by Tiffani Borello
Trigger warning: Suicide method mentioned briefly
As I’m writing this, I have tears falling down my face. I lost my best friend, Charles Rogers, to suicide while he was withdrawing from opiates. It’s been a little over three years since Charles died and it still eats me up inside till this day that I missed his call before he died by hanging.
We lost another good friend, one of Charles best friends, Mike Stewart, who also died. They pulled the plug after an unfortunate accident and we don’t know whether it was intentional or the result of his addiction. We may never know.
Being in and out of rehab since I was sixteen is tiring. It feels like I’ve wasted six years of my life, one of which was spent on Rikers Island, the toughest jail in the country, due to my actions during active addiction.
I got my GED in jail at twenty one and am now enrolled in beauty school and trying to turn my life around. I’m proud of that accomplishment. It might not seem like a big deal to most people but that was one of the hardest things I have ever done.
I came from a good family but my dad was abusive so when I was twelve, my mom wasn’t emotionally stable enough to take care of us so I dated older drug dealers who would use me to carry and do drugs. I was arrested at seventeen and again at twenty, looking for love in all the wrong places and even joined a gang trying to find a “family.” I was clean after going to The Family School with Charles until some boy was mad that I wanted to leave a party and broke my jaw. The pain medications led me right back to my addiction.
I know God made me go through these difficult times to make me a strong independent women and I’ve been living on my own since seventeen.
I have always felt there’s a void in my heart that needs constant filling. Temporary gratification only lasts so long until I fill the void again. I cry a lot and want want people to know they aren’t alone and it can always get worse. I always ask myself, why can’t I be normal? Why can’t I control myself? And why can’t I feel happy?
I put a smile on every day and realize depression and addiction do not discriminate and I am blessed to be alive. Although things are better since I started beauty school, it’s an everyday struggle to try and stay the course.
Seeing so many of my friends die I have to wonder sometimes why I’m the lucky one.
I want anybody reading this to just know you are not alone in this battle. Regardless of the stuff in your past, we are survivors and deserve to live a healthy, happy life. Some days I feel like giving up. And when I feel like giving up, I take a minute or as long as I need to remind myself I deserve to be here.
It will take time, I struggle everyday but everything good in life takes hard work. If I hadn’t gone through the crap in my life, the strong wise person I am today would not exist. When taking it a day at a time seems to long, take it minute by minute.
Somebody loves you, and if you haven’t heard that today my fellow addict, my love for you runs deep.