Beginning of the End
It’s a new year.
As I sit here reflecting on the many trials and tribulations that I have come through, I can honestly say that I have learned so much from them. I have grown as a result of these adversities.
I started out last year with my late fiancée (who was pregnant) happily engaged and in our own apartment. We were working and staying clean from “street drugs.” At that time, I was taking powerful mood stabilizers, as well as anxiety, nerve, and sleeping medications.
By late February, I was abusing my prescription medications and drinking alcohol on top of it. I felt overwhelmed by everything: work, taking care of my fiancée and her physical and mental needs, making repairs to our apartment and the house of my soon-to-be in-laws, and keeping us warm through the winter by cutting and chopping firewood.
I was tired. I was mentally and physically distressed. The drinking and pills helped me cope.
Then it happened.
For legal and security purposes, I will not relate the names or circumstances of that cold, fateful night. Except this: after my release from the hospital the following day, I was met by law enforcement and taken into custody.
Just like that, I found myself back in jail, leaving my pregnant fiancée to deal with life alone. Due to her past and current fragile state, she needed my support. I was no longer there to love, care, support, and protect her.
She ended up back on the streets, trying to survive. Her addictions surged back. Her mental health worsened. The downward spiral ended one terrible night last summer when she was killed in a car accident.
After being released from jail a month after her death, I found work and a place to stay. I poured all my energy into work and figuring out the truth concerning her death. I continued feeding my own addictions with alcohol and methamphetamine. I dropped from 200 lbs to 160 lbs in two months.
I wasn’t dealing well emotionally and mentally with my life or her death. At times, I even considered ending my own life. At some point I was able to finally begin to grieve and, in a small way, move on with my life.
As of three months ago, I have been able to abstain from meth and have nearly weaned myself of alcohol. I thank God for giving me this strength and providing me with renewed purpose and direction.
I’m now back on the streets—again trying to rise to my potential. Now though I have sense of mission. I'm advocating and actively reaching out in my community and through social media to bring awareness about the homeless and opioid/drug crisis in America.
Please consider subscribing to my new publication,, which will address homelessness, addiction, and consider solutions.
Also, a personal ask from my heart. I know many of us on the edge of homelessness partner with Speak Up by writing articles, selling magazines, and handing out sponsorship cards. We hope that by doing so we might extend the reach of our voices and gain financial independence for ourselves.
But would you (whether you're still homeless, no longer homeless, or have never faced life on the streets) also consider giving back to Speak Up? This project has helped so many people in different ways. I’m one of them. We need to remember to also give back. You can donate, become a paying subscriber, or sponsor a Pursuit Pack outreach kit for someone on the streets.
So sorry for your loss Michael. Thank you for sharing your journey. Best wishes for continued forward movement and more insight to share.
Thanks so much for sharing, Michael. Keep writing and keep your head up, you have so much to offer!