The Onion

I have been thinking a lot lately on how to continue to tell my story. There are many ways to tell it, through the audio I recorded, video, or my words. Do I go all the way in or just scratch the surface. To possibly sum it up - kids, don’t do meth. it’s bad, harmful, and will lead you nowhere good. I am my own man and take on full responsibility for what it is that started to happen nearly one year ago. I can say that I have sought after professional help starting in January and have relapsed once since attempting to quit. I have found it to be a very powerful drug and also learned of what the word addiction means.

Instead of going into great detail of who I met along the way and all the shit I got involved in, I would just like to say that I cannot entirely express the reasons why I took that first hit. I know at the time I was in a job in which I absolutely hated, living mont to month in places I was not happy, and returned to a city in which I had always found so much joy but returned to beaten and afraid. That June I was at one of the lowest places in my life, it felt like the hole just got deeper and deeper and that the bottom was never going to hit my feet. I believe in that moment I thought to myself that I had nothing else to lose. I essentially gave up on myself, cast my ballot in the opponents box. The rare times I did smoke, at my peak I was smoking once every 2-3weeks, it gave me a feeling that I hadn’t experienced in a very long time; happiness. I would stand up and sing, bike, smile endlessly, felt like the old me if that makes any sense. When I smoked, I felt I had not a worry in the world, the richest man in the world. The coming down was the worst..

I had a friend come to me sometime in the fall and said that I should seek some help. I didn’t think at the time that I had a problem even though the drug had sent me deeper into my depression and in/out of the clinic numerous times. It wasn’t until I was looking at this blog one day, seeing all of the talent, and now the loss of talent that I realized I was quitting on myself. I decided there that I did have a problem and wanted to seek help. I started to attend NA meetings, 1:1 counseling, deleting old contacts and sources of any darkness in my life. Slowly but surely I became stronger. I have slipped once since making a stand for myself. I come here not to dismiss my fears or the reality that I am making mistakes. However, I am now at 8 weeks, the longest I have been sober and it feels amazing. I am focused and plan on remaining strong and away from these terrible events.

I would just like to end by saying two things, if you have any questions, please do ask and do not feel ashamed. Second, I wish not for you to cast judgement. I recall someone very close to me reveal to me of his addiction several years ago. This was before I smoked pot and of course meth. He told me of times he would be intoxicated while driving his two children to school in the morning. I recall not even knowing what to say. Thinking to myself how does a man place the ones he loves in such danger. Then I came onto an addiction and now fully understand him and ask for his forgiveness in my judgement. I am not here to make excuses, just to offer up my experiences and hopefully someone will scroll on more understanding and strong.

love, titz

Omitted

I remember the first time I ever smoked pot, I was 23 living here in New York City. It was in my first apartment just north of Chelsea in the Flower District. It was a very hot day in April and the house was packed with friends. We were hosting a party in our living room and on the roof. I needed some rest and came down into my roommates room, Veronique. There was my best friend Al and a new friend, Mike. Mike handed me the blunt and I recall going from happy to sad, paranoid to laughing all in a matter of less than 10minutes. I didn’t smoke again until 6 years later. I don’t recall this time how it was introduced to me other than in different context; sexually. There I was smoking and horny as ever. I met up with a guy a few days shortly while being high and found that all of my prior struggles appeared to have just washed away. I was excited and so happy.

I don’t believe I have ever shared this particular aspect of my life, but, in all of my ‘adult’ life I have struggled with intimacy. I’ve only had one boyfriend and I am now 31. Yes, there were men in between that I messed around with sexually in almost an exclusive manner in those years, but, to come home and be with one person exclusively - Francisco was the one. Just in the past everything had been amazing, our chemistry. We could be placed in nearly any setting and have sparks, make everyone jealous around us of our undeniable happiness. At home we were struggling romantically. I have still not been quite able to pin point it all but for whatever reason, I have been unable (or unwilling) to lose control to another man and enjoy what two people share when they’re in love. It has caused a great deal of stress for everyone and has been the one obstacle and reason why I am sitting here single. I found the pot to let me be loose and open to my body sexually, not tense up. I was so ecstatic, finally I had found something that was going to allow me to have a healthy relationship. I thought to myself, if I only I had known about pot this year or that year, how would things be different for me..?

The two years that I returned to NYC I continued to use pot and explore with it off and on. I would smoke maybe once a week or less. I began to notice that I was ‘unable’ to have sex without it and was fearful to return to the old days where I was not able to sexually please the man I was with. It became just another crutch in my life. Then one evening I was online, Adam4Adam and a guy messaged me.

"Are you partying?"

"Yes" I replied.

In not so many more words he invited me over and I was on my bike and heading over to his apartment. Upon arriving I soon realized that our definition of ‘partying’ was drastically different. I was there sitting in my jockstrap and he handed me a crack pipe. I hesitated.

"I thought you said that you had been partying?!" he said

"I was smoking pot, I thought that was what you meant."

At this point in my life, it was June of 2013, I had never heard of Meth, Crystal, Tina, etc. He told me that it was Meth and that I should smoke it. I asked him what the side effects were and of course he only gave me the good ones. It sounded amazing. I took a few hits from the pipe. Instantly I felt this rush come over my body that I had never felt in my entire life. My body was energized, I felt like a ‘pig’ as so many now attach the adjective to. I felt like I could do anything, sexually. That night was hands down the best sex that I had ever experienced up unti that point.

I have omitted this part of my life through my blog and audio diary on Soundcloud abeit purposefully. There is a lot of shame attached to drug use and ¬†especially to ‘Tina’ I was ashamed. I have since sought after some professional help for myself and am proud to say that I am 7 weeks into my sobriety.

To Be Continued..

Maidan Nezalezhnosti | Kyiv | Ukraine
Web |  Twitter |  Instagram |  Soundcloud
Anton | Ivano Frankivsk
Anton is a very passionate man, especially when it comes to regard women. He told me that his wish was for President Obama to tell Putin to back off and withdraw from Crimea on the 8th of March for National Women’s Day. He continued to go on how he wanted to see the smile on all of the women’s lips on the 8th of March when Ukraine regained it’s peace. Unfortunately, his wish did not come true.
*Full interview on Soundcloud

Maidan Nezalezhnosti | Kyiv | Ukraine

Web | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud

Anton | Ivano Frankivsk

Anton is a very passionate man, especially when it comes to regard women. He told me that his wish was for President Obama to tell Putin to back off and withdraw from Crimea on the 8th of March for National Women’s Day. He continued to go on how he wanted to see the smile on all of the women’s lips on the 8th of March when Ukraine regained it’s peace. Unfortunately, his wish did not come true.

*Full interview on Soundcloud

Kyiv | Ukraine
Web |  Twitter |  Instagram |  Soundcloud
When they asked me to go on patrol with them, it was all so abrupt. “Ok, we patrol now.” one said. A guy came over and placed a kevlar jacket on me and motioned that there were snipers and to be careful. Coming from America, NYC, I always feel safe and my ignorance was telling me that all of these guys were just overly paranoid. I stayed back a couple of feet shooting off photos here and there until I could tell that the commander was getting annoyed and that I needed to take this more serious. We walked for nearly 5-6hours in the evening on the outskirts of the city. We walked from check point to check point throughout the city checking in with the other guys to see if all was well and to see if they had any new information. We would all chat for a bit and then continue onto the next checkpoint. 
It was about 4 hours in or so and I was seriously beginning to think that this was all protocol until we spotted a dark figure in a part of the city where they lost some of their friends. We began to chase the suspect and I immediately felt like I was in an episode of Cops. My adrenaline was up, all my senses. When we finally caught up to the man they inquired about his documentation of who he was, etc. Without getting any orders I just went into this weird defense mode. I blocked the man in to ensure he wasn’t going anywhere. I was ready, and willing, to use the weapon that they had given me at the beginning of patrol on him if necessary. It’s funny, but for once in a long time I felt what a man feels, or at least my perception. I felt untouchable, on top of the world; masculine. I felt so much power, more than I have ever felt before.
The night on patrol forever changed me and created this bond between me and the men that were protecting me more than I can place into words at this time.

Kyiv | Ukraine

Web | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud

When they asked me to go on patrol with them, it was all so abrupt. “Ok, we patrol now.” one said. A guy came over and placed a kevlar jacket on me and motioned that there were snipers and to be careful. Coming from America, NYC, I always feel safe and my ignorance was telling me that all of these guys were just overly paranoid. I stayed back a couple of feet shooting off photos here and there until I could tell that the commander was getting annoyed and that I needed to take this more serious. We walked for nearly 5-6hours in the evening on the outskirts of the city. We walked from check point to check point throughout the city checking in with the other guys to see if all was well and to see if they had any new information. We would all chat for a bit and then continue onto the next checkpoint.¬†

It was about 4 hours in or so and I was seriously beginning to think that this was all protocol until we spotted a dark figure in a part of the city where they lost some of their friends. We began to chase the suspect and I immediately felt like I was in an episode of Cops. My adrenaline was up, all my senses. When we finally caught up to the man they inquired about his documentation of who he was, etc. Without getting any orders I just went into this weird defense mode. I blocked the man in to ensure he wasn’t going anywhere. I was ready, and willing, to use the weapon that they had given me at the beginning of patrol on him if necessary. It’s funny, but for once in a long time I felt what a man feels, or at least my perception. I felt untouchable, on top of the world; masculine. I felt so much power, more than I have ever felt before.

The night on patrol forever changed me and created this bond between me and the men that were protecting me more than I can place into words at this time.