It’s been a little while since I’ve been able to post—because of my schedule, I’ve had no time to write. My last post stirred some judgmental critiques. A refresher: It was titled “The Dark Side Awakens: When I was left to my own devices, I relied on substances to make me feel better and fit in” (you can read it here). But what people don’t understand is that addiction isn’t always touched on in the mainstream media. Everyone interprets what they read as they may, and that’s awesome. My posts could get controversial, and I’m glad they cause a stir. I’m not glorifying drug use. Instead, I’m shedding light on a subject that is a part my journey. Some of my critics don’t seem to understand that the time line of my life story is presented more or less in chronological order in my blog posts; however, the events happened a few years ago, not as I’m writing about it. I’ll continue where I left off, so if you have any questions just wait for the upcoming posts. This is not sugarcoated for Disney, this is my life and my experience, uncensored.

I left off talking about my drug use. The increase of usage—and I’ll add the drinking—was normalized in bar industry, so I never saw it as an issue. Everyone drank around me. Some drank more than I did.

When I left to do The Nutcracker in Reno again in October of 2012, I knew I had to kick the drugs except weed. I couldn’t do meth and be disciplined in a ballet production. That would be insane. I did love getting my happy hour Jameson on the rocks for $2.50.

I was healthy and on my HIV meds, but I was still drinking the thought of it away. The show and sense of family this time around definitely warmed my heart and helped me feel loved.

The season ended and I returned to New York, and like I had done before, I dove into work. If I wasn’t going to use drugs, I would work my ass off so when it came time, I could reward myself with a binge. It wasn’t that big of a deal.

My friends Jason and Shane were the best, and I always loved being around them and they made me laugh. They made me cry. They kept me accountable, and I knew I could be honest with them. At this point in my life, I thought I wanted to do porn, and I started to escort a little on the side and it gave be some validation and instant gratification. My friends just supported my decision as long as I was happy.

The joy and the happiness was fading in my eyes, though. They saw it. There was no hiding it. So when I met up with them in June 2013 at Industry bar to bid them “bon voyage” as they were setting off to San Francisco for AIDS LifeCycle, I decided I had good and bad news to tell them. I started with the bad: “I think I’m addicted to crystal meth.”

They both looked at me horrified. The color in their faces was drained and there was a pause before they started conversation again. Shane started, “Boo, that’s not funny. If you are, then we can go get you help. There are rehabs and programs for things like this.”

I defended the drugs to the core, “No, I don’t need those. It’s not that bad. It’s only like once a month.”

Jason interrupted me, “Girl, are you fucking crazy? Meth is serious. You need help.”

Then Shane countered, “We love you and are willing to go with you so you can get help. We can go right now.”

I was against them helping me. “We will go if it gets serious,” I told them. ”It’s really not that big of an issue.” They let it go.

I didn’t know the way my HIV was affecting me. It gave me anxiety and took away my power. Addiction took away my power of choice. This was the beginning of a warped reality that I’d have to discover wouldn’t work for me.