts. When I asked the office employees at my condo for his name, they insisted the unit was empty. They insisted that nobody lived there and my condo was the only one occupied in the building. Some would call this man a divine intervention. I never knew his name or saw him again. However, I still think about him and the conversation that we had.
I quickly enrolled back into school and now years later, I am proud to say I have earned a BSM Bachelor’s Degree. I graduated with high honors with a 3.86 GPA.
I’ve worked really hard on being a father and having a relationship with my children. “I changed, I didn’t break the same old promises time after time; I just did it!” They were both granted scholarships and are attending college. I couldn’t be prouder and our relationship is better than ever before.
I still have my own demons. Many are from past trauma. Trauma from the experiences I’ve endured. I’ve been clean from cocaine and marijuana for over eight years. I was blessed to never obtain even a felony. I’m not perfect by any means but my quality of life is so much greater than it has ever been. I can look at myself in the mirror and smile.
Destroy what Destroys you!
Don’t be ashamed of your story! It will inspire others.