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“I began using coke in high school, and I never really stopped….


“I began using coke in high school, and I never really stopped.  But it was under control.  I’d use it maybe once a month.  I was successful.  I worked as a commercial real estate broker.  But at the age of 42 I started drinking again.  At first I was just entertaining clients, but I began to flood into bad habits.  I was attracted to the underbelly of the city.  One night a prostitute in Brooklyn offered me a hit of crack, and I accepted.  Immediately I began to use against my will.  That year a $250,000 bonus was dumped into my bank account.  I did manage to pay the bills for the house, but all the rest went to smoking.  I became a horrible employee.  My family thought I was going to work every day, but I spent all my time bouncing between hotels and crack houses in Brooklyn.  My teenage son would leave me voicemail after voicemail, begging me to come home.  It was an ugly, dark, scary place.  I hit rock bottom in 2013.  One night I was having an orgy with two girls and a dealer, and my heart seized up.  I just kept hitting the crack, hoping for a heart attack.  I went to rehab on Christmas Day that year.  I had a few relapses, but I’ve been clean for four years now.  Recently I was taking some clients to a restaurant in Brooklyn, and as soon as I got out of the car, I noticed a woman coming toward me.  It was the girl who’d gotten me started.  She looked like Rihanna when I met her.  But now she looked horrible.  Her body had shrunk down to nothing.  Instantly I told her: ‘T, I have no money.’  But she spent fifteen minutes begging me and offering sex.  I told her that I couldn’t help her.  I felt horrible, but I couldn’t risk my own recovery by getting involved.   I remember that when we used to smoke, she’d always say: ‘Someday I’ll get clean, someday.’  But she never had a chance.  At the end of every night I could drive away.  I could go back to my phony fucking life in suburbia.  I could disconnect.  And when I decided to get clean, my neighbors and friends from the good side of life circled the wagons to help me.  But she had nowhere to go.  She had no one to help.  She lived in the insanity.”

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