First let me say that I have been a diehard Coheed fan since I was introduced by my older brother when I was 11 years old (around 2006). I will try to broad stroke this as best as I can.
In high school, I experimented with pot and alcohol like most kids that age. To be honest, I never really enjoyed smoking weed, as it gave me very bad anxiety, something that I always secretly struggled with. But that was what my friends were doing and of course, I just wanted to fit in. Fast forward to 2013. I was 19 had just finished high school. I was struggling to find my identity in life and what I should do next. Within a month, my girl had left me, and I was laid off from my job. At only 19, I did not have the coping mechanisms to handle these setbacks. I was in a vulnerable place when a guy I was smoking with offered me to try something different – “blues” (oxycodone 30s) as he referred to it. He showed me how to do it – crush it up and snort it with a straw. I was smart enough to know that it wasn’t a good decision, as my older brother (the one who introduced me to Coheed) had been struggling with addiction. I did it anyway, as I just wanted to feel some peace and thought that addiction wouldn’t happen to me.
Within a year, I had become a full-blown addict, making the transition of snorting pills to injecting heroin. My family was fed up with me, I had burned every bridge. I was broke, homeless, and sick. Failed rehab stays, time in jail, and numerous “cold turkey” attempts. I remember watching the Coheed “The Fiction will see the Real” Neverender documentary and crying at Josh’s story. But his story of getting clean and rejoining Coheed in 2012 gave me hope. I must have watched that documentary at least 100 times. I told Josh this once at a meet and greet in Miami. Anyways, I finally hit my rock bottom in 2016. My parents had reached out to me and offered me another chance to go to a state rehab center in New Jersey. The irony was that at that point, I was just tired of living like a junky but didn’t really have any will to live. I did three weeks in rehab, moved to South Florida and stayed in a sober living house for a year. One thing led to another- I got a good job, my own apartment, went back to school, had a son. On October 15th, I will have 7 years clean. I graduated last year with my Master’s degree, and got a career job. I don’t say this to gloat, but rather, to show that things CAN change. We don’t have to be miserable every day and wish for death. My life was saved because of my parents and honestly, Josh and Coheed. This band has brought me through some very difficult stuff. My favorite record(s) are the Afterman, because it showed me that somebody can lose it all and get it back.
PS- My brother who introduced me to Coheed passed away of an overdose in 2019. I miss him every day. But I wonder sometimes if I would have been able to get clean without him introducing me to the band. Along with dozens of my friends who have passed away from addiction, I wonder why I was the one spared. All I can do at this point is try to lead the best life I can and help others whenever I am able. Thank you for reading my story.