Shakur's Story

Old 07-16-2004, 08:41 PM
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Truth is the only lasting joy
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Shakur T.'s Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Trenton, NJ
Posts: 238
Shakur's Story

Peace and Blessings,
I am an addict. My name is Shakur. I was born in Trenton, NJ in 1955. My parents were teenagers and were married before my mom graduated from High School. I grew up in a Public Housing Project and was really very happy in the begining...Somewhere along the line I got lost. i felt like I was different. Nobody liked me. I was too dark, too fat, too ugly... I couldn't vocalize my thoughts/feelings to my family... I started to lie, cheat and steal to gain acceptance. I hated anyone who was different or seemed happy. I hated myself.
I was introduced to alcohol at 11, and I loved the feeling, Pot at 12, again, I loved the feeling. Heroin at 15. By the time I was 16 I was a full-blown junkie. I joined the Black Panther Party looking for acceptance and self-control. My family was disapointed and confused. Nothing else seemed to matter except drugs. I began to sell drugs (it became a family business. My brothers and cousins) to support my growing need/greed. Trouble was not far and I began getting arrested on a regular basis. I turned my will and my life over to the NJ Dept. of Corrections...
Everytime I came home, I went right back to people, places and things. It seemed that using was the only way of life I knew...By the time I was twenty-five, I had been shot twice and served time in three different prisons. And still, my addiction progressed...
In 1982 I decided that Methadone was the perfect solution to my ultimate problem. It didn't work for me. I did the clinic merry-go-round for three years. Off, on, off again. I would drink my daily dose and then go on a serious cocaine hunt. I also was using Ciba's and codiene and just about anything that I could get my hands on including heroin...My life was a mixture of pain, confusion and lonlines, but I gave the impression of somone in total control. I fathered my first daughter, worked as a dee-jay for various radio stations and clubs, drove a nice car and had plenty of friends, but inside I felt worthless. I craved love and acceptance (but couldn't find it inside) and found it in the cooker...
In 1986 I first heard the life giving message of Narcotics Anonymous. I was given a mandatory rehab stay (3 months) and H&I brought a meeting in every week. I felt alive and free for the first time. I attended meetings regularly. And when I was released my P.O. told me that I had to attend 90 meetings in 90 days. I got a sponsor and I stayed clean for 3 more months before I decided that I could use again successfully. Within three weeks I was in worse shape then before. I had no friends, no home, job, car. Nothing. I had been living in a halfway house and got kicked out of there...I was homeless and hopeless. I washed whenever and wherever I could, I ate at the Mission or various soup kitchens when possible. I slept anywhere...Another addict died in my arms and I couldn't/wouldn't do anything for him except go thru his pockets. I kept going to meetings though, I don't know why. I guess because it was the only place where people kept telling me to keep coming back. I was in detox four times in nine months. I really wanted to stop, but powerlessness means using drugs against my will...
On October 22, 1988 I walked into a meeting and said the same thing that I had said all the other times, "My name is Shakur and I'm an addict."
My sponsor (yes, I still had a sponsor) told me after the meeting that he didn't know what to do with me. He suggested that I read the first step and call him the next day. This time, I read as if my life depended on it. I started writing about powerlessness and unmanagability and what they meant to me. I have not used since. :tri I didn't have a job, so I made meetings daily (two and three). I kicked going to meetings and sleeping on friends couches...

I have gone through many different things since I stopped using (had three more daughters, obtained a Master's Degree and a CADC Certification, got married, been arrested three times, brought a gun to a meeting, been in and out of relationships, etc.) but I have not found the need to use drugs.

I work the steps and sponsor men who were/are just like me. I have been blessed to carry this message across the country (maybe even in your area!). I work with prison inmates who have serious and persistant mental illnesses, and do in-home therapy with at-risk youth. I still attend my home group on a regular basis. I live a life of service (which begins at home), not just to addicts but to humanity...
I love life and I love myself today...

I don't use, go to meetings, work the steps, pray, give more than I take, listen twice as much as I talk, hug, cry and keep coming back...
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