I'm a drug addict...and currently in recovery.. and thanks to recent counseling services, I've finally learned it's okay to cry; but I won't just yet.
*WARNING: sensitive content/trigger warning. Please be advised before continuing*
WELL WHAT HAD HAPPENED WAS:
Today in therapy, I had to admit that I relapsed. I currently go to a Suboxone clinic and they offer medication, therapy, case management service, and more. Well today, I had to do my drug test as always and I knew what would pop up. I was scared but I knew my counselor wouldn't judge me. She would guide me as always. My drug test indeed came back positive for meth and I knew I needed to give an explanation.
"What happened? You were doing so good, do you need anything from me?.."
I looked at her and asked could I just vent for a bit; and she said yes. I sat there and during and the time frame of when I was in the hallway until now, I tried to pinpoint the exact reason why and how my addiction started. I needed a reason for my relapse.. because she was right, I was doing good. The suboxone was helping me.. And I finally figured it out where it all began.. it started because I never cried.
"When I was a young boy, mind you I am 70 now, corporal punishment was acceptable. Educators can discipline you with anything and for any reason. My father always taught me, to be a man and to never let another man see you cry or get frustrated; especially a white man. On this particular day at school, I was being picked on by a fellow classmate and I finally had enough. I became fed up and we began to fight and eventually we were sent to the principal's office. Once there, I could see how agitated he was and he proceeded to ask us who started the fight. Of course I said it was him and he said it was me; I was FURIOUS. This discussion went back and forth until the principal said "ENOUGH!", and proceeds to grab a paddle out of the closet. He was going to get the truth one way or another. He gave us both licks but neither one of us cracked. He then went back and grabbed an even BIGGER paddle but with holes drilled into it. Within the first hit, my classmate cried in agony, but I did not. It hurt, it was extremely painful; all I could see was my father saying "you better not cry"... so I didn't. The principal must have thought the hits didn't effect me because within each swing, the harder it got, but I didn't break. I finally said I was the liar and started the fight, just to end the pain the other boy felt. I was then suspended for a day and my parents were notified.
The next day I woke up in the utmost pain... my entire lower back to the crease of knees, were completely black and purple. I could not walk let alone sit down. My mother immediately saw the bruises and rushed me to the doctor. I was given pain medication and nerve medication, due to having no feeling on my backside. My father was notified, grabbed me, and went to the home of the principal and demanded an explanation. And just as I thought, he thought his hits didn't hurt because I didn't cry, and attempted to make the actions justifiable. Because of that situation, I was hooked on drugs at an early age and became reliant on them to function daily..to feel SOMETHING ..when I was always numb. The moment I stopped taking them, I indulged in other drugs and immediately became addicted to keep the same feeling I've had my entire life.. I've never not had drugs.. and sadly I've never felt okay to show emotions and cry."
And for the first time in a long time, as I was telling her this story.. I could feel water come to my eyelids... and I finally felt safe enough to almost let one fall. But I felt myself stop.. she immediately told me, "it's okay to let one fall.. I won't reprimand you or judge you, you really safe here with me.. and if I need to step out the room for you to secure that safety, I will." I looked at her and I knew she really meant it. And all I could say was thank you..
Anonymous submitter... Thank you for telling your truth.. Thank you for opening up and exposing something I know most would be afraid to admit or more so sharing something so dark that began a rough coping process. I know how hard this must have been to submit but it also shows how strong you truly are. I want to praise your therapist for providing that safe space for you. I also want praise you for working on your recovery and pinpointing the root of the addiction; you are growing little do you know. I wish more success along your recovery journey and healing for your inner child; sending you all the love and prayers I have to give.
I would also like to leave you with this thought:
Shame is probably our most hidden and misunderstood emotion. It also motivates men to stay away from the help they need and need to admit. Vulnerability, unguarded openness, does not have to mean weakness or a lack of masculinity. it can be an act of courage.. a source of strength
I want to offer a resource I've discovered and grown to love.
There is this amazing platform called "Black Men Cry Too". It was created by Catherine Buccello. Cat is a content creator, event curator, and social justice advocate based in Queens, New York. Through her commitment to actualizing a thriving Black community, Buccello found a critical need for mental health resources accessible to Black men. It was while on a Mental Health panel for Curated Vibes Group and DazeSummit that the idea began to form. A friend leaned over and said, "I see a lot of focus on mental health these days, but the focus is dominantly on black women, what about the men? Black men cry too..." This inequity incited her to launch BlackMenCryToo, documenting the Black male experience through conversations, community, and support.
#BlackMenCryToo is an invitation for men of color to feel safe to share their truth and unpack their hurt. This space was created as an invitation for black men to feel empowered to share their truth and know its okay that they can cry too.
You can find Cat & #BlackMenCryToo on:
For inquiries, sponsorship, interviews, or collaborations email email@example.com
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FOR MORE INFO:
Alcoholism & Drug Dependency Hope Line: (800) 622-2255
SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use.
1-800-662-HELP (4357) (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889.
This service also provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.
Also visit send your zip code via text message: 435748(HELP4U) to find help near you.
The Partnership for a Drug Free America is a helpline intended for parents or anyone else seeking general information about drug abuse. Unlike other drug hotlines, it is not linked directly to any particular drug rehab facility. Call 855-DRUG-FREE (378-4373)
If you need assistance getting counseling services, please utilize the Mental Health tab of the website or email us what counseling services you require and your zip code. There are also resources for people of color!.. We at #WWHHW are here to help!
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