I feel like I’m a thousand years old some days. People come to me for help and someone to talk to, but they pass by and don’t seem to notice when I’m crying. I don’t get a break. Some days it feels like it goes from bad to catastrophic. I don’t want to wake up some days. I go to bed crying and wake up crying.
There have been some good times. Until last year I had a home for three years. Once I was clean for 4 1/2 years. I worked for a long time as a dishwasher in the Leon drop-in centre before it closed. There’s not many times I can say I was genuinely happy, but when I remember back to when I was living with my adopted Dad in Penticton, I was really happy then.
I started using when I was 13 and having problems at school with bullying.
It started with prescription narcotic pain killers, and went to heroin and crystal meth. My home life was tough, my birth dad never there, my mom openly said she loved my brother more than me. Drugs became a coping mechanism because I didn’t want to deal with my life. My life sucked shit and didn’t seem to be getting better. I had a fight with my mom when I was 17 or 18. She told me I was an unplanned mistake, and if she had known early enough along in her pregnancy, she would have aborted. That’s how she really felt about me. So I don’t trust women. I don’t like Mother’s Day as it reminds me of what I never had.
It’s been devastating lately as I’ve had three huge losses. I fell in love with my best friend Rick, then five days after he got out of jail he overdosed, and died. He was the only one I really trusted. I do things to distract myself from the pain.
Another friend died last week, and I’ve been trying to locate his dog Rex, who was a rescue. Rex was used as a bait dog to train fighting dogs, and he’s afraid of his own shadow. I imagine what he’s gone through and have huge compassion for him. I think Rex is a lot like me.
Interview and photograph by Lesley-Anne Evans