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The Strife In My Life: ‘Give yourself a chance … when you’re not part of the problem, you become part of the solution’

Hi, my name is Darryl Thomas, and this is a short poem about my drug addiction. The poem describes the way of life I had when I was using until I finally asked for help and turned my life around. Through God’s will, I was able to change and no longer use drugs. I am no longer homeless, and I don’t have to commit crimes to support myself. I recently received an Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree and may further my education. I’m a prime example of it’s never too late to change. 

Read more: Kensington community member: ‘A mind is a terrible thing to waste, and you’re never too old to learn’

I wrote this poem in memory and consideration of the people who are still in active addiction and who are still using drugs. I watch as they “beat the bricks” (supporting their addiction by finding ways and means to get one more). I still think of the times when I was still using drugs, and when I see this, it keeps it clear to me where I was and where I came from. I hope through this poem that I can reach out to other people still using and that they give themselves a chance and ask for the help they need.  

The Strife In My Life

The duties of my life were good and true blue

So I thought I had nothing to do

But the drug usage at the same time

Filled my life with dereliction and crime

I thought drugs weren’t the problem

It was other things and people that kept me at the bottom

And I believed this because I was so much in denial 

That the using staggered my survival

It wasn’t until near the end

When I made God my friend

That the self-destruction I was in 

And life of crime came to an end

If this sounds familiar to you

Then this is what you need to do

Give yourself a chance and make the right resolution 

Because when you’re not part of the problem

You become part of the solution

Editor’s note: If you’re dealing with a substance use disorder, please check out the following resources and services from the Department of Public Health and the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services.

Editors: Siani Colón, Zari Tarazona / Designer: Siani Colón