The Well Magazine Summer 2012 - Page 4

Testify Drug Free: My Journey to Freedom By Berneita Barnes Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net n January 9, 1990, I entered treatment. I had finally come face to face with the fact that I was a drug addict. I had three children and no place to call home. I had been living in abandoned buildings. I had no job, no prospects and no education. At my lowest point, I begged, borrowed and stole just to fulfill the yearning and urges that came with using cocaine. Begging, borrowing or stealing weren’t enough on some days to fulfill the need to get high. When there was nothing left in the house to sell, I sold myself. My father took me to the place in Chicago where I would be questioned and examined and finally taken to another place The Well Magazine / Summer 2012 4 O where I would spend the next six months of my life reshaping and finally learning who Berneita really was. ong before that cold day in January when my father carried me in his grey Chevy an hour from our house in Kankakee, Illinois I looked in the mirror and didn’t like who I saw. I also didn’t like the reflection of myself that I saw in other’s eyes. I could see the hurt in my parents’ faces when they looked at me but I didn’t feel like I could do anything about it. From 1983 through 1989, my life was a constant rollercoaster of highs and lows associated with drug usage. I had good days and not so good days. I had no self respect L