At school the other children laughed and played during recess while I watched from the shadows. When the other children raised their hands to answer the teacher’s questions, I held my breath trying to be invisible terrified I might be called on to speak out loud. I hated school. I couldn’t seem to make sense out of the math and grammar. I couldn’t focus enough to hear or remember anything even for a few minutes. When the teacher explained things all I seemed to hear was a dull senseless drone. The writing and diagrams on the blackboard just made my head swim. I didn’t get it and I felt stupid.
I don’t remember exactly how, but when I was in my early teens I discovered that I could get a buzz by sniffing gasoline. For a few magical minutes I escaped the constant pain and turmoil that was in my mind. From that day on my life was wrapped up in seeking even greater escapes. Within the next couple of years I discovered, glue, alcohol, drugs, food, sex, and just about every other means to moderate and control my feelings and thoughts. By the time I was 16, I was a seasoned drug user who was drunk and stoned on some substance or other nearly every day. more