Were you functional while you were doing all that?
Well, I also got into ecstasy and crack. I had this double life. I got child support payments from my dad, which I used to take a few college classes. Then I worked in restaurants to pay for my drugs. But when I was 23, the money from my dad stopped. I couldn’t go back to school, and I lost everything. So I ended up sleeping on my grandmother’s couch in the projects. I found myself smoking an empty pipe at 10 in the morning in a dirty Porta-Potty, and I checked myself into rehab. I was 26.
What was it like when you checked in?
They went through all my stuff and I had to strip down to my underwear so they could search me to make sure I wasn’t carrying. I could have still snuck shit in, but I didn’t. Other people did.
Did they test you for drugs?
No. They didn’t even know if patients were on the fucking drugs that they said they were on. My uncle was a crack addict, but he knew that the facility didn’t accept crack heads, so he lied and said he was a heroin addict in order to get in. He went into a coma and died when they treated him with methadone.
How was your first night?
I was smoking crack and drinking when I went in, but like I said, they wouldn’t admit a crack head. So I told them I was an alcoholic, which I was, and they put me in the alcoholic room. It was me and a 60-year-old who was detoxing really bad. Totally delirious, losing his fucking mind. All night long he’d call out “Where’s the stove?” and try to jump out the window. Finally the nurse let me sleep on the floor in another room. When I came back, the guy was gone; he’d lost it in the middle of the night and left in an ambulance. But first, he’d taken my clothes and toiletries and shit and pissed on them. It was disgusting.