The Hope Share The Partnership at
The Hope Share

View all stories

Recovery in Washington Heights

I was raised in New York City, uptown manhattan (Washington Heights) by my grandparents who were superintendent in a 5 story walk up in 179 st Audubon avenue. My father for as long as I can remember was a heroin addict. My mother was no where to be found. As a child I was always surrounded by heroin addicts. There were many times that I would even help them shoot dope, from holding the cooker steady or cleaning the works for them, whatever was needed for them to get off, I did. For some reason I also remember how they would blow marijuana to my face while I was still in the crib. Today, one of my uncle's still bring this up. According to him, they got a kick out of how happy I would get. Go figure. Living in this dysfunctional environment bought so much pain and suffering. When my father would be be dope sick, he would beat me so bad that I wouldn't be able to go to school. The more he beat me the less I would cry, until it would be that I didn't cry at all and the this hate was building up in my soul. One night after he shot up and was laying on the couch, I put a knife to his throat but my little brother walk in and I put the knife down.  I hated him so much,  I wanted to stop the pain.

After one of the worst beatings, my grandparents who moved to Puerto Rico sent for me. I was 7 yrs old. Now I'm I Puerto Rico with the only people who ever loved me. I was a happy child for a while but when I was 9, I lost the only mother I ever knew. I was lost, my grandfather who was a alcoholic didn't care for me and I had do adjust. I would work with my neighbor who would pay me a few dollars every weekend. I had a very close Dominican family who had children a little older than me and they would look out for me. I was very good in school however, I was angry and hurt. I got into many fights and almost killed so my grandfather ask my biological mother to intercede. I left Puerto Rico and and went to live with my mother in Spanish Harlem in New York City. That didn't work out too well, my mother sent me right back to Puerto Rico after I lost my head and went into a rampage. My grandfather sold he house and I was right back in Washington heights with my heroin addicted uncle. He couldn't take care of me and sent me with his brother to live.  The anger within me was uncontrollable. After living with my uncle for some time I was intruduced to marijuana. I smoked with my cousin and a next door neighbor.  They could not finish there joints, so finished there joints for them. That was the beginning of my addiction. I continued to drink and drug but it became out of control after a shooting where I was shot point blank in my chest with a .38 caliber gun. I couldn't understand why I was still alive. I didn't understand my purpose in life. I fell deeper in deeper in my addiction. I was introduced to uppers and acid. I loved the feeling but when I introduced to cocaine I completely feel I love. I loved how it would make me feel. I really felt like superman, which was the nickname I was given in the neighborhood.

I used as a weekend warrior until the warrior lost the battle and used to live. I was married with a young little girl and I didn't care for anybody but the drug. Around this time my biological father was diagnoses with the aids virus and was very ill. I would go  see him at the hospital after my drugs runs. One day I showed up to see him, I was out of my mind, I was on a 3 day cocaine binged. He saw me and said these words "you're a fool, I'm here dying of aids because of the drugs and you're doing the same exact thing, you're a fool"  something happened to me, It felt like an arrow went straight into my heart. It felt worst the the bullet that hit my chest years prior. My high went away and I went home. I turned on the TV and a commercial went on "NRI" national recovery institute. I called them and that was the beginning of my recovery process. I was in so much pain that I completely surrendered. I was beat, I couldn't fight any more. Since then recovery has had it's ups and down but I will wont change my worst day in recovery with my best day of active addiction. I've been blessed a day at a time with almost 19 years clean in November. I owe it all to my high power who never left me and showed me a better way of life. I continue to share my experience, strength and hope with recovering addicts a day at a time. I have build a strong foundation with a new found family which love me unconditional ly. I'm happy to share my story that one addict can help another addict and find a better way of life. That an addict, any addict not need to die from the horrors of addictions. 

Forward to a Friend

Categories: Cocaine, Family, Father, Family history, Other Drugs, Prescription Drugs, Recovery


April 23, 2013 | Emilio

Keep up the great work! Staying clean must come first no matter what . Thank you for choosing me to be in your life. God bless you always!

Add a Comment

Please note that all comments are moderated