“I would begin shooting heroin at age 18, went on to serve a total of 14 years in various jails, prisons and treatment programs. All my convictions were for theft-related offences committed to support my drug addiction.
At age 61, I am in a Methadone Maintenance program and this November 3rd will be my 6th year clean and sober.
I have been dealing with major depression and Bi-Polar disorder, type 2 (less severe than type 1) I am rooted in reality and the depressive aspect of my disorder is controlled with Bupropion (generic Wellbutrin), which by the way also helped me quit smoking. December 7th will be 6 years of no cigarettes. My long-standing Hepatitis C, which I contracted in the late 70s from sharing syringes, went into remission on its own back in 2010 and to this day, I am virus-free. All that remain are the antibodies (good guys). I am also a prostate cancer survivor and have remained cancer-free for 5 years.
The photo taken with a friend of mine at the clinic is 2 weeks old. I was friends with her mom, who passed away several years ago and the last time I saw Amy (the woman in the photo) she was in the ICU hooked up to tubes and dialysis, respirator, etc. She had overdosed with her boyfriend, who didn’t make it. She BARELY made it through, even though she went into respiratory arrest, kidneys had shut down, etc. Massive overdose of Fentanyl. Amy suffers from major depression and anxiety disorder. She is also an addict and she is just starting out on the long journey to sobriety. She has my full support. I know her MOM is up there watching us. When I ran into Amy 2 weeks ago, I was happily surprised. I had no idea if she was even alive. Now we have come together again. She’s 34.
Everything happens for a reason.
The photography has really opened up a creative outlet. The money I saved from not drugging and smoking has enabled me to afford my laptop and cameras.
& There is a web site called “No Longer Lonely” that is a dating site for people with mental illness which has also helped. ”