Diary of a Bipolar Drug
ever watched your three year old son sleep and imagine what he’s going to grow
up to become? A doctor, a lawyer, a professional athlete?
Every child in the world has told their parents what they plan on doing
when they grow up. How many of you have heard your kids say they
wanted to be a veterinarian? They talk about what it’s going to be
like, living an adult life. They share their dreams with you; eyes
glistening with hope and innocence.But how many children have
told their parents they were going to grow up to be a car thief, break into
houses, live on the streets, or become addicted to crack or heroin?
Have you ever heard a five year old say they wanted to smoke weed every
day for the rest of their life? Or they were going to get married
one day and beat their spouse every day dinner was cold?
Unfortunately, parents have no way of knowing what their children will
grow up to be. Or do they?Through the actions of
others, we have the ability to develop patterns of behavior. We
can document and catalog consistencies, then compare it to similar circumstances
our children have, or someday might encounter. Follow my story and
you just might be able to pick up on the tell-tale signs to drug addiction. See…
us drug addicts think we’re
smarter than everyone else in the World. We’re not.
We pull the same stunts, tell the same lies, steal the same people, talk
the same and maybe, just maybe, you can use my mistakes to see patterns that
might help you save your child’s life. So take a trip with me,
through some of the heartest and greatest times of my life.
Witness my struggles. Identify my signs. When
we’re finished, you might just have what it takes to be the superhero our
children make us out to be.On June 8th, 1978, I was born
in Mesa, Arizona.
All I know about my biological mother is that she was 16 years old at the
time, so I had already been given up for adoption. Three days
later, I left the hospital to join my new family. My adopted
parents had already adopted another, 2 year old, Ben. Although I
don’t have much recollection of my time in Arizona, I remember enough to know I was not off to a
stellar start. One of the few memories, takes place on the roof of
my neighbor’s house. When I was 3 years old, I was playing with
the boy who lived across the street. After a while, his parents
collected him, and they left. Some time later, I thought they had
come back home. I rang the doorbell, but nobody answered.
I rang it again and again, but still… no answer. When I
still was not convinced that they hadn’t come back, I decided to go around to
their back yard, for a better look. I walked around to the side of
their house, and tried opening their gate. When I realized it was
locked, I attempted to climb it. When this failed, I searched for
a tree that I might have better luck with. The only promising tree
didn’t put me in their backyard; it put me on their roof.
Eventually, I made it, and had the scrapes to prove it. I
circled to the back of their house, and puzzled through the possible ways for me
to descend into their yard. After much deliberation, I finally
found a way. By the time all of the parents, both mine and my neighbor’s, came
home, I had dug quite a deep whole for myself. I’m not sure what
kind of trouble I had gotten myself into, but consequences never stopped
me. If the hand of God, himself, had come down, tapped me on the
shoulder and said, “Behave,” I doubt I could’ve obeyed. There was
something inside me that wouldn’t allow me to follow the rules set by those who
ever held an authoritative position over me.
June 8,2008, I turned thirty
years old. I have been accused of being very vain, on
occasion. I have always considered a mirror a good friend.
Over the years, however, there have been many, many times I have been
unable to look myself in the mirror. There is no question that I
have lived quite an unconventional life. With this type of
lifestyle, comes tremendous amounts of both pain and joy. I have
experienced things that most people could only dream of. Yet, I
have also been through times that most only see in their nightmares.
How many people do you know who have spent a million dollars in one
calendar year, or driven around, throwing a two week party in the back of their
own Ford Excursion Limousine. I have met singers, football
players, actors, comedians, and even quite a few professional wrestlers.
I have stayed in two story hotel suites, spents fourty thousand dollars
at a mall, and flown first class, all over the country. I have
slept with strippers, danced on the beaches of Spain, and, at one point, even
had a full baseball scholarship to one of the best baseball-oriented schools in
the country. I have been homeless in four different states, been
to five different prisons, and been pistol whipped and left for dead on a cold
city street. I have stood helplessly, while watching someone close
to me get their head blown off, stole from the people I love, and been addicted
to every drug known to man. I have lost homes, vehicles, jewelry,
and my family to drug addiction. I threw away a promising baseball
career, forfeited two profitable businesses, and stood by as a another man
walked away with my wife.
At what point does a man
realize that he is heading down the wrong path? Where do you
assess blame? I have been diagnosed with ADHD, Bipolar,
Depression, and OCD(obsessive compulsive disorder). Is this an
excuse for my actions? In 1996, I was in and out of both rehabs
and halfway houses. Total, I visited seven rehabs and nine halfway
houses. Each time, they would attempt to get to the root of the
problem. At some point, they would ask if I had any family members
who had alcohol or drug problems. I don’t know the exact
percentage, however I do know that you have a considerably higher chance of
becoming a drug addict or alcoholic if you have a parent with an addiction
problem. Unfortunately, being adopted means I have no idea if I
have any family members with an addiction.
When I turned twelve, I had
found a journal that my mother and
father had written in during the nine months they were waiting for my
brother. He is two years older than me and was adopted as
well. Curiosity struck, and I searched for a similar book written
in the months before I was born. I found it and began
reading. I remember being rather upset, because my father only
wrote two entries in mine, when he had filled my brother’s. He
explained that he was busier with work when they were waiting for me.
I read the entries, curious to find something that would lead me in any
direction as to what my natural parents were like. Looking back,
and knowing what I know now about addiction and genetics, I wish I would have
investigated further. Growing up, the one constant was, whether it
was a parent or teacher, nobody seemed to have a clue as to how to calm me
down. At my grandfather’s funeral, in 2006, I had been introduced
to an elderly woman, who claimed to know me around the age of three or
four. I was very intrigued, because I cannot remember that far
back, and I was very interested to find out what I was like. She
started telling me a story about a time she was asked, by my grandfather, to
babysit me. As she spoke, a sort of cheerfulness overcame her, as
she recalled a time when she was younger, healthier. She told me
that my brother and I had been dropped off at her house, and she had asked us to
sit in front of her t.v. She explained how she had only ever given
us one rule: don’t touch anything. Apparently, she is an avid frog
collector, and had frog figurines all over her house. She said she
would look right at me, I would have this look of guilt in my eye.
She would stress that I wasn’t allowed to touch anything, but my eyes
were bouncing back and forth, between her and the frog figurines on her coffee
table. As if on cue, the next time she turned her head, I would
grab the figurine and push it onto the floor. While she was
telling me this story, a sneer apeared at the corner of her lip.
She giggled, then told me that this was a regular occurrence.
I would constantly look her in the eye, basically daring her to do
something, and knock stuff off the table. When she wrapped up the
story, I laughed with her, and offered a very belated apology, at which she
brushed off with her hand, confessing that is was as cute as it was
disobedient. I spoke with her a little longer, and then made my
rounds through the crowd of people gathered to pay their respects.
After talking with many people, who seemed to remember me from a young
age, the consensus became obvious, I was adorable but impossible, loving but
When I got home, I called my
father and asked him to mail me any paperwork from when I was little.
A few days later, I got this enormous envelope, with a book’s worth of
information in it. I began studying my early years, and found some
pretty convincing evidence of a pattern that quickly developed during my
youth. In this paerwork, I found old report cards, including
teacher’s comments, begging my mother to tell them how she controls me at
home. I even found the reply, my mother apologized for the trouble
I caused, and wished them the best of luck; no helpful hints for the
teacher. After reading through the report cards, I found a
behavioral study, taken when I was six. In Arizona, 1984, any children
considered a bahioral problem, would be given a test that measured aggression,
hyperactivity, delinquence, depression, and many social skills. My jaw dropped when I
noticed that I was over the 93rd percentile in each of the major
categories. This study got my wheels spinning. I
started to wonder why, a child with such anti-social tendencies, was able to
attend regular school and basically squeeze through the cracks, going from grade
My son, turned eight this
past April. For the last few years, he has demonstrated behavior
somewhat consistent with the behavior I displayed at his age. The
big joke, especially with my in-laws is, “It’s not his fault. He
just has his daddy’s blood.” How true this is, remains to be seen,
but what if it is? I started to think about both the positives ad
negatives of my son growing up like me. Then, it hit me.
What if I was able to look back at my behavior, and use this to deter my
child from making the same mistakes I did? Maybe I can save his
baseball career. Maybe I can save his family. Maybe
I can keep him from experiencing all of the pain I have dealt with, and all of
the pain I have caused. What if I could save someone else’s
child? What if I could keep someone else’s child from going down
such a path? Never once have I regretted the way I have lived,
because with the bad comes the good. If I had not been on the run,
I would have never met the mother of my child. Until now, that is
the only good I have ever been able to grasp onto when reminiscing.
For thirty years, I have
walked the tight rope of life, figuratively destroying everything in my
path. Although there is much that I am not proud of, ever single
time I broke the law, used a drug, went to jail, stole from loved ones, nearly
killed myself, ended up hosptialized, lost a significant other, disrespected my
parents, lied to those close to me, and squashed my dreams, can now be used for
so much good. Without making excuses, a mental state, dating back
to a very young age, seemed to pre-determine the route I would take.
These misfortunes can be studied, researched, practiced, and documented;
possibly preventing the youth of the next generation from destroying such
promising oppurtunities. Each one of us is responsible for their
own actions, and responsible for the children we have brought into this
world. How about we do more than tell them what to do.
Let’s show them what can happen if they use drugs, break the law, steal
from loved ones, and don’t take advantage of the gifts we are given.
We can do this by showing them what I have been through and use that as a
way to get them heading in the right direction.
It was the summer of 1985,
and we were enjoying our first full New Jersey summer. The trees
were greener than anything I had ever seen, and the bluejays and robins, sang
the most beautiful duet my ears had ever heard. My parents had
called upon my grandparents to watch us, while they went on their first vacation
without my brother or myself, since we came along. They had
planned a trip to Hawaii, and ignorantly thought it was safe to leave the two of
us behind, in the care of two amateurs. This was also the year
that my brother and I had discovered that you needed money to buy snacks and
candy from the Deli down the street. The two of us waited for the
final hugs and kisses, then plotted our crime wave.