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I shot Myself because of meth

I was 21 in Dallas, TX the first time I used meth. My father introduced me to the drug. By that time I had already became addicted to other drugs - alcohol, marijuana, pills, and cocaine. I was 13 the first time I smoked pot. My father introduced me to that drug too. When I moved to Texas I didn't think things could get any worse. I was wrong because then I tried meth. I believe I was addicted the first time I used it.

I spent a year in Texas before I moved back to my home state of Tennessee. The cravings were unbelievable. No other drug could dull the craving. Eventually I took 5 lbs of marijuana to Oklahoma to sell. I could have sold it around my area, but I wanted to be where the meth was. This was the early 90's. The meth plague did not hit my area of TN until the mid 90's. My girlfriend, Amy, at the time was pregnant. I told her I would be back in a couple of months. It turned out to be closer to two years because I was arrested and sent to prison for the marijuana. My daughter was almost two when I came home.

For a while I was able to maintain a semi-normal life. Amy and I had gotten married and we had another child. Then meth crept into our lives. I began using again even heavier than before. I also introduced Amy to the drug. That is when our family really started suffering. My children had one parent to count on and now she was locked in the bedroom with me getting high. I knew she would get addicted. I knew what it would do to her. I just didn't care. Meth had me cold and selfish. I knew I would have a constant using partner and be able to control her. Men know if they can get women hooked on these drugs they will have a much easier time controlling and using them

There was constant violence in our house. I never physically abused my children, but they were exposed to some terrible things. They watched me beat their mother and put over 200 bullet holes in our house. Suprisingly, CPS was never called. They should have been.

At one point during the addiction I tried to hang myself. The rope burnt me from ear to ear before it broke. My sister found me laying on the ground. They sent a preacher to try and help me and the company I worked for sent me to a psychiatrist. I stayed sober for 5 months from all drugs, the longest I had been sober in years. However, it didn't last. I went back to work and started hanging out with old friends. I thought I could help them, but instead I was pulled back down. If someone really wants to beat a drug addiction they MUST stay away from other people using.

The relapse was worse than anyone could imagine. I was staying up for a week or longer at a time. My skin turned yellow. I began having tremors like a form of parkinsons disease had set in. I hallucinated often and had become completely psychotic. I believed the mail man was an undercover cop and sat in the bushes with a rifle waiting to shoot him at one point. I believed other drug users were breaking into my house and that Amy was trying to poison me. I became very, very dangerous. Amy couldn't take anymore and quit using. I promised I would too. I didn't.

On February 21, 2003 I came home high for the last time. Amy said she was leaving me. We argued for a while, but as we lay in bed, she said she was still going. I reached over her and grabbed the loaded rifle I kept in the corner, put it under my chin, and pulled the trigger. I was 36 years old and thought meth had robbed me of everything. I lost my nose, most of my lips and teeth, and shattered almost every bone in my face. It is a miracle I am still alive. I have had over 30 reconstructive surgeries.

I tell my story to people, mostly students, all over the country hoping to educate them about the dangers of meth. I will never look like I did, but if the way I look and the story I tell stops one person from using meth or encourages one person to get help then it is all worth it.

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