Most people say addiction isn’t a disease, it’s a choice. Well it is a choice, but it is also a disease. I been an addict for 36 years. My drug of choice was crack. I ate, slept and breathed it 24/7. I’ve been in and out of 4 different rehabs, but relapsed every time I got out. N/A meetings always made me want to use, so I never attended them anymore. On July 5, 2011, I called my dealer but he didn’t have anything, and thats the day I said “fuck it” and became clean. I was in my little apartment all alone going thru withdraw for 2 weeks. I was drenched in sweat, cried, was nauseous, and puked every 10 minutes. I had to sit on my hands so I wouldn’t pick up the phone to call my dealer. I pulled thru and have been clean ever since. 3 of my biggest passions in life are dancing, helping others and playing my violin. I had to give up playing my violin because I couldn’t remember the music because of what the drugs did to my memory. I should be in the symphony orchestra or playing for a band up on the big stage, but I chose drugs over my future. I graduated college at age 43 with my Associate’s Degree in Medical Billing & Coding. I may be getting a late start in life, but that’s ok. Better late than never. Folks, what I’m saying is you CAN be helped, and you CAN recover. You just need to want the help. I see and hear people almost everyday overdosing, and some make it and some don’t. That angers me because I know they could’ve been helped but didn’t want the help, and they don’t have to live their life suffering. I was forced to be helped, but I didn’t want it till I was ready. You can change for the better, but you have to want it as bad as you wanted that drug. You have to be strong and believe you can overcome this demon. Folks, I’m far from perfect, but I’m still here and my story isn’t over yet!! And if I can make it, you can too.