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If anyone would like to contribute to well-intentioned project, I would be eternally grateful to you and will acknowledge you in the final piece.
For the past year, I’ve written a memoir of a part of my life I never thought I’d survive. From the age of 19, in 2006, to the age of 23, I struggled in the hands of a true demon. I lived a life of hell enslaved by a fierce addiction to heroin—as well as cocaine/crack, meth, alcohol, anything I could get my hands on. Although it was crack that had stopped me from breathing, only to be brought back to life in an ER, heroin was the insidious devil that held me down in the fires of addiction. An addiction being constantly fueled by my depression, fears, anxiety, and unhealthy issues with codependency.
During these four years, I had been a patient at five different rehabs, lost both a girlfriend and my best friend to overdoses—one being my fault entirely—too many relapses and detoxes to count, and even more bridges burned with friends. I wanted to die. I figured the drug would kill me again, but it never did. Instead, it went after the loved ones around me. I told myself I’d give sobriety one more shot for my girlfriend and best friend who passed away.
I wound up in a rehab house nearly 2,000 miles from home. Out in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, I lived on a sober ranch for six months with a few other guys my age. They taught us how to cook, clean, pay bills, pursue our passions, do daily manual labor Ranch work, and discover our hidden spirituality. Basically, how to be a sober adult, with a quart of eastern spirituality thrown in the mix. We did a lot of Reiki, energy work, and spoke to a Shaman woman monthly. Not to mention, snowboarding every week until the season was over. It was the best time of my life. But after, I still had a void that wanted, needed, to be filled.
I needed some kind of closure for my best friend whom I had found passed away next to me in bed one morning. For my bday, my mom took me to see this lady who could supposedly speak to angels. It was a surreal experience, to say the least. I had got what I wanted. If you go through my writings, most of the stories are there, including this one.
I’ve been clean, off drugs for nearly three years now, and haven’t had a drink of alcohol in over a year. I look to publish my story with hope that it will help at least one person’s struggle with addiction, Depression, codependency, or anything they struggle with in life.
Problem: for months I have been ripping my hair out trying to find the right structure for my story. In other words, how to arrange each scene. If you have any ideas you think will work, please let me know. If you help me, you will be acknowledged in the published book. I have editors waiting on me to finish. Though this doesn’t guarantee publishing, I will have it published one way or the other. Whether it’s the Indy or traditional way.
I’d like to start with me coming home to find my best friend’s body in my bed. Then flashback to the past and tell the story from there up to her passing away. Then I go to the rehab ranch after that. Also been thinking of maybe two different narratives intertwining. Like one being the story of how I became an addict to her death and the other being my stay in the rehab ranch. They would switch off chapters.
I’ve also thought of another two-narrative way. One telling the rehab story in present tense first person POV and the other being told by my addiction telling the before story in past tense third person POV.
What do you think?
Please help me.
Jay, first up, I applaud you for sharing your story. I've mentioned to you before (when you first started writing your memoir) that I'm a fan of your writing. As for the opening of your story, why not you start with you meeting the lady who can supposedly talk to angels and work your way from there. You can inject your emotions, your expectations, how you feel after the experience, etc then work on bringing the story on why you went to see her in the first place. After that you can play around with all your various chapters and phases without making it too straight up and obvious too early in your story. Know what I mean?
Dec 25, 2018
I think you have a wonderful story. I too am a recovering Crack addict and alcoholic with 6 years clean time. My oldest daughter Brenda wasn't so lucky, she od on Heroine and cocaine in 2008 at the age of 19. and now I have 4 grandchildren in Foster care because there parents got hooked on meth. thank you for sharing your experience!
Dec 28, 2018