Hello everyone and hello Josh. I’ve been wanting to share my story for some time now, but it’s always been hard for me tell. Seeing others tell their stories has given me the strength to finally share mine.
Growing up in a small New Jersey town was hard. Not a lot to do and not a whole lot to see. After graduating high school in 2012, I started experimenting with multiple substances. I think in order it went, weed, cocaine, mdma, lsd and ketamine. By 2016 I had tried it all and knew I liked each drug for certain occasions. Whether it was clubbing in NYC, house parties at the universities, nature walks in the woods with friends, or weekend benders after working all week and getting paid.
Fast forward to 2019, I couldn’t take it anymore because of toxic relationships I had with friends, family and an ex-girlfriend. I packed my things and moved to Colorado. Like most runaways, this didn’t solve my problem. What I thought was going to be a life changing experience, only turned out for the worse. By 2021 I was abusing ketamine daily. I had access to liquid vials and all the powder under the sun. I had spent thousands and thousands of my hard-earned money on this drug. I created a divine relationship with it because it fixed all my problems. It blocked out the physical pain I was always in, it cured my depression, it showed me how to love again, and deepened my connection with music. I know it may sound silly but deep down I was an angry person, like the “stay out of my way” kind-of person, and ketamine fixed that issue.
By 2020 I had proposed to my now present wife. She knew I was using but she didn’t really know how much because we were long distance for about a year. While she was living in Philadelphia I was still in Colorado. She was never against me using until she finally moved out here and saw just how bad it was. We were having so much fun when she finally moved out here at the end of 2021 that it masked the issue of my addiction. We were traveling, going to shows, making new friends, planning a wedding, and working full time jobs. She had never used any kind of hard drug before until a few Red Rocks shows where we took some MDMA or some LSD. She loved it. She quickly came to see why I had done it so much in the past. She didn’t like ketamine though. No other drug had its stronghold on me like ketamine did.
By the time we had our wedding in 2022 things had gotten bad, really bad. My wife laid down the line and told me not to cross it, an ultimatum if you will. She wanted me to stop using daily. The “K holes” would freak her out. Scary moments where I wasn’t even conscious lying next to her. I had used most, if not all, of our wedding gift money to buy ketamine vials and powder. I was lying about getting high or going to pick up the drugs. I had a separate app on my phone where messages would disappear so there was no proof. It turned into a viscous cycle of getting high and fighting with her, and trying to justify why I was using so much. She told my parents I had a serious addiction issue, which wasn’t much of a surprise to them, but it her was her last-ditch effort to get me help.
By the end of 2022, not even a year after our wedding, my wife was threatening me with divorce. Countless nights fighting, crying, and arguing about money being spent. I couldn’t let this happen. What have I done wrong though? I was loving and loyal. I made her happy and I provided for her. In reality, none of that matters if you’re half in the bag seven days a week. By now, I realized I need help. I was about to lose it all, and for what? Never in all my years would I begin to understand that I had an addiction problem. How could this happen to me? Until it did. Beating this meant making a lot of sacrifices I wasn’t willing to make. But I did it.
Being a life long Coheed fan, and a drummer myself, I stumbled upon Josh’s Drum Set Confessional. After reading so many stories and hearing Josh portray his own story, I knew I could beat this evil. I finally threw out the syringes, deleted all the connections out of my phone, moved north away from the city where my wife and I are now happily living a healthy marriage. I’ve found clarity in sobriety, happiness, self-love, and more importantly, strength. I’m now 320 days sober and counting. Life isn’t easy, we all know that, but it sure would be a lot harder without the people we love the most. So, to anyone reading this who thinks they can’t do it, just know you can. Stop hurting yourself and the people around you. We all have people who care about us whether they are able to express it or not. Exchange your selfishness for selflessness. Learn how to be “you” again, because at the end of the day, that might be all you have left. If you’ve made it this far, thank you. Thank you for hearing my story and for your time.