Why am I going to Unite to Face Addiction on October 4th in Washington, DC? I’m going because nobody should have to choose between recovery and a college degree. I’m going because I don’t want to see another drug-related death from one of my friends, neighbors, or classmates. Most importantly, I’m going because it’s my obligation to give back the gift of recovery; and I won’t be silent anymore.
I was born in Palo Alto, CA before moving 3,000 miles east to Wilmington, DE. I grew up with a supportive family, great education, and a loyal group of friends. I was always a troublemaker and attempted to be the tough guy, but was broken down in 8th grade when I was faced with expulsion and my parents’ divorce in the same week.
Moving to a new school and new home for the first time in 10 years, I felt alone. I wasn’t the star athlete or class clown anymore. In a room full of people, I felt like the only one there. I fantasized about suicide and knew it was the best option. I drove at high speeds around my hometown in Delaware without a seatbelt, hoping death would happen on its own. I could never look in the mirror, and damn well couldn’t look in the eyes of any of my family members.