Substance abuse

Growing Pains (#4)

Right up until this exact moment in my life, there was always a blueprint for what path I should follow. First it was to get situated in high school and figure out where I fit in and what my strengths were. Then it was to get into a decent college and obtain a degree in some discipline that would become my career. It wasn’t that I was forced into it, but since my parents were the first to go to college in their families it seemed like the logical track to follow. At this point I was finished with both of those things, but I still had no idea what I wanted for my future and where I ultimately wanted to end up. A lot of my friends went to school for very specific careers and the fact that they seemed to have it all figured out made it even harder for me to admit I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. I moved back in with my parents and continued to work at the job I had when I was still attending college. I told myself I was just biding my time until I could figure out what my next move would be. But I was not excited about my future; instead, I was fearful and apprehensive about letting myself and those around me down again. (more…)

College Daze (#3)

There I was, a recent high school graduate caught in the midst of a terrible heroin and crack cocaine addiction.

Hindsight is always twenty-twenty, and after taking a long look at this time in my life I am fully aware that the drugs and alcohol were never the problem. In fact, I believe whole heartedly that the drugs and alcohol were my misguided and selfish solution to the problem. I say selfish because I never once thought about how my choices were going to affect those around me who loved me unconditionally. It felt as if I was the center of my own universe; and if I was not getting what I believed was owed to me, I became resentful. But it wasn’t always that easy for me to distinguish between the rational and the irrational. At this point I was dealing with a drug addiction and an undiagnosed mental health issue that would be uncovered in the near future.  (more…)

HIGH School (#2)

Before I continue on with my story I would like to mention that I was overcome with anxiety as I was brainstorming this installment in the series. A lot of these memories bring me back to a time in my life that was very dark, very lonely and very confusing. I am not writing this so the reader feels bad for my situation, I am writing this to let you know we all have our fears. Fear is a normal emotion, and in the animal kingdom fear often times keeps those lower on the food chain alive. So in this regard fear is often times a balancing act between the rational and the irrational. I have already survived this part of my life, and it has shaped me into the person I am today. Without the trials and tribulations that I went through I wouldn’t have the insight or qualifications to begin to speak on these topics. So my fear of sharing my secrets with those reading was trumped by the fear of having another person go through a dark part of their life while feeling alone. We are currently in a war with addiction and mental illness, and the only way to combat it is to show the people suffering they are not alone. There are other people who have shared in those feelings and emotions. Once my mind made sense of this, the anxiety was removed and I was overcome with gratitude. (more…)

Who am I? (#1)

By Nicholas Bellofatto

Whenever someone asks me to describe myself, I almost always become confused and uneasy about what that question actually means. Do they mean my physical attributes? Do they mean the standardized test type questions that you can only answer with a #2 pencil? Do they mean I should describe myself how I think the world wants me to appear at certain stages of my life? Well in any case, I don’t really believe any of those options hold much weight if you really want to get to know someone. All those questions serve their purpose, but none of them could ever fully encapsulate what makes our hearts beat faster with love and excitement, our hairs stand up in awe and amazement or our eyes swell with emotion. (more…)